Bad Day at Black Rock
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Folks in Black Rock have their own way of welcoming mysterious, one-armed stranger John J. Macreedy. He’s welcome to leave. Or they’ll make sure he leaves in a pine box. Two-time Academy Award winner* Spencer Tracy (a 1955 Best Actor Oscar nominee for this film) plays World War II veteran Macreedy, who keeps his own counsel about why he’s come to Black Rock and who keeps his wits about him when confronted with threats and violence. Director John Sturges (The Great Escape) ramps up the tension while revealing Macreedy’s mission and the town’s grim secret. Robert Ryan, Walter Brennan, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin are among the town’s thugs and lap dogs. “I’m half horse, half alligator,” one says. They’ll find Macreedy is even tougher stuff.
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Robert Ryan plays the villain, a man named Reno, who owns the town the way the Godfather owns the Mafia. His character, of course, takes an instant dislike to Macreedy and calls a private detective in Los Angeles to get the scoop on him. When nothing turns up, Reno gives one of his henchmen (Ernest Borgnine) the green light to get rid of Macreedy, who now suspects the people in Black Rock are harboring a terrible secret. Intimidation doesn't work with Macreedy - and the suspense builds...
As always, though, Spencer Tracy is crucial to making this a 5-star movie. His acting, is invisible, he IS the character. This earned Tracy an Oscar nomination.
for Tracy, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Dean Jagger... and
then add on Robert Ryan who deserved several. See what I mean. You do not
get short changed in this charged up modern western with racial overtones. John
Sturges, director, was one of the best, and he shows it clearly in this classic.
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At times it’s hard not to think that Spencer Tracy was...Read more