The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of filmmaking as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »
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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
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Although Philip Yordan is credited as a screenwriter on the film, his contribution to the screenplay actually was written by Ben Maddow, whom Yordan fronted for, splitting the fee with the black-listed writer. See more »
Boom shadow at top of frame, as Sterling Hayden waits for Vienna to change clothes in the mineshaft. See more »
Down there I sell whiskey and cards. All you can buy up these stairs is a bullet in the head. Now which do you want?
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Vienna (Joan Crawford) is a woman with an unknown past, who built a saloon in an area outside town, waiting for the railroad, which would pass nearby her bar. She has a great enemy, the evil Emma Small (Mercedes McCambridge), who wants to expel Vienna from that place. The reason for the dispute is the love for Dancin' Kid (Scott Brady), a handsome man. The simple guitar player Johnny 'Guitar' Logan (Sterling Hayden) arrives in the bar, invited by Vienna, to work with her. The locals are not aware that Johnny was the former lover of Vienna and a famous gunman. When Dancin' Kid and his partners rob the local bank, Emma finds a motive to accuse and chase Vienna.
This movie is an excellent and very feminist western. The story is different from most of other movies of this genre and based on the rivalry of the two lead actresses. I do not recall any other western movie having such powerful roles for women. The DVD released by the Brazilian distributor Versátil is wonderful, being totally restored and re-mastered, highlighting the marvelous colors of the costumes of Joan Crawford. Mercedes McCambridge has an outstanding performance in the role of a very mean and powerful woman. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): 'Johnny Guitar'
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