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Bad Day at Black Rock (Sous-titres franais)

John Sturges    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Bad Day at Black Rock (DVD)


One of the first Hollywood films to deal openly with white racism toward Japanese Americans during World War II, this drama directed by 1950s action maestro John Sturges (The Great Escape) stars Spencer Tracy as a one-armed stranger named MacReedy, who arrives in the tiny town of Black Rock on a hot day in 1945. Seeking a hotel room and the whereabouts of an ethnic Japanese farmer named Komoko, MacReedy runs smack into a wall of hostility that escalates into serious threats. In time it becomes apparent that Komoko has been murdered by a local, racist chieftain, Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), who also plans on dispensing with MacReedy. Tracy's hero is forced to fight his way past Smith's goons (among them Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin) and sundry allies (Anne Francis) to keep alive, setting the stage for memorable suspense crisply orchestrated by Sturges. Casting is the film's principal strength, however: Tracy, the indispensable icon of integrity, and Ryan, the indispensable noir image of spiritual blight, are as creatively unlikely a pairing as Sturges's shotgun marriage of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen in The Magnificent Seven. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is McReedy when we really need him? Aug. 26 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This is a movie which doesn't "date" because it deals with archetypal (representing oft-repeated types) characters and situations which resonate in our consciousnesses for all time. It's not the fight scenes which move me, in fact, the superhero aspects of Tracy's character detract somewhat from the realities of racism, corruption and guilt over which he somewhat magically triumphs.
When I look at this movie today, it speaks to me of the corruption surrounding us in media, politics and business. For the evil, greedy villain, substitute the global corporation. For the sorry townspeople, substitute all of us who put up with today's culture of greed and violence.
It's as if the bad guys are still winning. But everybody knows that the appeal of westerns is that the good guys in the white hats always win. The tension of this movie is almost unbearable because the bad guys look unbeatable.
I agree that the casting is impeccable, but great casting can't fix a bad movie, as "Gosford Park" demonstrates.
The greatness of this particular movie is that it presents the eternal struggle for justice as a 20th century classic western beautifully crafted.
I disagree with the reviewer who said tennagers won't understand it. The ones who participate in the "anti-globalisation" movement will know exactly what it's about and there are millions of them.
Where is McReedy when we really need him?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Small towns are like icebergs... Sept. 2 2003
Format:VHS Tape
There is a lot more to this movie than most people give it credit for. First and foremost, we have the opening sequence of a train stopping at a very small town [we see no more than a dozen buildings]. Throughout the movie the main character John MacReedy played by Spencer Tracy, is trying to navigate the cold-shouldered xenophobia of an isolated desert town. If you´¿ve ever read ´¿Winesburg, Ohio´¿ by Sherwood Anderson, you´¿ll know that things are different in small towns, they´¿re much more like families. So you have this social psychological factor of the members of the small town avoiding their darker past, along with a deeper mob mentality when dealing with MacReedy. To use a clich├ę, small towns are icebergs, you see less than there is.
Now that there is some basic foundation to the broader issues touched on in the movie´¿s structure, we can move on to the storyline.
It is expertly played out in the movie, we are given the small town, MacReedy, and his search for a Japanese man. We see but don´¿t understand the threatening behavior of the town folk; slowly it dawns on us and we are left with one man against a town and its secret. I have never encountered a movie quite like this in both execution and style.
It moves quickly, but without the glitz and glam of modern explosion-thons. There is some action, but it is used expertly, and with purpose. The acting is superb, with everyone playing their characters believably.
My favorite scene is when MacReedy gets into a fight with a local townsperson played by Ernest Borgnine. Noting that Tracy´¿s character only has one arm, watching him beat the blazes out of Borgnine is entertaining and pleasing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Has black rock ever had a good day? Aug. 16 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Black Rock. A town out in the middle of nowhere in the California desert. Yet one day, shortly after the end of World War II, an exciting event occurs here. For the first time in four years, the streamliner makes a stop here. Out of it comes one man named Macready (Spencer Tracy), who is also crippled in his left arm. The other townspeople become suspicious when Macready asks to go to Adobe flats to see a Japanese man named Komoko. Macready can't understand why; he's just wants to speak to Komoko about his son, whom Macready served with in Italy. Komoko's son had died defending Macready and, for this, he was awarded a medal that Macready wants to present to Komoko. But something is fishy about this town. It's concealing a secret past, a past that Reno Smith (Robert Ryan) and his henchmen, Coley Trimble (Ernest Borgnine) and Hector David (Lee Marvin) want to keep secret.
