John Sturges’ Bad Day At Black Rock follows the story of John J. McCreedy (Spencer Tracy), a war veteran looking for his Japanese friend in the small town of Black Rock. Treated with contempt, suspicion, and disdain, McCreedy finds that his friend has vanished. He soon uncovers the town’s dark secret which the locals have sworn to protect, no matter the cost.
Sturges explores the racial attitudes and social dynamics of a small community. Utilizing the cinematic western archetype, Sturges sets up McCreedy as the lone, laconic hero who enters a hostile and desolate town controlled by the ruthless and cold-blooded Reno Smith (Robert Ryan). The barren desert sets the tone for the story and it is beautiful to behold.
Bad Day at Black Rock is a timeless classic with a strong social message that is certainly relevant today.
Rating : 4/4
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