Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on December 07, 2003, 01:28:12 PM



Title: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on December 07, 2003, 01:28:12 PM
Johnny Guitar is on tonight at 8PM eastern TCM it was one of the movies used for the storyline of OUTITW, check it out or record it if you can.

Its been called the first lesbian western, should be interesting, lol.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: KERMIT on December 08, 2003, 08:21:51 PM
kid:          i didn't get your name stranger.
johnny:    guitar, johnny guitar.
kid:          you call that a name ?
johnny:    care to try and change it ?  ;D



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: DJIMBO on April 05, 2004, 08:00:38 AM
just been watching johnny guitar, supposedly the primary influence on Once upon a time in the west. Definitely influenced it - the powerful woman, the railroad, the instrument-playing drifter, the gang culture of the men in suits & the general revisionism of the hollywood western. especially impressed with the power of joan crawford and mercedes mccambridge's characters - a complete reversal of conservative hollywood westerns.

a fantastic film and a great forerunner of spaghetti westerns in general.

i thought the searchers was the first revisionist western but now its probably johnny guitar!!!


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: KERMIT on April 05, 2004, 10:47:02 AM
sterling hayden, had that mysterioso stranger in town thing going.

KID: i didn't get your name stranger.
JOHNNY: guitar, johnny guitar.
KID: you call that a name ?
JOHNNY: care to try and change it ?  

Actresses Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge fought both on and off camera. One night, in a druken rage, Crawford scattered the costumes worn by McCambridge along an Arizona highway. Cast and crew had to collect the outfits.  ;D
   


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: DJIMBO on April 06, 2004, 03:55:56 AM
anyone else see this spaghetti western forerunner yesterday on bbc two or ever before?

damn good film


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on April 06, 2004, 05:09:07 AM
DJimbo, you got to be kidding me right? For me,
I could barely watch it, it was very campy, the sets were cheap, paper mache rocks, Joan's costumes looked ridiculous, it was called the first lesbian western by some critics, lol, though I wouldn't go that far. I could go on and on.

But you are spot on on the story elements and even some of the diologue.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: DJIMBO on April 06, 2004, 03:12:18 PM
it woz a bit camp but then we're talking hollywood western pre-spaghettis so thats par for the course. i just think theres a lot more substance in johnny guitar than the average john wayne flick (the searchers and the man who shot liberty valance excepted).


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: DJIMBO on April 06, 2004, 03:13:31 PM
actually sets were cheap but tell me a non-leone spaghetti western where they aren't.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 08, 2006, 09:51:20 AM
Surely the point is that by the time JG was made, location shooting for outdoor scenes in Westerns was standard. Ray ignored this practice, perhaps unwisely. But then, he probably wasn't really interested in the genre anyway.

Maybe JG is a Western for people who don't like Westerns?


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on January 12, 2007, 07:42:52 PM
I enjoyed watching the various quotes that Leone used otherwise it was a little overly melodramatic and the sets looked a bit cheap. Mercedes McCambridge & Joan Crawford were pretty bizzare characters.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Cusser on January 13, 2007, 05:31:47 AM
Personally, I really disliked this film, of value to me only because Leone drew from it so well.  I thought Mercedes McCambridge & Joan Crawford were both horrible characters and terrible acting.  And Johnny was super clean-cut, not realistic at all.  And that hole behind the waterfall to the hide-out......


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on January 13, 2007, 11:37:08 AM
I'm with Cusser, a lot of paper mache' looking rocks for my taste. A bit too cheap production wise, and not up there with the best AW's. Leone showed what could be done with its basic building blocks.

I just got done watching OUTITW and every frame of that film you could cut out put it in a picture frame and hang on a wall, its beyond good.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 13, 2007, 01:02:57 PM
I enjoyed Johnny Guitar very much. The sets are VERY cheap, but it's overall a very entertaining movie.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: CISCO on January 14, 2007, 04:28:48 PM
joan crawford would have made a good frank. 


