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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
[the posse has come to Vienna's, demanding the whereabouts of the Dancin' Kid's gang]
We came for the Kid and his bunch.
[Calmly sitting and playing the piano]
That's what you said yesterday.
We came for you too, Vienna.
[Still playing the piano, unperturbed]
Why? I had nothing to do with robbing the bank. Every man here knows that. I don't have to hold up banks. All I have to do is sit here and wait for the railroad to come through. And that is my intention.
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When Johnny Guitar opened in Brazil probably in 1955, it was released through a big chain of movie theaters and I remember it being quite successful at the box office, no doubt also helped by the song that was a huge hit. Except for a few critics, most people took it just as a good western with no second thoughts. But there was more to it, "as François Truffaut wrote in his review when it was first shown in France "Never trust in appearances. Beauty and profundity are not always found in the "obvious" traditional places; a Trucolor Western from humble Republic can throb with the passion of "l'amour fou" or whisper with an evening delicacy."" (from "The Western" by Phil Hardy, page232). Seeing it recently I was impressed with the fast pace of the film, the great dialogs, the unusual settings, the incredibly strong presence of Joan Crawford, the hysterical character played by Mercedes McCambridge. Nicholas Ray was a creative director and his great achievement in this film was to take the story seriously, and not try to make a satire.
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