Wednesday, January 25, 2012


January 28, 3:00 pm


Dir. John Sturges (USA: 1955), 81 min. Bad Day at Black Rock is a thriller film, incorporating elements of westerns and film noir. The idea for the film originated from Howard Breslin’s short story “Bad Time at Honda”. In 1947, the story was featured in The American Magazine with illustrations by Robert Fawcett. Don McGuire and Millard Kaufman adapted Breslin’s story into the film’s screenplay. The film is set in 1945 when the handicapped protagonist, John J. Macreedy (Spencer Tracy), travels via train to the desert of Black Rock, in search of a Japanese-American man named Komoko. Upon his arrival he experiences hostility from the few residents of this isolated town. Macreedy soon realizes the locals have a secret they have been hiding for years. While trying to protect their secret the locals will commit acts of violence towards Macreedy, who must fight for his life.

Spencer Tracy won the Best Actor award at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Bad Day at Black Rock. Additionally, the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Writing (Screenplay).