7.8/10
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154 user 78 critic

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 15 May 1955 (Japan)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer

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

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (screen play), Don McGuire (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: John Sturges
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Walter Beaver ... Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
Billy Dix Billy Dix ... Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
Mickey Little Mickey Little ... Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
K.L. Smith K.L. Smith ... Cafe Lounger (unconfirmed)
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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:

M-G-M's SUSPENSE STORY OF THE YEAR! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1955 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Day at Hondo See more »

Filming Locations:

Mojave Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,271,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,966,000, 31 December 1955

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,788,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints) (Western Electric Sound System)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Tracy arrives at the station and sets down his suitcase. When the train pulls into the station, long shot shows he is holding it again, next close up, it is again on the ground. See more »

Quotes

Reno Smith: I swear, you're beginning to make me mad.
John J. Macreedy: All strangers do, hmm?
Reno Smith: No, they don't. Not all of them. Some do, when they come around snooping...
John J. Macreedy: Snooping for what?
Reno Smith: I don't know, outsiders coming in, looking for something...
John J. Macreedy: Looking for what?
Reno Smith: I don't know! Somebody's always looking for something in this part of the West. To the historian it's the Old West, to the book writer it's the Wild West, to the businessman it's the Undeveloped West -- they say we're all poor and backward, and I guess we are, ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

To receive an 'A' (PG) certificate in 1955 the UK cinema version was subject to heavy BBFC cuts. These included Macreedy striking Hector with the brass fire hose nozzle and the climactic shots of Reno on fire. Later TV showings and video releases were fully uncut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Iron Maze (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" It isn't just that a man is dead, it's the fact , no one seems to care "
31 July 2010 | by thinker1691See all my reviews

Spencer Tracy had a wonderful gift for the theater, his on screen persona was often able to offer audiences quality entertainment. Regardless of the many characters, Tracy's talent always shown through and became memories for his many fans. Here is one exceptional example. The movie, Directed by John Sturges, is called " Bad Day at Black Rock. " It relates the story of John Macreedy, (Spencer Tracy) a U.S. Army veteran who decides to visit the town of Black Rock, the hometown of a Japanese friend killed during the war. However upon arrival, he is greeted with suspicion, resentment and apathy. The longer he stays, the more questions he has to ask. Unfortunately, everyone he questions has been told not to talk to him. Led by Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), others are intimated not to co-operate with the stranger, The exceptional cast includes Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine, Anne Francis and Lee Marvin. Though the vast scenic desert, surrounds this forgotten town, it nevertheless allows the foreboding atmosphere to commit itself to a linger secret which prevails and haunts the towns folks. An excellent film for a time when true drama could fit well into a pleasant afternoon. ****


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