Johnny Guitar (1954)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Western  |  27 May 1954 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 10,577 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 106 user | 71 critic | 4 from

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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Complete credited cast:
John McIvers
Ben Cooper ...
Turkey Ralston
Marshal Williams
Mr. Andrews
Ian MacDonald ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Western


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 May 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Guitare  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bosley Crowther in the review in The New York TImes wrote that Joan Crawford "plays essentially the same role played by Van Heflin in Shane (1953)". See more »


In the beginning of the film, when Johnny Guitar passes by the miners riding, his shadow is projected to his left side. In the next shot it is projected to his right side. See more »


Vienna: [Looking down at the deserted gambling area of her saloon] Spin the wheel, Eddie.
Eddie: [Perplexed] What for? There's no customers.
Vienna: I like to hear it spin.
[Eddie drops his paper and gives the roulette wheel a good spin]
See more »


Referenced in The Quick and the Dead (1995) See more »


Old Joe Clark
Played on the guitar by Sterling Hayden (dubbed)
See more »

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User Reviews

From humble Republic, a remarkable western.
25 November 2005 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

When Johnny Guitar opened in Brazil probably in 1955, it was released through a big chain of movie theaters and I remember it being quite successful at the box office, no doubt also helped by the song that was a huge hit. Except for a few critics, most people took it just as a good western with no second thoughts. But there was more to it, "as François Truffaut wrote in his review when it was first shown in France "Never trust in appearances. Beauty and profundity are not always found in the "obvious" traditional places; a Trucolor Western from humble Republic can throb with the passion of "l'amour fou" or whisper with an evening delicacy."" (from "The Western" by Phil Hardy, page232). Seeing it recently I was impressed with the fast pace of the film, the great dialogs, the unusual settings, the incredibly strong presence of Joan Crawford, the hysterical character played by Mercedes McCambridge. Nicholas Ray was a creative director and his great achievement in this film was to take the story seriously, and not try to make a satire.

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