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Johnny Guitar [Blu-ray]

Joan Crawford , Sterling Hayden , Nicholas Ray    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
Price: CDN$ 26.16 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Johnny Guitar [Blu-ray] + High Noon [Blu-ray]
Price For Both: CDN$ 53.15

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Product Description

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"I've never seen a woman who was more like a man," a character observes of Vienna (Joan Crawford), who has just opened a saloon that hasn't exactly endeared itself to the local townspeople. Emma (Mercedes McCambridge), the local sexually repressed, lynch-happy harpy, is particularly displeased. Vienna is wooed both by the Dancin' Kid (Scott Brady) and by Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden), a peripatetic tough guy-turned-troubadour with whom she has a past.

When the Kid's gang (which includes Ernest Borgnine) decides to knock over the bank before heading to California, Emma wants just about everyone in sight on the business end of a rope. Nicolas Ray's 1954 epic was considered one of the downright strangest Westerns of all time--the women were far tougher than the men (Johnny watches on laconically during the bank robbery, not bothering with heroics), and some saw in the film a bizarre allegory for the McCarthy Red scare. A half-century later, it's still a curious, intriguing piece of moral ambiguity from a time when such a thing ostensibly didn't exist. Hayden is an enigmatic presence, and Crawford's commanding star turn is what you'd expect. --David Kronke


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Joannie's Guitar" Dec 3 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Joan Crawford said "I should have had my head examined" for doing
this film. But lovers of true cult should have their heads examined
for not having this film in thier collection. Ground breaking in so
many ways. This film not only predicted the feminist movement by a
mile it also plays on the communist themed witch-hunt if you really
want to read into it. Dispite it's title, Joan Crawford plays lead
it this stagebrush saga of two desparate women trying to hold on to
the only man who meant something in their lives. And what a cast of
stars! Sterling Hayden as Johnny, Ward Bond, Ernest Borgnine, Scott
Brady and of course Mercedes McCambridge as the "other woman" and I must say Technicolor never looked better in a western,I counted
at least six shades of red in Crawford's lipstick alone. I'm not
talking "The searchers" or anyhthing but its just a great obcure
film to sit back and relax with. So where's the DVD already?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vienna Mon Amour Oct. 20 2003
Format:VHS Tape
An unconventional take on the conventional Western genre.
On the surface you have title character "Johnny Guitar"---onetime ace gunfighter, now laconic loner and wanderer who has renounced his violent past and refuses to wear his guns. He looks up an old saloon-girl love (Joan Crawford as "Vienna") only to discover a town in turmoil---both his gal and the General Good need defending...
You might think you see what's coming: Johnny, after agonized moral deliberation, straps on his guns again and rights the prevalent wrongs, possibly with the help of his lady-friend, who's ambivalent about his violent past... A la "High Noon", et al.
But NO... Which is what makes this movie such an interesting, important milestone in the Western genre. Johnny G's role in the proceedings is almost immediately negligible; he hangs around the saloon and watches his past amour Vienna first boss around her employees, then confront the angry lynch-mob that stomps in, then placate the bunch of alleged outlaws who drunkenly seek refuge from a sandstorm and proceed to tussle with the already-assembled law folk... Vienna vanquishes all foes, with Johnny making smart remarks, but doing little else, throughout. Even after the law leaves and Johnny brawls with a gang-member, all of his action is off-camera---while we see Vienna parry verbally with one outlaw inside the saloon, we hear the sounds of scuffling outside, then witness the defeated bad guy come stumbling through the swinging doors. (Now WHEN has a Western EVER deprived us of a good old-fashioned street-brawl?? Aside from gunfights, that's the next best excuse for action.)
Johnny and Vienna DO kiss and make up, of course.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A CULT FASCINATION. Oct. 1 2002
Format:VHS Tape
In old Arizona, the proprietress of a gambling saloon stakes a claim to valuable land and incurs the enmity of a lady banker. To movie fans, this film is probably most remembered as the western starring two women. In Crawford's post MILDRED PIERCE "evil older woman" period, she plays Vienna, depravity incarnate, who is always dressed in black & will do most anything to hold on to her saloon. Mercedes McCambridge, as Emma Small, plays the woman who wants to take away Vienna's saloon: this seemed a primer for the latter's foray in "desperate women" roles. Many label this movie as offbeat and baroque, although it isn't excessively violent: rather it's chock-full of Freudian overtones. It's impossible to capture the odd beauty of this complex genre film in a quick essay because it is truly a one-of-a-kind original.
JOHNNY GUITAR certainly represents one of the most important Hollywood westerns, recognised at the time of its initial release by critics throughout Europe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One Weird Movie April 26 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Sometimes you wonder what made folks fund a movie at a certain point in time, and I kinda wonder that about they who funded "Johnny Guitar". Joan Crawford stars as Vienna, a former dancehall girl who has scraped together enough to build a casino in the middle of nowhere, where a lot of impotent gunslinger/cowboys hang out, while she occasionally plays a grand pi-an-er. What we find out is that she's banking on this "nowhere" eventually being right where the new railroad tracks will run, and then she'll make a bundle. Enter the mysterious laconic stranger, Johnny Guitar. What we find out is that he's no stranger to Joan, at least. Now there's been a bank robbery, and Mercedes McCambridge who owns the bank is very angry that her brother banker has been killed. She wants justice from Joan of all people, whom she hates because the men are all more interested in Joan's blue-jeaned bod than hers, in her Little House on the Prairie get-up. Gun fights, lynchings, you name, it takes place before the dramatic showdown between Joan and Mercedes.
"Johnny Guitar" is weird because the storyline first of all is so odd; because the men are all without power; because Joan shouldn't have been in something like this really; and because it is crypto-lesbian. I mean, what is going ON here? With the right group of people, you'll have a good time. With the wrong group, you'll be thought strange for having suggested it.
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