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Directed by John Sturges

United States 1955 81 mins.

This hard, economical, hybrid Western noir follows one-armed WWII vet John Macreedy (Spencer Tracy) as he stops in the small desert town of Black Rock, looking for a man named Komoko. Initially rebuffed, as Macreedy digs deeper, he learns that not only has the train failed to stop in Black Rock for four years, but also that Reno Smith (Robert Ryan) has been bullying the townspeople into silence about Komoko and his whereabouts. But Smith has friends as well, who threaten Macreedy at every turn, leading to an explosive finale. “You can learn more from John Sturges’ audio track on the Bad Day at Black Rock laserdisc than you can in 20 years of film school.”—Paul Thomas Anderson.