Bad Day At Black Rock

D: John Sturges
MGM (Dore Schary)
USA 🇺🇸 1955
81 mins


W: Don McGuire & Willard Kaufman [based on the story 'Bad Time At Hondo' by Howard Briskin]
DP: William C. Mellor
Ed: Newell P. Kimlin
Mus: Andre Previn
PD: Cedric Gibbons & Malcolm Brown

Spencer Tracy (John J. MacReedy), Robert Ryan (Reno Smith), Dean Jagger (Tim Horn), Walter Brennan (Doc Velie), Ernest Borgnine (Coley Trimble), Lee Marvin (Hector David), Anne Francis (Liz Wirth)

A one-armed war veteran visits a small town in the middle of the desert only to be greeted with menacing hostility by the locals.
This movie is clearly a huge inspiration for the first Rambo movie, but it's better acted, better written and carries a lot more atmosphere, even carrying an allegory for communism.
Possibly the first movie to use "the whole town's in on it" as a plot device and it works incredibly well, thrilling from start to finish.
Spencer Tracy delivers a great performance as the one-armed stranger and the supporting cast are all top notch.

Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock
Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock
Did You Know:
According to one biographer of Spencer Tracy, the script did not originally call for the lead character to be a one-armed man. The producers were keen to get Tracy but didn't think he'd be interested, so they gave the character this disability with the idea that no actor can resist playing a character with a physical impairment.