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: The Peacemaker on January 14, 2007, 05:33:12 PM
joan crawford would have made a good frank. 


 ;D    ;D    ;D    ;D   ;D    ;D   


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: CISCO on January 14, 2007, 05:42:46 PM
I enjoyed watching the various quotes that Leone used otherwise it was a little overly melodramatic and the sets looked a bit cheap. Mercedes McCambridge & Joan Crawford were pretty bizzare characters.
miss crawford & mercedes got into it. miss crawford put all of mercedes' costumes in the trunk of her car and spread them over a 40 miles off a backroad slowing down production. yesh ! queen of the bitchslap  >:D


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on January 14, 2007, 05:52:38 PM
great story  :)


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on February 11, 2007, 12:08:39 PM
Is Johnny Guitar available anywhere? I want a copy of this bad!


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Tim on February 11, 2007, 12:15:43 PM
Quote
Is Johnny Guitar available anywhere? I want a copy of this bad!

  Sorry, Tucumcari, I don't think its available, but try ebay for a vendor if you're hard up.  I checked over at TCM's website, Johnny Guitar isn't scheduled in the next couple of months, but it has received a large number of votes, 389, and is ranked 69 overall so maybe this will be up for one of those Warner's "You Choose the DVD" selections.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: The Peacemaker on February 11, 2007, 12:17:10 PM
If you want I can send you a copy. I taped it off AMC a few years ago, and it has commercials, but you can skip those.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on February 11, 2007, 01:39:45 PM
Thanks a lot Tim and Peacemaker, but I'll just wait for a release somewhere down the road. I could see your taped copy Peacemaker but I hate commericals during a movie if you know what I mean. I appreciate it though!


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: The Peacemaker on April 06, 2007, 02:52:24 PM
































.......THE MUSICAL!!!!!


This is not a joke BTW:
http://www.johnnyguitarthemusical.com/




I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across this.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on April 06, 2007, 05:18:49 PM
Uh, thanks for finding that (I think)........ :-\


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: The Peacemaker on April 07, 2007, 01:04:47 PM
Uh, thanks for finding that (I think)........ :-\

I just posted it because it looks so pathetic.



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on April 08, 2007, 05:35:34 AM
According to somebody on the IMDB it's actually a decent show. . . though I can't say I'm too excited about it.  ;D


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on July 26, 2007, 04:39:13 PM
What's the hold up here of the Region 1 DVD release! I want to see this.  >:(


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: uncknown on October 19, 2009, 02:55:03 PM
I remember this was shown in a film school class but i fell asleep soon after it started (screening rooms are a great place to catch up on zzzzzzzzzzzz's):)
just watched a tape of the AMC showing.

Now i know why this a favorite of gay men. The relationships all seem to have a homo-erotic subtext:
- Dancin' Kid seems more concerned for Turkey than just a 'friend/gang member" winwink nudgenudge
- Emma seems to be acting out a jealous lesbian rage. I think the real reason she hates Crawford so much is because she loves men.

Am I being too freudian here?
dunno.

btw they did do location shooting along with the sets. more than a Hitchcock film at least


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Dust Devil on October 19, 2009, 03:57:52 PM
About the movie... Did you like it?


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 13, 2012, 05:25:01 PM
Blu-ray in August: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0082LUGPI/ref=nosim?tag=dvdbeaver-20&link_code=as3&creativeASIN=B0082LUGPI&creative=373489&camp=211189


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 14, 2012, 03:58:35 AM
This is one of the worst Westerns ever made 0/10

I was just watching the commentary on OUATITW. Seems like Johnny Guitar was one of the biggest references for the "quotations" of Westerns in OUATITW. Frayling says that Leone specifically said that Harmonica's harmonica is a reference to Johnny's guitar.

