IMDb > Johnny Guitar (1954)
Johnny Guitar
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Johnny Guitar (1954) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   9,630 votes »
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Down 15% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Philip Yordan (screenplay)
Roy Chanslor (novel)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Johnny Guitar on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 May 1954 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Gun-Queen of the Arizona Frontier ! . . . and her kind of men !!!
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(64 articles)
Viennale 2014. Cinema's Torch
 (From MUBI. 12 November 2014, 11:53 AM, PST)

Voting On The Most Badass Villain In Cinema Is Now Open
 (From FEARnet. 5 May 2014, 12:00 PM, PDT)

The Alamo Drafthouse 100 Essential Favorite Films
 (From Rope Of Silicon. 13 December 2013, 1:15 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Dancin' Kid: "Can you play?" Johnny Guitar: "Can you Dance?" See more (98 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Joan Crawford ... Vienna

Sterling Hayden ... Johnny 'Guitar' Logan

Mercedes McCambridge ... Emma Small
Scott Brady ... Dancin' Kid

Ward Bond ... John McIvers
Ben Cooper ... Turkey Ralston

Ernest Borgnine ... Bart Lonergan

John Carradine ... Old Tom

Royal Dano ... Corey
Frank Ferguson ... Marshal Williams

Paul Fix ... Eddie

Rhys Williams ... Mr. Andrews
Ian MacDonald ... Pete
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
India Adams ... Singer for Miss Joan Crawford (singing voice) (uncredited)
Trevor Bardette ... Jenks (uncredited)
George Bell ... Posseman (uncredited)
Bob Burrows ... Posseman (uncredited)
Curley Gibson ... Posseman (uncredited)
Chick Hannan ... Posseman (uncredited)
Clem Harvey ... Posseman (uncredited)
Frank Marlowe ... Frank - Bartender (uncredited)
John Maxwell ... Jake - Bank Clerk (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery ... Posseman (uncredited)
Sheilk O'Brien ... Posseman (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Sam (uncredited)

Denver Pyle ... Posseman (uncredited)
Rocky Shahan ... Cowboy at Hanging (uncredited)
Dean Williams ... Posseman (uncredited)
Sumner Williams ... Posseman (uncredited)
Sheb Wooley ... Posseman (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Ned - Bank Teller (uncredited)

Directed by
Nicholas Ray 
 
Writing credits
Philip Yordan (screenplay)

Roy Chanslor (novel)

Ben Maddow  uncredited
Nicholas Ray  uncredited

Produced by
Nicholas Ray .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Victor Young 
 
Cinematography by
Harry Stradling Sr. (director of photography) (as Harry Stradling)
 
Film Editing by
Richard L. Van Enger 
 
Art Direction by
James W. Sullivan  (as James Sullivan)
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle (set decorations)
John McCarthy Jr. (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Sheila O'Brien (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Peggy Gray .... hair stylist
Bob Mark .... makeup supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herbert E. Mendelson .... assistant director (as Herb Mendelson)
 
Sound Department
T.A. Carman .... sound
Howard Wilson .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Howard Lydecker .... special effects
Theodore Lydecker .... special effects
 
Stunts
Robert Bradshaw .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Montgomery .... stunts (uncredited)
Rocky Shahan .... stunts (uncredited)
Charles Wilcox .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Nels Mathias .... grip (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Sidney Cutner .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leo Shuken .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Stanley Wilson .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Herbert J. Yates .... presenter
Jason Lindsey .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Ralph McCutcheon .... horse trainer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min | West Germany:104 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Trucolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:16 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Canada:PG | Chile:18 | Finland:K-15 (2007) (uncut) | Finland:K-12 (1994) (uncut) | Finland:K-16 (1954) (cut) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1955) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1986) (1998) | USA:Unrated | USA:Approved (PCA #16818) | West Germany:12 (nf) (cut version) | West Germany:16 (nf) (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Emma:I'm going to kill you.
Vienna:I know. If I don't kill you first.
See more »
Soundtrack:
Old Joe ClarkSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
49 out of 60 people found the following review useful.
Dancin' Kid: "Can you play?" Johnny Guitar: "Can you Dance?", 2 February 2006
Author: krorie from Van Buren, Arkansas

