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Encyclopedia > Johnny Guitar
Johnny Guitar
Directed by Nicholas Ray
Written by Roy Chanslor (novel)
Philip Yordan
Starring Joan Crawford,
Sterling Hayden,
Mercedes McCambridge,
Scott Brady
Music by Peggy Lee
and Victor Young (title song)
Cinematography Harry Stradling Sr.
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release date(s) May 27, 1954 (U.S. release)
Running time 110 min.
Language English
IMDb profile

Johnny Guitar is a 1954 Western, famed for its unusual storyline and colourful cinematography. It features Joan Crawford as a tough, pants-wearing saloon owner and Sterling Hayden as the eponymous musician who helps her fight a wrongful accusation of murder by the town officials, who are led by another woman (Mercedes McCambridge). Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (912x1411, 263 KB)Johnny Guitar This image is of a movie poster, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the movie or the studio which produced the movie in question. ... Nicholas Ray (born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle) (August 7, 1911–June 16, 1979) was an American film director. ... Philip Yordan (April 1, 1914 - March 24, 2003) was a popular and talented screenwriter of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. ... Joan Crawford (March 23, 1905 – May 10, 1977) was an acclaimed Academy Award winning American actress. ... Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 - May 23, 1986) was an American actor. ... Mercedes Agnes Carlotta McCambridge (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Brady in He Walked by Night Scott Brady (September 13, 1924-April 16, 1985) was an American film actor. ... Peggy Lee (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) was an American jazz singer and songwriter. ... Victor Young (August 8, 1900 - November 10, 1956) was an Jewish-American composer, violinist and conducter. ... Harry Stradling Sr. ... Republic Pictures Corporation (aka Republic Entertainment) is an independent film, television, and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, best known for its specialization in quality B pictures, westerns and movie serials. ... May 27 is the 147th day (148th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 218 days remaining. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Western is an American genre in literature and film. ... Cinematography, English render of the French cimématographie, is the discipline of making lighting and camera choices when recording photographic images for the cinema. ... Joan Crawford (March 23, 1905 – May 10, 1977) was an acclaimed Academy Award winning American actress. ... Saloon may refer to: Any bar, especially in the American Wild West. ... Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 - May 23, 1986) was an American actor. ... Mercedes Agnes Carlotta McCambridge (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. ...


The film was released by Republic Pictures. It was directed by Nicholas Ray, from a screenplay by Philip Yordan (although this credit is disputed and claimed by Ben Maddow), which was based on a novel by Roy Chanslor. Republic Pictures Corporation (aka Republic Entertainment) is an independent film, television, and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, best known for its specialization in quality B pictures, westerns and movie serials. ... Nicholas Ray (born Raymond Nicholas Kienzle) (August 7, 1911–June 16, 1979) was an American film director. ... Philip Yordan (April 1, 1914 - March 24, 2003) was a popular and talented screenwriter of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Contents

Responses

The film is beloved of French critics and filmmakers, such as François Truffaut, who described it as the "Beauty and the Beast of Westerns, a Western dream"[1]. Truffaut was especially impressed by the film's extravagance: the bold colors, the poetry of the dialogue in certain scenes, and the theatricality which results in cowboys vanishing and dying "with the grace of ballerinas". François Truffaut. ... Illustration by Warwick Goble Beauty and the Beast is a traditional folktale (type 425C -- search for a lost husband -- in the Aarne-Thompson classification). ... Maya Plisetskaya, prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Ballet from 1943 to 1960 and prima ballerina assoluta from 1960 to 1990. ...


The style Johnny Guitar of is very different from the realism that dominates the work of classical Western directors such as John Ford and Howard Hawks, and this expressive boldness can be looked at as a form of allegory. In particular, many critics have pointed out that the film is a hidden commentary on the McCarthy witch-hunts.[citation needed] The film is certainly more than just a Western—Truffaut called it "a phony Western". It is a sexual drama with obsessive personalities bordering on madness: the character played by Mercedes McCambridge is obviously the chief villain, but Joan Crawford's character is not entirely likable and Ray shows that Crawford's own psycho-sexual obsession affects her in equally bizarre turns, for example, she dresses entirely in white in a crucial scene where she must confront McCambridge. The strong will and personalities of these two women effectively sideline the men. Sterling Hayden as the eponymous hero is something less of a hero as a result of Crawford's obsession (the fact that he plays a guitar and travels without a gun gives a clue to the downgrading of the Western hero stereotype that is implicit in the title). He is a secondary character, given to indecisiveness. He mostly functions as a passive observer: his tag line is "I am a stranger here myself", which can also describe Nicholas Ray himself (indeed, the line was used as the title of a 1975 documentary about the director). Realism is commonly defined as a concern for fact or reality and a rejection of the impractical and visionary. ... John Ford (February 1, 1894 – August 31, 1973) was one of the most accomplished American film directors of the 1930s to 1960s, known particularly as a director of the Westerns, although his tributes to the veterans of World War II and Americana are also equally effective. ... Howard Hawks Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. ... Senator Joseph McCarthy McCarthyism is the term describing a period of intense anti-Communist suspicion in the United States that lasted roughly from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Influence

The film's unusual sexual politics influenced some later Westerns (e.g. Samuel Fuller's 1957 Forty Guns, starring Barbara Stanwyck, revisits the formula of the strong woman [citation needed]). It also influenced foreign cineastes such as Godard, Truffaut, and Sergio Leone [citation needed]. The plot of Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) is partly based on Ray's Western.[citation needed] Samuel Fuller Samuel Michael Fuller (August 12, 1911 – October 30, 1997) was an American film director. ... Forty Guns is writer-director Samuel Fullers 1958 western released by the 20th Century Fox studio. ... Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) was an American film/television actress. ... Jean-Luc Godard (photograph by David Horvitz) Jean-Luc Godard (born 3 December 1930 in Paris) is a Franco-Swiss filmmaker and one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave. Born in Paris to Franco-Swiss parents, he was educated in Nyon, later studying... Sergio Leone (January 3, 1929 – April 30, 1989) was an Italian film director who is considered to be one of the greatest Western directors of all time. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ...