I don't know what the hell Leone, Bertolucci, et al. saw in Johnny Guitar, which has to be one of the worst Westerns I have ever seen. (Roger Ebert put it in his Great Movies list http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080508/REVIEWS08/650962984/1023 )
 I saw it once, a while ago, when it played on TCM. So far as I know, there is no Region 1 dvd of it; it's available cheaply on eBay on one of those Korean dvd's (region-free NTSC, English with optional Korean subtitles), but no proper Region 1 dvd release.

I recall liking 3 things: A) the gang's hideout was a nice set; B) Ernest Borgnine is always fun; and C) there is one funny shot of Crawford playing her piano in the saloon with the candles, you never see that in a Western, it's almost surreal. That's it. Other than those minor points, this movie was painful to watch.

You can talk about the symbolism, McCarthyism, the queer innuendo, whatever you want to.  This movie is awful from beginning to end.
But it did produce one great line someone said about it: It's Beauty and the Beast... with Sterling Hayden as Beauty ;D ;D ;D
(As for the authorship of that line: Ebert cites critic Dennic Schwartz who attributes that line to Francois Truffaut; while in the bottom paragraph of the movie's page on  TCM's website, while discussing the film's popularity, it simply quotes Truffaut as saying the movie  is Beauty and the Beast of Westerns -- as a means of demonstrating the high esteem it is held in --  but without the punchline. Well, whoever it was that said it, it is a damn funny line).


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on May 14, 2012, 05:26:16 AM
in a list made by 28 French film critics Johnny Guitar was in 1965 the best western of all. Followed by Rio Bravo and the Big Sky. Another list from 1995 based on the favourite westerns of 50 film enthusiasts (mostly form Germany) it was the # 6 (together with Unforgiven). So there are some people who seem to like it. 0 is a funny rating for such a well directed film.

For me it is a 8/10 western.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 14, 2012, 06:12:42 AM
This is one of the worst Westerns ever made 0/10
True, but it could look really great on Blu! O0


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Cusser on May 14, 2012, 09:00:53 AM
I also have seen this - once, and watched it only because it had been touted as "a" reference for Once-West.  I agree - it's one of the worst films ever.  I wanted to put on spiked shoes and walk over the two actresses' faces, especially "Frenchie" if I remember correctly.



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 14, 2012, 09:20:35 AM
I also have seen this - once, and watched it only because it had been touted as "a" reference for Once-West.  I agree - it's one of the worst films ever.  I wanted to put on spiked shoes and walk over the two actresses' faces, especially "Frenchie" if I remember correctly.


Same here. I bet Nicholas Ray paid off Bernardo Bertolucci to stick those references into OUATITW. Apparently, being a reference in OUATITW is the best possible advertising for a Western, even an awful one. I did not like Warlock, and I think High Noon was very overrated; but Johnny Guitar is the only major OUATITW reference I can think of that I absolutely hate.

And it seems that on these boards, people either absolutely HATE or absolutely LOVE it  :o

Mercedes McCambridge is one of the most annoying people to ever appear on screen. Big screen, small screen, any screen. I am not even talking about her looks, which make Joan Crawford seem like Miss America. McCambridge is just a screaming bitch.... And really, who wants to even think about Crawford and McCambridge getting it on with ANYBODY, much less with each other?? (we need a Vomiting icon).... And Sterling Hayden is so bad here, when I later saw him later in The Godfather and The Killing, I couldn't believe it was the same person.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 14, 2012, 09:24:33 AM
Mercedes McCambridge is one of the most annoying people to ever appear on screen.
Seconded.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 14, 2012, 09:43:51 AM
Bosley Crowther's 1954 review: "Let's put it down as a fiasco."
 http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9F07E1D8133EE53BBC4051DFB366838F649EDE&partner=Rotten