"Bad Day at Black Rock" doesn't have too much action. There are a few action scenes, but they are spaced apart. The thing that keeps this movie exciting and suspenseful are the strong, convincing performances. Tracy as the crippled, mysterious and tough loner Macready. Ryan, Borgnine and Marvin are all great as men who want to push Macready over the limit, yet can't seem to faze him. They also run the town, although neither of them is officially sheriff. The real sheriff is a drunken coward played by Dean Jagger. He is also one of the few who befriends Macready. The others include a friendly doctor, T.R Velie, (Walter Brennan) and Liz Wirth (Anne Francis), the sister of Pete Wirth (John Ericson).
The music score, cinematography and direction are also excellent. The score gives the movie another emotional level while the photography gives the desert a foreboding look.
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Format:VHS Tape
"Bad Day at Black Rock" is a riveting suspense thriller with several memorable performances from a first rate cast. Spencer Tracy (in one of his best roles) excels as John J. MacReedy who is in Black Rock to take a medal to the father of one of his wartime colleagues now that the war is over. He encounters unexpected resentment and hostility from some of the residents, in particular from Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin who make a trio of formidable villains. When threats and intimidation have no effect on Tracy (who doggedly continues to pursue his investigations) the three then resort to violence. Also in the impressive cast are Anne Francis, Walter Brennan, Dean Jagger, John Ericson and Russell Collins. With the help of Brennan and Francis and after surmounting many obstacles Tracy eventually gets the upper hand bringing the film to its exciting climax.
Some favourite lines from the film:
Spencer Tracy (to train conductor): "Oh, I'll only be here for 24 hours". Train conductor: "In a place like this that could be a lifetime!".
Russell Collins (to Spencer Tracy): "Important? It's the first time the streamliner has stopped here in four years".
Tracy (to Ernest Borgnine): "You're not only wrong - you're wrong at the top of your voice!".
Dean Jagger (to Tracy): "This ain't no information bureau".
John Ericson (to Tracy): "If you're in such a hurry you should have never got off here". Tracy: "I'm inclined to agree with you".
A brilliant and satisfying film expertly directed by John Sturges who later went on to make other classics including "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral", "The Magnificent Seven" and "The Great Escape".
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Day at Black Rock
Bad Day at Black Rock- a great movie to be shared with family and friends. Spencer Tracey's inspired acting is especially notable in the fight scene. A classic to be treasured.
Published 8 months ago by Sheila Gatis
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellen film
I have always liked this film - it's always checked out at the library.The copy you sent was flawless. Thanks a lot.
Published 12 months ago by Professor Rolf George
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent all around
One of the great 50s films transferred well with good sound. Perfect commentary by film historian Dana Polan. Read more
Published 20 months ago by whitefire390
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the DVD?
I saw this film a couple of times as a kid and never forgot it. It still has the same effect on me. I have a widescreen copy on vhs and recently played it to a friend who is an up... Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars How hokey can you get????
Got this movie from the library, thinking it would be a good watch, even though I am not a fan of Spencer Tracy. To be blunt, I felt this film was a real let down. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2003 by Susan
5.0 out of 5 stars A great '50s classic
I would just like to say that this film, which in its original format offers close to 50% more image than what the 'modified to fit your screen' vhs tape does that I went out of my... Read more
Published on July 27 2002 by St Ives
4.0 out of 5 stars The First of the Karate Movies!
Before 'Enter the Dragon' and 'Billy Jack' there was 'Bad Day at Black Rock'. Alledgedly, this movie started the first karate craze in the U.S. Read more
Published on April 16 2001 by Frank Gibbons
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime thriller
There's nothing quite like this movie. Part contemporary Western, part political indictment, all thriller. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent movie, Tracy is brilliant
Spencer Tracy delivers yet another outstanding performance in this under-rated sleeper. He is mesmerizing as the one-armed MacReady, ably supported by the devious Robert Ryan and... Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2000 by Candace Scott
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