Bad Day at Black Rock

Bad Day at Black Rock

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
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A one handed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

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p
petercorell
Dec 05, 2017

Director John Sturges delivers a modern day western that really packs a full punch of suspense. Spencer Tracy has us guessing what he is up to for most of the movie. He is one cool customer. Robert Ryan on the other hand, is no one to mix with. He delivers the meanest man in town without a doubt. You pit these two men together, you got trouble, real trouble!

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1916rebels
Jan 20, 2017

anne francis can drive my jeep anytime!

c
carlkrater
Jun 08, 2015

You can never really go wrong with a Spencer Tracey movie and this is no exception. His performance, Robert Ryans and even Ernest Borgnines are career toppers. Leaves me with hope for humanity.

n
Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

Towards the end of WWII a one-armed man breezes into the tiny desert community of Black Rock; his identity unremarkable, his purpose unknown—and immediately we’re aware that something is not quite right. Greeted with suspicion and outright hostility by the town’s dozen or so inhabitants, John J. Macreedy (a soft-spoken Spencer Tracy) is nevertheless determined to seek out the man he’s come to find despite being stonewalled by the sheriff and threatened by the local land baron and his posse of goons. It seems Black Rock has a terrible secret to hide and no one wants to see Macreedy live long enough to discover it. Filmed in widescreen Cinemascope with vistas of endless sand and towering mesas to heighten its sense of isolation, John Sturges’ tale of an ugly small town and the even uglier people who live there paints a dire picture of patriotism’s other side—the xenophobia and racism, and the righteous mindset of the pack. Although a bit too extreme to be considered a microcosm of America at large (unless you concentrate on the civil rights travails of the South) Bad Day certainly casts an unwelcome light on one of that country’s darker wartime legacies. Presenting his film as a dry and dusty chamber piece featuring a cast of A-list character actors, Sturges slowly ramps up the tension using long, almost languorous shots under a burning sun. The result is a dim and pessimistic parable set in a West more villainous than wild.

i
Isley
Sep 08, 2014

Great performances, great cinematography, and a decent job of creating plenty of claustrophobic tension were the high points of this well made film. Personally however, the movie was a little too close for comfort to that genre of “bad town” liberal westerns that always rub me the wrong way with their self-righteous messages.

g
garycornell
Jun 04, 2014

Director John Sturges scores a hit with Spencer Tracy in "Bad Day in Black Rock". Black Rock is a small town out in the desert of the west. A train stops at this miserable town and out comes Spencer Tracy. He is going to meet up with Robert Ryan who means to kill him one way or the other. One of my favorite character actors is in "A Bad Day in Black Rock". Walter Brennan has a small part and was used frequently in John Sturges movies. Some call this a modern western, others say it is an anti war movie, I just call it a classic American Movie. Please let me know your reaction. Just leave your message here on the KCLS web site.

m
Monolith
Nov 11, 2012

Dynamite Western from John Sturges, (The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, etc.), dealing with racism in 1945 post WWII Arizona. Spencer Tracy is the lone wolf in an isolated ghost town fighting for his life against Robert Ryan and his goons, i.e., Lee Marvin & Ernest Borgnine. At least he makes a friend in doctor/veterinarian/mortician Walter Brennan, for what that's worth. Killer flick. FIVE STARS.

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Monolith
Nov 11, 2012

Reno Smith: "...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, we don't even have enough water. But to us, this place is OUR West, and I wish they'd leave us alone!" John J. Macreedy: "Leave you alone to do what?" Reno Smith: "I don't know what you mean."

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