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Bad Day at Black Rock


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Our beloved perennial favorite. When I first saw it listed in the pages of TV Guide decades ago when it was just saturday afternoon filler for a local station in leiu of a golf tourrnament it was rated just a fair two-star movie and now it's a four-star classic. Having said that I do prefer the old generic TV Guide story synopsis. Went something like "A one-armed man gets off the train in a desert hamlet and *starts asking questions"*. Still the story strikes me as a bit pat. Pete Wirth had multiple chances himself to have ratted on Reno Smith to the state cops. I think we can assume his no-good sister kept talking him out of it. :)

 

 

 

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Off- topic - I miss TV Guide! Well, the days before 500 + channels, VCR's etc. rendered the viability of the old magazine obsolete is simply a nostalgic memory now, but as a kid when weeks seemed longer and that week's fare was eagerly anticipated, TV Guide was a true "essential".

 

"Bad Day at Black Rock" - that great title had me wanting to see the film for years before I saw it for the first time on TCM (some movies were just more elusive than others) and it was not a disappointment. it seemed more common than now to fill a cast with well-known actors playing their expected roles and "Bad Day" does that well.

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This is a great movie. I have seen it many times so I just watched the part where Tracy just tried to rent the jeep, can't, and Ryan pulls up for some gas.

 

Wow, what a scene between two great actors. I just love the part where Ryan is discussing the west and says something like 'they prevent us from doing things' and Tracy ask what type of things Ryan wishes he could do! Maybe killing people he doesn't like? Just a great exchange.

 

One thing I don't get; wouldn?t the murdered Japanese guy have been put in an internment camp? Maybe I misunderstand what year the killing took place but I thought it was while the war was going and the US had the camps.

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>Maybe I misunderstand what year the killing took place but I thought it was while the war was going and the US had the camps.

 

Reno and his henchmen killed Komoko at the start of World War II

because he was Japanese.

 

MacReedy came to Black Rock to give Komoko the medal his son was awarded by the U.S. Army for heroism. Komoko's son had saved MacReedy's life before he was killed in battle.

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>The Japanese man in question most likely might have served in the infamous 442nd regimental division made up of Japanese-Americans who fought bravely and commendably in the European theater.

 

Here's a website with lots of information dedicated to those brave soldiers:

 

http://www.the442.org/home.html

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Of course I was talking about the father that was murdered by the creeps in the town. You are talking about the father's son that served with Tracy in Europe who died in combat and was awarded a metal. That part was explained in the movie.

 

Anyhow, someone else answered my question. It was a matter of timing. The farther was murdered before the USA started to round up the Japanese Americans. Ironic that in this fictional case the father would have been safer in an internment camp!

 

In fact I should of known the answer myself since in that great scene between Ryan and Tracy, Ryan explains how he tried to sign up right after Pearl Harbor. When he was rejected it set him off. DUH, that was at the start of the war before FDR signed the order about the camps.

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Well it had to be a small town otherwise the murder would of been exposed.

 

The movie is indeed very norish. But I don't agree with those that call it a western or even close to a western. Just because it is set in the western part of the USA and the Martin character wears a cowboy hat doesn't make it a western.

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Actually, the first time I saw it, it was due to me expecting a western. It was the "pre-cable" days, and the TV book only listed the title and Ryan and Tracy being in it.

 

I mean, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK does sound like a good western title, ya gotta admit.

 

Imagine my surprise. A PLEASANT one at that, but surprise nonetheless.

 

Sepiatone

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It looks like the movie was filmed in Lone Pine CA where a lot of westerns where filmed. Yea, the title does sound like a western.

 

Regardless of what genre this movie is, it is a great movie.

 

To me it has just the right balance of diagloge and action. e.g. just when it starts getting a little too 'talkie' we get some action.

 

What a cast of actors!

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