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Johnny Guitar

Joan Crawford  Actor Sterling Hayden  Actor Mercedes McCambridge  Actor Scott Brady  Actor Ward Bond  Actor Ernest Borgnine  Actor Ben Cooper  Actor Royal Dano  Actor Paul Fix  Actor

MPAA Rating: NR
Contains:Mild Violence,Questionable for Children,Western Violence

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Johnny Guitar

UPC: 887090044806

Studio: Olive Films

MPAA Rating: NR   Contains:[Mild Violence, Questionable for Children, Western Violence]

Summary: One of the strangest westerns on record, Johnny Guitar has less in common with Zane Grey than it does with Sigmund Freud and Krafft-Ebbing. The title character, played by Sterling Hayden, is a guitar-strumming drifter who was once the lover of Arizona saloon-owner Vienna (Joan Crawford). Though her establishment doesn't make a dime, Vienna doesn't care because the railroad is going to come in soon, bringing a whole slew of thirsty new customers. This puts her at odds with bulldyke rancher Emma Small (Mercedes McCambridge), who doesn't want any new settlers on her land. Hating Vienna with a purple passion, Emma will do anything to drive her out of the territory...and even worse, Emma's got the law and the other ranchers on her side. Hoping to keep Emma at bay, Vienna hires Johnny Guitar, who unbeknownst to everyone else in town is a notorious gunslinger. But Johnny prefers to bide his time, waiting for Emma to strike before he makes his move. As a result, Vienna endures several life-threatening experiences, culminating with a feverish chase through the Arizona wilds with lynch-happy Emma and her minions in hot pursuit. According to most sources, the animosity between Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge was quite real, added several extra dimensions to their scenes together. Director Nicholas Ray and screenwriter Philip Yordan stuff the film with so much sexual symbolism that one wonders why they left out a train going into a tunnel. Ms. Crawford's vivid red-and-blue wardrobe scheme was later appropriated by Ray for James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause--with equally stunning results. In addition to the stars, Johnny Guitar is well stocked with reliable supporting players, including Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper, Royal Dano (superb as a consumptive, book-reading hired gun) and Paul Fix. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Category: Western

Awards: Film Presented – Telluride Film Festival

Features: Martin Scorsese
Introduction of Johnny Guitar

Johnny Guitar

Format: Blu-ray

Release Date: 08/07/2012

Runtime: 110 Minutes

Sides: 1

Number of Discs: 1

Mark Deming

Few Westerns more obviously begged the question "What was the studio thinking?" than Nicholas Ray's brilliantly perverse Johnny Guitar. Ray had a knack for finding subversive subtexts in standard material, and on the surface Johnny Guitar's outlaws on the run, factions battling over a town's future, and love and betrayal among the tumbleweeds seem like the stuff of a typical Western. But in Johnny Guitar, nearly all the men are unwilling or afraid to fight, the action is dominated by two aggressive women who hate each other (but are also oddly drawn to each other), the title character is at once the lover and the employee of the female lead, and her arch-rival is driven to near-psychotic hatred and violence by unrequited affection for a handsome outlaw. Lust rules nearly everyone in this film, and in ways that generally fall outside the boundaries of mainstream Hollywood's sexual economy; one look at Joan Crawford's butch Western outfit, complete with string tie, should be enough to signal that this isn't an ordinary sagebrush shoot-'em-up. Ray plays this saga of unusual appetites in a hyper-emotional style against a broad and colorful backdrop, and the result feels more like an opera than a Western, as Martin Scorsese has pointed out. Throw in an allegory of 1950s anti-Communist blacklisting, the bold visual style, Victor Young's moody score, and the con brio performances of Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, and Sterling Hayden and you have a unique movie that's fascinating and entertaining throughout. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast and Crew: Nicholas Ray  Director 
Philip Yordan  Screenwriter 
Herbert J. Yates  Producer 
Victor Young  Composer (Music Score) 
Joan Crawford  Actor 
Sterling Hayden  Actor 
Mercedes McCambridge  Actor 
Scott Brady  Actor 
Ward Bond  Actor 
Ernest Borgnine  Actor 
Ben Cooper  Actor 
John Carradine  Actor 
Royal Dano  Actor 
Paul Fix  Actor 
Frank Ferguson  Actor 
Rhys Williams  Actor 
Ian MacDonald  Actor 
Frank Marlowe  Actor 
Trevor Bardette  Actor 
Clem Harvey  Actor 
John Maxwell  Actor 
Robert Osterloh  Actor 
Denver Pyle  Actor 
Sumner Williams  Actor 
Sheb Wooley  Actor 
Will Wright  Actor 

Country: USA