7.7/10
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Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 23 August 1954 (USA)
After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screenplay), Roy Chanslor (based on novel by)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Caught in the crossfire of danger and desire. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 August 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnny Guitar - Gejagt, gehaßt, gefürchtet See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,500,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peggy Lee wrote the lyrics to the theme song and sings it over the closing credits. See more »

Goofs

When the posse rides through the waterfall Emma Small's clothes are bone dry even though she already passed through the waterfall earlier. See more »

Quotes

Emma: I'm going to kill you.
Vienna: I know. If I don't kill you first.
See more »

Connections

Featured in La société du spectacle (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Johnny Guitar
by Peggy Lee and Victor Young
Sung by Peggy Lee
Heard instrumentally over the opening credits and throughout the film
Played on the piano by Joan Crawford (dubbed)
Sung partially at the end by Peggy Lee
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Shakespearian western
4 February 2003 | by RueiroSee all my reviews

I was 15 the very first time I watched this wonderful movie, and from that moment it became a kind of cult classic, a cinema icon, for me. I had to wait over ten years to be able to enjoy it again, and by this time it had reached the category of legend on my personal film paradise. The great score by Victor Young, which I never could forget, is probably the most romantic and sentimental music ever composed for the screen, with the Johnny Guitar theme, with the voice of Peggy Lee, bringing us the fascination of the legend they called Johnny Guitar. Also the fantastic colourful images, with those reddish tones of fire and passion, and the backgrounds, the landmarks, the characters and the sutile and perfect dialogues, make this film a total masterpiece or modern cinema. A western without savages, cavalry, rodeos, and the usual John Ford stuff. A different western, ahead of its time, and very misunderstood by the public then, but, fortunately, reborn from the limbo and forgiveness, rediscovered by new generations, and still alive, fresh as in its first day, and always inmortal. Joan Crawford was never so great, and the exchange of poisoned words with McCambridge at the saloon "You haven't got the nerve" , and "If I don't kill you first" on reply to "I'll kill you" by Emma, makes me to smile, as both characters show they wear the trousers rather than the men do. In short, there never was a film like Johnny Guitar, and there never will. Now, on its 50th aniversary, it is time to enjoy it once more, and to wish that we could have been at Vienna's, being part of that group of characters with no equal in cinema iconography.


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