IMDb > Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Bad Day at Black Rock
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Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 21 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
Bad Day at Black Rock -- Spencer Tracy received his fifth Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a one-armed stranger who arrives at a small Southwestern town shortly after WWII in pursuit of a Japanese farmer.
Bad Day at Black Rock -- Trailer for this mystery

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   13,784 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 330% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Millard Kaufman (screen play)
Don McGuire (adaptation)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Bad Day at Black Rock on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 January 1955 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Suddenly you realize murder is at your elbow! - and there's no way out! See more »
Plot:
A one handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A bad day, a superb film See more (136 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... John J. Macreedy

Robert Ryan ... Reno Smith

Anne Francis ... Liz Wirth

Dean Jagger ... Tim Horn

Walter Brennan ... Doc Velie

John Ericson ... Pete Wirth

Ernest Borgnine ... Coley Trimble

Lee Marvin ... Hector David
Russell Collins ... Mr. Hastings

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)
Robert Griffin ... Second Train Conductor (uncredited)

Harry Harvey ... First Train Conductor (uncredited)
Bobby Johnson ... One of Two Porters (uncredited)
Francis McDonald ... Tall - White-haired Cafe Lounger (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sturges 
 
Writing credits
Millard Kaufman (screen play)

Don McGuire (adaptation)

Howard Breslin (based on a story by)

Produced by
Herman Hoffman .... associate producer
Dore Schary .... producer
 
Original Music by
André Previn 
 
Cinematography by
William C. Mellor (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Newell P. Kimlin 
 
Art Direction by
Malcolm Brown 
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Fred M. MacLean (set decorations) (as Fred MacLean)
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joel Freeman .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Wesley C. Miller .... recording supervisor
Ed Haight .... sound editor (uncredited)
Kurt Hernfeld .... sound editor (uncredited)
Harold Humbrock .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Roger Creed .... stunt double: Spencer Tracy (uncredited)
Danny Sands .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Alvord Eiseman .... color consultant
 
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Wally Heglin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
André Previn .... conductor (uncredited)
André Previn .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Indrisano .... judo instructor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) (controlled by Loew's Incorporated) (presents) (as M-G-M also) (A CinemaScope Production) (made in Hollywood, U.S.A. by)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
81 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastman Color)
Aspect Ratio:
2.55 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (35 mm optical prints) (Western Electric Sound System) | 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 | New Zealand:PG | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1993) (1994) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #17184) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Passed (The National Board of Review) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
John Sturges had already moved on to his next film, The Scarlet Coat (1955), so Herbert Hoffman took charge of filming the opening. The plan was to shoot the train hurtling toward the audience, almost like a 3-D movie. But it would have been deadly to attempt a helicopter maneuver into the path of a speeding locomotive. Stunt flier Paul Mantz offered the perfect solution: have the train running backwards, fly the copter over the retreating engine, then project the footage in reverse. "It's a helluva shot," Sturges later said, "but I didn't make it."See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: Obvious stunt driver for Spencer Tracy during the chase with Coley.See more »
Quotes:
Reno Smith:My name's Smith. I own the Three Bar Ranch. I want to apologize for some of the people in town.
John J. Macreedy:Act like they're sitting on a keg.
Reno Smith:A keg? Of what?
John J. Macreedy:Heh-heh, oh, I don't know. Diamonds? Gunpowder?
Reno Smith:Oh, it's nothing like that. We're suspicious of strangers, is all. Hangover from the old days, the Old West.
John J. Macreedy:I thought the tradition of the Old West was hospitality.
Reno Smith:I am trying to BE hospitable, Mr. Macreedy.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The 82nd Annual Academy Awards (2010) (TV)See more »

FAQ

Was the small town of Black Rock built for the movie or was it already in place?
See more »
96 out of 115 people found the following review useful.
A bad day, a superb film, 15 May 2004
Author: Paul Jordan-Smith from Seattle, Washington, USA

John Sturges directed this quintessentially tight-constructed masterpiece. This is how it was done in the good old days: nothing falls by the wayside. Tight, clear characterizations, with minimalist dialog, costume, manner, and facial expression all reflecting the inner lives of people in their self-constructed hell. Check out how Hector (Lee Marvin) uses the word "boy" to suggest racial overtones well in advance of the slowly-revealed background plot; how Macreedy (Spencer Tracy) in his dark suit and no-nonsense manner contrasts with everyone else's casual dress and edginess, perfectly reflecting his role as avenging angel; how Coley (Ernest Borgnine), trying to run Macreedy off the road, resembles (probably unintentionally) Joe McCarthy, especially as caricatured by Walt Kelly; and of course how the arch-villain, Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), suggests limitless power with his inimitable smirk and almost languid movements: he controls the town without actually doing anything overt--until Macreedy forces his hand. Nicely turned performances by other major players, too: Dean Jagger (the drunkard Sheriff Tim), Anne Frances (nervous Liz), and Walter Brennan (loquacious, self-justifying Doc). The suggestion that one man can--literally single-handedly--make a moral difference is inspiring (and how that one hand utterly confounds Coley is a nifty, low-key precursor of Bruce Lee-inspired acrobatics). This is a keeper.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (136 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Strange things are afoot in Black Rock, Ted...... JPLogan54
If no one ever stops there... Soujurn
Smith - rejected due to failed physical ....... paule-rooney
Placement of Robert Ryan's left thumb at about 25 minutes into the movie buscamante2003
Most 'Oscars' represented in one film / scene ? NYCtoNV
Criterion Release lesoran
See more »

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