"the French went gaga over this for a reason": ahaha loved it.
Through its colour, chemistry and tension - bursting at the seams - an unbelievably high-strung western, in its cowboys led by Hayden, but even more in its women led by Crawford, under whom the men are perversely whipped, and whose dynamic induction of gender politics (nevermind sexual) completely upends the searing melodrama elsewhere. The syrupy ending - to which its previous elements jarringly revert back, reeking of commercial fidelity - remains the sole pratfall of this electrifying picture. The French went gaga over this for a reason.
Ray may have made more distinguished movies than this lurid drama but it's still a tremendous effort and arguably the best of the handful of westerns that he shot. In one of the finest films of Republic Pictures a great cast of veterans of this most American of genres like Borgnine, Carradine and Hayden ultimately play second fiddle to the inevitable climactic showdown between Crawford and McCambridge. Exhilarating.
All the directors who love this movie are right. Ray's best, most personal film other than IN A LONELY PLACE (I can't decide which I like more). The best and strangest western of the '50s. I'm not a big Crawford fan but she is amazing in this film. The sexuality and politics of this film are way ahead for their time, needless to say.
Johnny: How many men have you forgotten? Vienna: As many women as you’ve remembered. Johnny: Don’t go away. Vienna: I haven’t moved. Johnny: Tell me something nice. Vienna: Sure, what do you want to hear? Johnny: Lie to me. Tell me all these years you’ve waited. Tell me. Vienna: [without feeling] All those years I’ve waited. Johnny: Tell me you’d a-died if I hadn’t come back. Vienna: [without feeling] I woulda died if you hadn’t come back. Johnny: Tell me you still love me like I love you. Vienna: [without feeling] I still love you like you love me. Johnny: [bitterly] Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Johnny: How many men have you forgotten? Vienna: As many women as you've remembered.
I'm not usually a big fan of Westerns, but I was captivated by this. Loved that the showdown was between 2 women. Recommended viewing for sure!
I'd wanted to see this film probably since the first time I watched Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and wondered what movie it was they were dubbing in that famous scene of Almodovar's film. That makes it at least ten years I waited to finally watch Johnny Guitar, and I am happy to report it is a masterwork. Nick Ray keeps on impressing me, sometimes, like here, more greatly than others. This is a labyrinth of passions!
An incredibly strange film that wasn't what I was expecting at all. Like all of Ray's films, the imagery is incredible and in this particular film the production design was out of this world. All the acting was great, especially Joan and Sterling. I guess I just can't help but feel like it was about 10 minutes too long, but who am I to argue with Nicolas Ray. The answer to that question is: a nobody.
So many amazing scenes. The mourning veil falling off from Mercedes' head, Crawford at the piano with her gauzy white dress after lighting the chandelier which will burn down her place, the dialogues between Hayden and Crawford, the lynching of Turkey. It's not possible to be too rational for too long under the crazy hypnotism of this film. Aaah Joan...
That moment where Emma Small smiles maniacally while the saloon burns in the background always sticks with me.
Damn, Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge's place is definitely NOT in the kitchen, but in front of the camera. Nice performances and nice outfits. Oh, and Mercedes, you're such a bitch.
An extraordinarily unique western in which almost all genre conventions are reversed and subverted in exhilarating fashion. Tough-guy shootouts are traded for passionate lovers spats, wide open vistas are replaced by stunning interior spaces and everything natural becomes heightened, on the verge of operatic explosion. This is an intense, beautiful and unforgettable movie by one of the greatest directors of all time.
There are only two characters in this film: Emma and Vienna. The other ones are just irrelevant, including Johnny Guitar, whose name made the title without reason.
Nicholas Ray's demented western is like a grotesque opera with all villains...and Joan Crawford in full-on Kabuki make-up
Nicholas Ray's subversive take on western archetypes. The eye popping use of colour (have you ever seen redder lips), the sexuality of performance and text and the play on gender add up to one bizzare little classic. The homoerotic subtext within is divine especially between Joan Crawford (giving it all she's got) and Mercedes McCambridge. Lack of spark between Hayden and Crawford just adds more to the mix. Wow.
Is there any other western that is so conscious that the cinematic medium is make-believe? The Western elements are nearly absent, there are more sharp words thrown about than bullets, the tension is more sexual than anything. The political allegory is perfect - in fact, knowing it beforehand makes the film more effective.
A film that revels in its ludicrous melodrama and heightened Western conventions. Every word Jane Crawford spits is acid and the insane caricatures and sound/image manipulation is inspired. Everything is over the top here, the colours just leap off the screen and every god damn moment is pure visual joy.