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: titoli on June 02, 2012, 12:16:33 PM
Saw it for the 3-4th time, first undubbed and second on a big screen. I think Crowther nails it when he writes about Crawford:"No more femininity comes from her than from the rugged Mr. Heflin in "Shane." For the lady, as usual, is as sexless as the lions on the public library steps and as sharp and romantically forbidding as a package of unwrapped razor blades". He could have said just that she's ugly: that's my main problem with the movie. Another grudge is the other two male leads, Hayden and Brady: too wooden. I save only MacCambridgebecause she can be annoying or ugly: but that fits to her part. Still the movie, apart some scene tinged with unvolontary fun dialogues (like those between the two leads) proceeds very well as to rhythm and interest; some images like the saloon burning or Crawford playing the piano (in a white dress that never gets a touch of dirt even after she is almost hung, burned and gone through a mine) are pictorially effective, the haunting motive is unforgettable and I give it a 8\10. 


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 02, 2012, 07:54:36 PM
That surreal scene with Crawford playing the piano is the one moment in this movie that made me smile. Otherwise an excruciating piece of shit.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 08, 2012, 01:29:25 PM
Savant sez:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3926guit.html (http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3926guit.html)


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2012, 03:55:49 PM
I have nothing more to say about this movie, perhaps the worst Western of all-time, but Erickson yet again shows himself to be an idiot with this:

"The beauty of Johnny Guitar can be seen in its unofficial remake by Sergio Leone, who had a nagging habit of appropriating successful movies by other directors. The epic Once Upon a Time in the West repeats the same plotline but with one-dimensional characters, gaining its power from a wholly different set of dramatic-aesthetic values. Ray's film offers a social message while Leone's is pure operatic mythomania."

No, jackass. OUATITW is not a re-make, official or unofficial. It is an homage to the dozens of Westerns that Leone loved, Johnny Guitar being just one of them. True, OUATITW quotes some films are quoted more than others, and Johnny Guitar indeed,  -- along with a few others such as High Noon -- is the source for more of OUATITW's quotations, than is, say The Return of Frank James But it sure as hell ain't an "unofficial remake." Nor did he have "a nagging habbit of appropriating successful movies by other directors." Yes, FOD was a direct re-make of Yojimbo. And Leone frequently pays homage in his own movies to moments from movies that he loved in his youth -- as do so many other cineastes. But having a "a nagging habit of appropriating successful movies by other directors" implies that you basically take successful movies, and re-do them, or big chunks of them, pretending as if they are original ideas. Making a direct remake, or lovingly "quoted" from beloved movies is not "appropriating."
RE: the script of FOD: Based on what I've read from from Frayling, It is unclear exactly what Leone intended (there are various theories as to whether he attempted to steal it and no one would notice; whether he wanted to to contact Kurosawa but no one got around to it, etc. )

 But aside from FOD-Yojimbo, there is no way you can say Leone had a habit of appropriation. References (or "quotations," as Bernardo Bertolucci likes to call them) are not appropriation; and they are clearly intended to be an homage to the source. It's something that every director who is a cineaste has done at some point in his career; Leone did it perhaps more frequently, (as he may have been a great fan of American cinema than just about anyone else). Being open about a reference to movies you love is not appropriation. And btw, Leone's movies which reference other ones were far greater than the "successful movies by other directors" that Erickson seems to admire.

The implication that somehow OUATITW -- which btw is one of the 5 greatest Westerns of all-time, or perhaps THE GREATEST -- is a ripoff of Johnny Guitar, which btw may be the worst western of all-time, is ludicrous. Yeah, if that loser Leone didn't have the successful movies of other directors to appropriate or unofficially remake, then nobody would have ever even heard of his name, right?  ::)


I've virtually never read Savant; although after seeing this Johnny Guitar review, I took a glance at his review of OUATITW, and sure enough he writes that OUATITW's "plot follows the basic situation of Johnny Guitar, with Spaghetti trappings added." .. and now that I've just read his entire OUATITW review, I see that Erickson completely misunderstand scenes in that movie, including the sequence of things, wondering if things are out of place, etc. like Alex Cox on the commentary, times ten. Unsurprisingly, he singles out Cox for having done a great job on the commentary, so I guess it takes one confused motherfucker to appreciate another one.


