Bad Day At Black Rock

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.

Genres: Noir, Western

Other Films by John Sturges

The Magnificent Seven

In this lean remake of SEVEN SAMURAI, Sturges transports Kurosawa’s epic 18th-century jidaigeki (period drama) to mid-19th-century Mexico, near the US border. The core of the story remains: A small peasant village, self-sustaining and seemingly peaceful, is repeatedly raided by a miscreant band of pillagers led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). The villagers find help in the form

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

Lancaster takes on a legend of the West in his role as lawman Wyatt Earp opposite Kirk Douglas’s gunslinger Doc Holliday. The story is familiar: Holliday is in Dodge City, having murdered the brother of Texas Ed Bailey (Lee Van Cleef), who seeks revenge; Earp, just arriving in Dodge, seeks to apprehend a group of