Sunday, November 27, 2011
Like Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo five years later, Ray's Johnny Guitar shone a new light onto the Western. Both focus on the principle characters more than the action. Both have characters that capture the audience's attention. Both are made for those not that into Westerns, like yours truly.
What makes Johnny Guitar unique is its use of role reversals. The bandits are actually good guys, the townspeople are villains, and the women wear the pants in this show. After all, we learn early on that Vienna (Joan Crawford) and Emma (Mercedes McCambridge) are two dames you shouldn't cross.
God, I love what Ray has offered me so far. Rebel Without a Cause, In a Lonely Place, Bigger Than Life, They Live By Night, and now Johnny Guitar. What I like about them the most is that they're unconventional from other movies of the time. That is also why I love Ray in general.
My Rating: *****