I've hardly ever looked at any previous shit from Erickson. And after reading these reviews (not to mention his ridiculous piece in the bonus features of the DYS dvd which i've discussed elsewhere extensively), that policy won't change. That turd has nothing to offer that would enrich my life as a movie fan

Glenn Erickson is to film critics what Johnny Guitar is to the Western  ::)


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 08, 2012, 04:11:50 PM
This is drink in a nutshell: a long-winded, obnoxious rant based around puerile pedantry. Never mind that Erickson's review is very complementary of OUATITW (giving it an Excellent rating), let's flay him alive for employing a word Mr. Destroy does not like! Ridiculous.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2012, 04:30:18 PM
This is drink in a nutshell: a long-winded, obnoxious rant based around puerile pedantry. Never mind that Erickson's review is very complementary of OUATITW (giving it an Excellent rating), let's flay him alive for employing a word Mr. Destroy does not like! Ridiculous.

yes, Erickson sometimes trashes a movie in his review but gives it high official ratings, as he does with OUATIA. But he basically says that, just like OUATITW-Johnny Guitar, Leone made a career of ripping off other movies. That's bullshit.

It's not about "employing a word" I don't like. There's more than his shit on Johnny Guitar, his nonsense about OUATITW (which you yoruself criticized him for regurgitating the crap about the rape scene being out of sequence), OUATIA, DYS

Sorry if you feel bad that I trashed the review that you linked to  :P


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 08, 2012, 04:41:39 PM
Reading Mr. Savant's actual review of OUATITW I see little that counts as "trashing." He didn't like Cheyenne's death scene - neither did I. His complaint about the music being used too many times is definitely silly but takes up all of a sentence. He briefly notes the similarities to Johnny Guitar and moves on, without comment positive or negative.

Please note as well that the word "rip-off" is your own; Erickson employs it nowhere in either review. Leone certainly did appropriate ideas from other movies. And while many, if not most directors pay homage to favorite films, Leone textured OUATITW around such borrowings. The whole point of the movie is homage to classic Westerns. Why exactly does this upset you? It's not inaccurate. Ungenerously phrased, at worst.

Anyway, I'm sorry that an awkwardly-chosen word by a web critic drove you to frothing, childish insults.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2012, 04:48:40 PM
Reading Mr. Savant's actual review of OUATITW I see little that counts as "trashing." He didn't like Cheyenne's death scene - neither did I. His complaint about the music being used too many times is definitely silly but takes up all of a sentence. He briefly notes the similarities to Johnny Guitar and moves on, without comment positive or negative.

Please note as well that the word "rip-off" is your own; Erickson employs it nowhere in either review. Leone certainly did appropriate ideas from other movies. And while many, if not most directors pay homage to favorite films, Leone textured OUATITW around such borrowings. The whole point of the movie is homage to classic Westerns. Why exactly does this upset you? It's not inaccurate. Ungenerously phrased, at worst.

Anyway, I'm sorry that an awkwardly-chosen word by a web critic drove you to frothing, childish insults.

Yes, the point of OUATITW is a reference to classic westerns. But that's not appropriation. It's not just a semantic distinction. (Appropriation is what happened with FOD-Yojimbo). Erickson does imply that Leone's cinema was filled with plot lines that are-workings of great works by other people, and that is not true....  "rip-off" is my own word; I'd have put it in quotation marks if I was quoting Erickson. But that sure seems to be his implication.


And it's more than a little amusing to see Groggy criticizing someone for "frothing, childish indults"  ::)


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 08, 2012, 04:55:41 PM
Quote
Yes, Erickson implies that Leone's cinema was filled with plot lines that are-workings of great works by other people, and that is not true....

It's certainly incorrect to call OUATITW a "remake" of Johnny Guitar but it's hardly off-base to claim a plot resemblence. The similarities are rather explicit.

