JOHNNY GUITAR (1954 U.S.) D: NICHOLAS RAY W: PHILLIP YORDAN
Joan Crawford is Vienna, a tough woman who runs a wild west saloon and gambling hall on the edge of town (where a railroad is about to be built). Scott Brady is her partner The Dancing Kid. Mercedes McCambridge (the voice of Pazuzu in THE EXORCIST years later) hates them both and tries to rally up a lynch mob. Enter Sterling Hayden as the musician Johnny Guitar. This western based on Roy Chanslor's novel has been described as "Freudian" and serious film types seem to read a lot into it. Well i don't know about that, but i do know that it's an unusual, superior soap opera out-west that comes highly recommended. The interesting cast includes Ernest Borgnine, John Carrdine, Royal Dano and Dennis Hopper, with Ward Bond, Frank Ferguson, Paul Fix, Rhys Williams, Will Wright, Trevor Bardette, Frank Marlowe, John Maxwell and Denver Pyle. Ray made REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE the following year.

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