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Johnny Guitar

  • Drama
  • 1954
  • Nicholas Ray
  • 105 mins
  • PG

Summary

Saloon manager Vienna opens a casino in readiness for the boomtown days expected when the railroad arrives in town. A hard-nosed female rancher plans to stop her from attracting unwanted settlers onto her land, so Vienna hires a gunslinger for protection. Western, starring Joan Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, Sterling Hayden and Ernest Borgnine.

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Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Although this simmering - and occasionally self-consciously camp - western from director Nicholas Ray subverts its notoriously conservative genre, the real purpose of his study in mob hysteria was to condemn the Communist witch-hunt then tearing Hollywood apart. Heavy with symbolism, Philip Yordan's script also crackles with repressed sexuality, as saloon owner Joan Crawford and vicious cattle queen Mercedes McCambridge cross swords over land and men (while eponymous hero Sterling Hayden laconically strums his guitar). Providing Crawford with one of her best roles and gloriously shot in Trucolor by Harry Stradling, this baroque bonanza fascinates on so many levels that it demands to be repeatedly viewed and reviewed.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
ViennaJoan Crawford
Johnny GuitarSterling Hayden
Emma SmallMercedes McCambridge
Dancin' KidScott Brady
John McIversWard Bond
Turkey RalstonBen Cooper
Old TomJohn Carradine
Bart LonerganErnest Borgnine
CoreyRoyal Dano
Marshal WilliamsFrank Ferguson
EddiePaul Fix

Crew

rolename
DirectorNicholas Ray

Details

Theatrical distributor
Park Circus
Released on
2016-05-06
Language
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
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