114 user 87 critic

Johnny Guitar (1954)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 23 August 1954 (USA)
After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.



(screenplay), (based on novel by)

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Complete credited cast:


Vienna has built a saloon outside of town, and she hopes to build her own town once the railroad is put through, but the townsfolk want her gone. When four men hold up a stagecoach and kill a man the town officials, led by Emma Small, come to the saloon to grab four of Vienna's friends, the Dancin' Kid and his men. Vienna stands strong against them, and is aided by the presence of an old acquaintance of hers, Johnny Guitar, who is not what he seems. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gun-Queen of the Arizona Frontier ! . . . and her kind of men !!! See more »


Drama | Western


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Guitar - Gejagt, gehaßt, gefürchtet  »


Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,500,000, 31 December 1954
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


At one point in the movie Johnny says, "I'm a stranger here myself." This was Nicholas Ray's own personal motto, a recurring theme in his movies, and reportedly the working title for just about every movie he directed. See more »


After the bank robbery, Vienna and Johnny Guitar are riding along in a buggy drawn by a single horse. While the horse sounds like it is only trotting along, the scenery rushing past the buggy makes it appear the buggy is going at highway speed. See more »


Johnny: There's only two things in this world that a 'real man' needs: a cup of coffee and a good smoke.
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Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »


Johnny Guitar
by Peggy Lee and Victor Young
Sung by Peggy Lee
Heard instrumentally over the opening credits and throughout the film
Played on the piano by Joan Crawford (dubbed)
Sung partially at the end by Peggy Lee
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User Reviews

This film is a "western" Noir Film and a passionate love story
14 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

The action takes place in the lands of Arizona, around 1880, for several days. Johnny Logan, aka Johnny "Guitar" (Sterling Hayden) is a legendary gunslinger who wants to change her life and agrees to work in Arizona as a guitarist of the "saloon" in Vienna (Joan Crawford), a lover of Dancing Kid (Scott Brady), a former boyfriend Emma Small (Mercedes McCambridge).

"Johnny Guitar" is the ninth film by Nicholas Ray, which is essential in his films and one of his "westerns" most important. The screenplay is written by Ben Maddow, who lends his name to be Philip Yordan away from the office by the "witch hunt" is based on the novel "Johnny Guitar" (1953), Roy Chanslor. Is filmed on location in Red Rock Crossing and other locations in Sedona (Arizona) and in the studio, with a budget of series B. Produced by J. Herbert Yates,

The film is a "western", a work of Cinema Noir and a passionate love story. As "western" transgresses genre norms, because it abandons the usual male exaltation, facing two strong women. Revenge is not conceived as an end in itself: it becomes regarded as a medium. The adventure gives way to romantic drama importance rests on a basic architecture of Cinema Noir. The characters who work in the film are losers, loners, who bear the burden of defeat, frustration and bitterness. Your profile is far from conventional western mythology. Moreover, the film looks at the world through the eyes of deep pessimism believes that corruption is an essential part of it, that society punishes sincerity, innocence and love, vengeance and greed determine the behavior of people Nicholas Ray is concerned adolescence and youth, to which he devotes a later work ("Rebel without a Cause", 1955). Nesting denounces violence in American society and shows the rough face of frustration and sexual repression. It makes use of symbols (guitar) and builds a bitter allegory of the "witch hunt". The characters are well constructed; the talks are fluid, concise and expressive and address special attention to gestures, glances and movements, sometimes wilfully exaggerated

The music, by Victor Young, combines compositions of strings, piano and brass, of great intensity. It focuses on the song "Johnny Guitar" by V. Young and Peggy Lee. Photography makes use of white and black in the locker room to use the system Truecolor, visually gimmicky, and interpretation of Joan Crawford is memorable.

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