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Johnny Guitar (1954)

 -  Drama | Western  -  27 May 1954 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 9,560 users  
Reviews: 98 user | 66 critic

A strong willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob, when she helps a wounded gang member.

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(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: Johnny Guitar (1954)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Scott Brady ...
...
John McIvers
Ben Cooper ...
Turkey Ralston
...
...
...
Corey
Frank Ferguson ...
Marshal Williams
...
Eddie
...
Mr. Andrews
Ian MacDonald ...
Pete
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Guitare  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Penny Stallings' 'Flesh and Fantasy', the crew broke into spontaneous applause after one of Mercedes McCambridge's powerhouse scenes, which infuriated star Joan Crawford. According to Nicholas Ray, he then began shooting the younger actress's scenes in the early morning before Crawford got there. After the star witnessed one of these early shoots, she flew into a rage, broke into McCambridge's dressing room, and slashed her clothes to shreds. McCambridge blamed her next two years of inactivity on Crawford's repeated attempts to blacklist her. See more »

Goofs

In the first long scene, ostensibly one uninterrupted time sequence, Vienna wears three very different shades of lipstick: first a bright magenta, then a dark tomato red, then a medium carmine shade. See more »

Quotes

Vienna: [Referring to her long-ago love for Johnny Guitar] When a fire burns itself out, all you have left is ashes.
See more »


Soundtracks

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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Color, Color, Everywhere!
9 September 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This deservedly legendary western has to be seen to be believed. Directed by Nicholas Ray in blazing color, courtesy of Harry Stradling, Jr., it's western featuring the rivalry between two women, Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge, as they quarrel over two men, Sterling Hayden and Scott Brady, and shake things up in the Old West, Hollywood style, 1954. The film is for all practical purposes experimental. Ray is indulging himself in color, composition and space, nudging the viewer toward laughter at every twist and turn of its convoluted plot. As a purely visual exercise the film is a rousing success. Although Victor Young's music is nice, and the late Peggy Lee does a good job with the title tune, this one's better with the sound off. It is a movie to see, to experience, and very hard to discuss. Lord knows, I've tried. If you can make sense out of it, I'll buy you dinner. My best guess is that Ray was taking all the aspects of film that are traditionally ancillary and incidental, and putting them ahead of everything else. What I like most about Johnny Guitar is the way Joan Crawford's saloon is designed, the undergound cave, the waterfall, the cabin on top of the hill, the moments of intimacy and emotion as they occur in these places, and how the viewer is encouraged to suspend his disbelief of what the story is about and give into his emotions, as the characters give into theirs', and let the devil take the hindmost. Ray succeeded marvelously here, as there's nothing else quite like this one; and the movies in general as far as I'm concerned are still lagging behind it, by several decades.


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