Johnny Guitar (1954)

Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge excel in this fascinatingly strange Nicholas Ray western that takes in both sexual rivalry and xenophobia.

Film details


Nicholas Ray’s mesmerisingly strange western takes the stock idea of ranchers trying to keep out newcomers and turns it into a heady allegorical fable about xenophobic persecution centred on the sexual rivalries of saloon owner Vienna (Crawford) and repressed, vengeful and well-named harpy Emma Smalls (McCambridge). It’s a splendid, elemental drama ripe for feminist, Freudian and Marxist interpretation.

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