Cast

The film features Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden (as the title character), Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady, Ernest Borgnine, Royal Dano, Ben Cooper, Ward Bond, John Carradine, Paul Fix, Rhys Williams Frank Ferguson, and Chief Tahachee. Dennis Hopper makes his motion picture debut in this film. Joan Crawford (March 23, 1905 – May 10, 1977) was an acclaimed Academy Award winning American actress. ... Sterling Hayden (March 26, 1916 - May 23, 1986) was an American actor. ... Mercedes Agnes Carlotta McCambridge (March 16, 1916 – March 2, 2004) was an Academy Award-winning American actress. ... Brady in He Walked by Night Scott Brady (September 13, 1924-April 16, 1985) was an American film actor. ... Ernest Borgnine (born January 24, 1917) is an Academy Award-winning American actor. ... Royal Dano (born November 16, 1922; died May 15, 1994) was an American film and television character actor. ... Ward Bond (April 9, 1903 - November 5, 1960) was an American film actor. ... Carradine (center) in Stagecoach (1939) John Carradine (February 5, 1906 - November 27, 1988) was an American actor. ... Paul Fix (March 13, 1901 – October 14, 1983) was an American film and television character actor,best known for his work in westerns. ... Rhys Williams (December 31, 1897-May 28, 1969) was a Welsh-born character actor in movies and television, whose career spanned several decades. ... Frank Ferguson (born December 25, 1899 in Ferndale, California; died September 12, 1978 in Los Angeles, California) was an American character actor with hundreds of appearances in both film and television. ... Chief Tahachee (born 4 March 1904 in James Mill, Arkansas - died June 9, 1978 in San Gabriel, California) was an American-born Old Settler Cherokee Indian who was a stage and film actor, expert horseman, circus and wild west performer, contortionist and firewalker. ... Dennis Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an American actor and film-maker. ...


Trivia

In Truffaut's Siren of Mississippi Jean-Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve walk out of a cinema after having watched Johnny Guitar. They express their enthusiasm on the film, in an obvious homage to Truffaut's own expressed admiration for it.
In Pedro Almodóvar's "Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios" (Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown" Pepa, Carmen Maura, works dubbing films into spanish. She and her ex-lover, Fernando Guillén, dub one of most excinting Johnny Guitar's scene. Vienna, in a cardinal red nightie, come down the stars, slowly. Jean-Paul Belmondo (born April 9 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, east of Paris in 1933), is a French actor. ... Catherine Deneuve at Cannes in 2000. ... For a description of the medieval homage ceremony see commendation ceremony Homage is generally used in modern English to mean any public show of respect to someone to whom you feel indebted. ... Pedro Almodóvar Caballero (pronounced ) (born September 24, 1949) is a Spanish filmmaker. ... Carmen Maura Carmen Maura is a Spanish actress. ...


Adaptations

"Johnny Guitar" was adapted into a stage musical, which debuted Off-Broadway in 2004, with a book by Nicholas van Hoogstraten, lyrics by Joel Higgins, and music by Martin Silvestri and Joel Higgins. It starred Ann Crumb, Steve Blanchard and Robert Evan, and was the recipient of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, as well as a nominee for the Lucille Lortel Awards and the Drama Desk Awards. The musical adaptation favored a more "camp" approach toward the material, which seemed to work in its favor, at least among the critics. Joel Franklin Higgins (born September 28, 1943 in Bloomington, Illinois) is an American actor and singer with a stage career spanning over 30 years. ... Joel Franklin Higgins (born September 28, 1943 in Bloomington, Illinois) is an American actor and singer with a stage career spanning over 30 years. ...


The musical version is now being staged in regional theaters across the United States.


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Johnny Guitar Watson Page (674 words)
He inherited a guitar from his grandfather, a preacher, on the condition that he did not play the blues on it.
Johnny re-recorded 'Gangster Of Love' for the same label and reached the charts in 1962 with his blues ballad 'Cuttin' In', a song recorded with string accompaniment.
Johnny 'Guitar' Watson died of a heart attack whilst performing at the Yokohama Blues Cafe in Japan on the 17th May 1996.
Guitar Ace Johnny A. Builds Home Studio (704 words)
Guitar virtuoso Johnny A.'s newish project room allows him to write and record on his own schedule, which typically begins at the crack of dawn and continues on and off into the night.
Johnny A. recorded demos of all the new songs at home and then went to Boston Skyline studio to self-produce the drums, bass and guitar recordings, which were engineered by Dave Lefkowitz.
Johnny A. recorded direct from his amplifier (a Marshall 6100 head) through a vintage Neve 1058 mic pre — which he scored from his old friend Fletcher of Mercenary Audio — and then straight into the back of the Studer A827 2-inch machine in the studio's “A” room.
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