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Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • John J. Macreedy doesn't know it, but when he steps off the train at the jerkwater town of Black Rock, he will soon find himself the object of fear, hatred, and even a murder plot! The altruistic Macreedy came to Black Rock to hand over a posthumous military award to a local man whose son had died gallantly in the Second World War. What Macreedy couldn't know when he stepped off of that train was that the town had a shameful secret, one that must be kept at all costs.

    - Written by Alfred Jingle
  • It's 1945, a couple of weeks after the official end of the war. For the first time in four years, the streamliner stops in the small American western desert town of Black Rock, and off the train steps John J. Macreedy. Wearing a suit, he's a middle aged man with a lame left arm who has never been to Black Rock. Without even knowing who he is or what his story is, the townsfolk are suspicious of Macreedy. They learn that he is only in town for 24 hours when the streamliner will pick him up the next day to take him to Los Angeles, where he will "restart" his life. His trip to Black Rock is to speak to a Japanese-American farmer named Komoko who supposedly lives in Adobe Flat. No one in town is willing to help Macreedy locate Komoko. As Macreedy is on his search to find Komoko, he comes to the realization that Reno Smith is the town's leader in whatever they are hiding. Everyone else in town is either in cahoots with Smith, or is unwilling to help for fear of reprisal from Smith and his associates. Those unwilling to help include such influential people as the town's sheriff, the switchboard operator and the telegraph operator. As those in cahoots with Smith try to provoke Macreedy, he also realizes that they are trying to have a reason to kill him. Regardless, Macreedy knows that without help, he will be dead before morning comes as he has no access to either a vehicle or means of communication to the outside world. When he finds out the secret the town is keeping, Macreedy does whatever he needs to save his life and in the process save the town from the scourge that has hung over it for four years.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Shortly after the attack on the Pearl Harbor, the unconditional surrender of Japan, and the resultant hatred towards Japanese-Americans, one-armed John J. Macreedy alights at Black Rock from a train in order to give a medal to the last known relative, Komoko, of a deceased Japanese-American army officer, Joe. His attempts to do so will pit him against the entire town - including the Sheriff himself - that is intent on covering up a dark secret; attempts will be made to run him off the road while driving; he will be threatened, and the telephone operator will refuse to connect him to the State Police; the Railway Station's employee will not dispatch a telegram; while the local Mortician will warn him that he should prepare for his death by nightfall.

    - Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Synopsis

The time is 1945, just after the end of World War II. The great railroad train Streamliner stops at the town of Black Rock Arizona...

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