Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 5,600
This powerfully tense, fast-paced suspense drama also yields a grim social message about racial prejudice. Spencer Tracy is John J. MacReedy, a one-armed stranger who comes to the tiny town of Black Rock one hot summer day in 1945, the first time the train has stopped there in years. He looks for both a hotel room and a local Japanese farmer named Komoko, but his inquiries are greeted at first with open hostility, then with blunt threats and harassment, and finally with escalating violence.
Jan 7, 1955 Wide
May 10, 2005
MGM Home Entertainment
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Considerable excitement is whipped up in this suspense drama, and fans who go for tight action will find it entirely satisfactory.
Nicely put together by Sturges, its suspense derives largely from the excellent performances and imaginative use of the 'Scope frame by cameraman William C Mellor.
Superb, if it weren't, as we said, for the too-obvious liberal teachings that interrupt the terrific ation.
Slowly, through a process of guarded discourse, which Director John Sturges has built up by patient, methodical pacing of his almost completely mate cast, an eerie light begins to glimmer.
I think it's really great the way it addresses the way small communities and isolated communities close in on themselves to protect ugliness.
This was an early CinemaScope film, and William Mellor frames it all beautifully. It's an outstanding thriller.
Serves as a moralizing Hollywood lecture on racial prejudice against Japanese-Americans during World War II.
a portrait of American distrust leading into the potent paranoia of the Cold War
Millard Kaufman's dialogue at times sticks to the roof of the mouth, but Sturges' visual construction is minute
Tracy is at his subdued, thoughtful best, while Ryan perfectly conveys the ignorance behind racial prejudice and Borgnine and Marvin are memorable heavies.
One of Spencer Tracy's best performances
Like High Noon, it's a self-conscious genre picture, a modern version of the traditional Western used to tackle the problem of racism and discrimination against Japanese-Americans.
...watching this set of actors go at it with each other, with Tracy as the calm center of gravity, is impressive.
Bad Day at Black Rock is a tightly knit classic that helps one to admire the continuing power of good movies.
Audience Reviews for Bad Day at Black Rock
- Coley Trimble: You're a yellow-bellied Jap lover! Am I right or wrong?
- John J. Macreedy: You're not only wrong, you're wrong at the top of your voice.
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