Surely this allegorical western influenced Clint Eastwood when he directed his "Pale Rider" and "High Plains Drifter," though I've never read where he has mentioned it. There are certainly similarities, especially with "High Plains Drifter." The brilliant director Nicholas Ray who threw so much of himself and his search for artistic expression on film into his works at times carries the allegory too far. Good allegory, such as "Moby Dick" and "Huckleberry Finn," must never become too obvious. It then descends into mere cleverness and creative arrogance. The posse from Hell dressed in black led by a perverted Joan of Arc doesn't leave much to the viewer's imagination. Except for a few such parts, most of the movie purports itself well and tells an effective story that can be interpreted on several different levels.

Mercedes McCambridge playing the demonic sexually repressed Emma Small (again the name makes it too easy for the viewer) stands tall amongst a cast of giants. That her voice would be used for the devil's own in "The Exorcist" is understandable for it crackles with fire and brimstone. Jealousy and rejection guide in her determination, nay obsession, to destroy both her sexual rival Vienna and her unrequited love the Dancin' Kid. Sterling Hayden plays the lead character Johnny Logan aka Guitar to perfection. Hayden was not only under-appreciated by the Hollywood moguls but even by himself. In interviews he always trashed his acting talents in much the same way Robert Mitchum tended to do his own. He maintained he was just doing a job that he didn't like very much. In reality Hayden was one of the best performers of his generation as was also true of Mitchum. Joan Crawford who was often miscast finds her niche in "Johnny Guitar." As her roulette spinner says to the camera,"She's more of a man than a woman." She is in control at all times even when there's a rope around her neck. She tells Johnny Guitar when to play his instrument and The Dancin' Kid when to dance. She even holds the posse from Hell at bay until Emma Small steps in. Emma is also a woman in control but only of external forces. Inside, her emotions, fears, and frustrations dominate.

Ernest Borgnine was still playing bullies, which he did so well, at this point in his career. Royal Dano the consumptive gang member always true to The Dancin' Kid gives his usual fine performance. Veteran actor John Carradine appears in somewhat of a different type role than usual as the loyal caretaker for Vienna. One part hearkens back to his best screen portrayal as Preacher Casy in "The Grapes of Wrath" when he tells Vienna that he'll hide young Turkey out in the cottonwoods so the posse can't find him. Nicolas Ray aided young aspiring actors with ability by showcasing their talents in his films. He introduced Dennis Hopper who has an uncredited bit part in "Johnny Guitar." Later Hopper would appear in Ray's "Rebel Without a Cause" with James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo. Look for two other faces that were mainstays of the cinema Sheb Wooley ("High Noon"--he also wrote and recorded "The Purple People Eater")and Denver Pyle ("Bonnie and Clyde," "The Dukes of Hazzard"). There's also the inimitable Ward Bond who could always be counted on to give a good performance.

Any show that starts out with a mountain being blown to pieces, a sand storm of Herculean proportions, and a stage coach holdup can be counted on to deliver the goods. The story about a railroad coming through to change the community takes second place to all the other storms and whirlwinds involving jealousy, greed, and murder. Emma and the posse from Hell are not just on a private vendetta. They are also trying to stop progress that threatens their very way of life. Railroads bring new people, new ideas, and new ways of making a living. Those who benefit from change like it. Those who are hurt by change fight against it with all their might. These forces mix with personal ones to make "Johnny Guitar" one of the best westerns ever. It's not to be missed.

The music for "Johnny Guitar" is a definite plus. Peggy Lee sings the title song, which she helped compose with Victor Young, at the end of the movie as no one else could. She had a sultry blues voice with great feeling and emotion. Oft times she is dismissed as a mere pop singer from the 40's and 50's. Peggy Lee was much more. She was one of the great voices for her era. I couldn't find information about who actually played guitar for Sterling Hayden. The picking is flawless. The closest I've come is the name Howard Roberts, who was the jazz guitarist that backed Peggy Lee on her later hit "Fever." I've read that he could play anything on any type guitar. The dance song picked by Johnny Guitar that inspired The Dancin' Kid to dance with Emma was "Ol' Joe Clark," a folk ditty, usually played on the fiddle, that was popular during the time period thus adding authenticity to the show.

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