MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 257 this week

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  7 January 1955 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,999 users  
Reviews: 133 user | 63 critic

A one handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 23 titles
created 11 Jul 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 13 Aug 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 12 Feb 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 28 Sep 2013
 
a list of 43 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Bad Day at Black Rock.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An old Cuban fisherman's dry spell is broken when he hooks a gigantic fish that drags him out to sea. Based on Ernest Hemingway's story.

Directors: John Sturges, Henry King, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos, Harry Bellaver
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A marshal tries to bring the son of an old friend, an autocratic cattle baron, to justice for the rape and murder of his wife.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Carolyn Jones
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son a homicide charge.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A Eurasian photographer uses his women in an attempt to get American nationality.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Laurence Harvey, France Nuyen, Martha Hyer
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Certificate: Passed Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan
Boys Town (1938)
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Against all odds Father Flanagan starts "Boys' Town" after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Henry Hull
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
Crime | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a posse catches up three men suspected of killing a local farmer, some of them become strongly divided on whether or not to lynch the men.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Revolutionary War, American Major John Boulton feigns desertion in order to uncover a British plot to seize the stronghold of West Point.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Michael Wilding, George Sanders
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Outlaw Clint Hollister escapes from jail with the help of Marshal Jake Wade, because once Clint did the same for him. Jake left Clint just after, but Clint finds him back and forces Jake to... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
John Ericson ...
...
...
Russell Collins ...
Walter Sande ...
Sam
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Beaver ...
Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
Billy Dix ...
Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
Mickey Little ...
Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
K.L. Smith ...
Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
Edit

Storyline

From the time John J. Macreedy steps off the train in Black Rock, he feels a chill from the local residents. The town is only a speck on the map and few if any strangers ever come to the place. Macreedy himself is tight-lipped about the purpose of his trip and he finds that the hotel refuses him a room, the local garage refuses to rent him a car and the sheriff is a useless drunkard. It's apparent that the locals have something to hide but when he finally tells them that he is there to speak to a Japanese-American farmer named Kamoko, he touches a nerve so sensitive that he will spend the next 24 hours fighting for his life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Suspense in CinemaScope See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 January 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Day at Hondo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,271,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints) (Western Electric Sound System)| (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The script called for Macreedy to light matches one-handed. Spencer Tracy had difficulty with this and convinced director John Sturges to let him use a Zippo lighter, as every veteran he ever met had one. See more »

Goofs

As the train approaches the town, the horn blows twice, which is the signal for starting up. The mandatory signal for a grade crossing (long, long, short, long) is never blown, although one clearly exists. When the train departs, the conductor makes a confused hand signal to the engineer resembling the horizontal motion that means "stop" rather than the vertical motion that means "go". The engineer never responds with the "long, long" starting signal. See more »

Quotes

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.: I was just wondering what all you people are worrying about... not that I have the slightest idea. I hold no truck with silence. I've got nothing to hide. It's just that you worry about the stranger only if you look at him from a certain aspect - from my perspective, I look upon him with the innocence of a fresh-laid egg.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spence licks the town with one arm
27 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Bad Day at Black Rock turned out to be the final film that Spencer Tracy did on his MGM contract. The following year he was fired off the set of Tribute to a Bad Man and left MGM abruptly. Some reward for an actor who brought so much prestige to that studio.

Tracy gets off a train at a hole in the wall, whistlestop, speedtrap of a town called Black Rock located somewhere in the Mojave desert. He's looking for a Japanese farmer named Komoko who seems to have vanished. And the townspeople are downright unfriendly to the stranger.

It gradually dawns on Tracy that by probing about Komoko's whereabouts, he's stepped in one big festering pile and he's put himself in danger. What he does about it is the rest of the film.

John Sturges keeps the tension going here worthy of an Alfred Hitchcock film. In fact if Hitchcock had ever decided to do a western and was presented with Bad Day at Black Rock, I doubt he could do it any better. Certain arty Hitchcock touches are missing, but the suspense is there. Sturges was in fact nominated for Best Director.

As was Tracy nominated for Best Actor. He lost ironically to one of his fellow cast members Ernest Borgnine who copped the big prize for Marty. But in fact any one of the small cast could have been nominated. I'm not sure why chief villain Robert Ryan wasn't.

A fews years later John Sturges directed another film The Law and Jake Wade about Robert Taylor being held prisoner by Richard Widmark and his gang. There was a lot of suspense there as well, similar to Bad Day at Black Rock, as to whether Taylor would escape his predicament.

For a feature film in 1955 it is a rather short one, less than 90 minutes. But as Tracy said in another film, what there is is cherce.


39 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Smith - rejected due to failed physical ....... paule-rooney
Not my favorite movie. . miso5000
Most 'Oscars' represented in one film / scene ? jtcbrt
Fight Scene nightpike11
goof in the plot? zelton-1
'concentration camp' mcconnel-1
Discuss Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?