Anyway, by pursuing this line of criticism you miss the point. Erickson argues that Leone's main strengths are style and aesthetic. That he cribs story ideas, whether entire plots or a patchwork of borrowed scenes, from other movies is undeniable. Aside from GBU I don't think the story is any Leone film's main strength (and even there it's questionable). It's what he does with them that's important, which is what Erickson was saying.

Quote
And it's more than a little amusing to see Groggy criticizing someone for "frothing, childish indults"

Have I ever called you a "motherfucker" or a "turd"?


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2012, 07:21:41 PM
It's certainly incorrect to call OUATITW a "remake" of Johnny Guitar but it's hardly off-base to claim a plot resemblence. The similarities are rather explicit.

Anyway, by pursuing this line of criticism you miss the point. Erickson argues that Leone's main strengths are style and aesthetic. That he cribs story ideas, whether entire plots or a patchwork of borrowed scenes, from other movies is undeniable. Aside from GBU I don't think the story is any Leone film's main strength (and even there it's questionable). It's what he does with them that's important, which is what Erickson was saying.

------

Have I ever called you a "motherfucker" or a "turd"?

No you never used those words. But if you can't understand that there is a difference between bashing a filmmaker or actor or critic who isn't reading these boards, and being rude to/about a board member here (which you are, all the time), then sorry, I can't help you. I imagine you'd at least have been able to figure out that distinction; maybe I overestimated you ::)

---


As much as I personally may hate JG, of course Erickson has every right to like and praise it, including by mentioning that many later movies referenced its story.

  But in doing so, Erickson takes a completely unwarranted cheap shot at Leone, and that is what pissed me off here. I will quote Erickson so that I can't be accused of put any words into Erickson's mouth (the particularly offending clause is in bold):


"The beauty of Johnny Guitar can be seen in its unofficial remake by Sergio Leone, who had a nagging habit of appropriating successful movies by other directors. The epic Once Upon a Time in the West repeats the same plotline but with one-dimensional characters, gaining its power from a wholly different set of dramatic-aesthetic values. Ray's film offers a social message while Leone's is pure operatic mythomania." (Erickson then goes on to mention how JG was also referenced by Truffaut, Godard, and Almodovar).

If all Erickson had done was to mention how any times JG's story had been referenced/re-used, as a means of praising JG, there would be nothing wrong with that. But my problem is specifically how he takes that cheap shot at Leone, saying that Leone had "a nagging habit of appropriating successful movies by other directors," which, is total bullshit. With the exception of FOD/Yojimbo, every reference Leone uses in his movies is specifically done as a homage to the movies Leone loved, and meant to be understood by the audience as such. It's not a simple semantic distinction; there is a major difference between paying tribute to your favorite movies by referencing them, and "appropriating" which is defined as "the act of taking something from someone else for one's own use, typically without the owner's permission."

After FOD there was no similar instance of Leone appropriating a successful movie (or any movie) by other directors.



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 08, 2012, 08:59:52 PM
Generally I'm only rude to a certain tiresome pedant.

Homage seems to be a bugbear with Erickson. He's elsewhere on record saying "There perhaps never was a reason for an homage besides laziness." He also frequently calls out Brian De Palma for frequent borrowings from other directors. Which I don't really agree with; as Leone and many others show, you can make an excellent, textured work of art out of homage. It's what you do with the familiar elements that counts.

However, a distinction is to be made, I think, between a movie that draws thematic/stylistic inspiration from another, and a movie recycling entire scenarios from a previous film. Johnny Guitar and OUATITW falls under the latter category. It is not a direct remake, agreed, but it lifts scenes, characters and overtly from the movie. That's different from Godard quoting a line of dialogue or Almodovar showing a clip within a scene.

To be sure, this specific comment is not diplomatically phrased: "nagging habit" is what bothers me more than appropriation. As if it's something Leone ought to have been rid of. But then this is an appreciation of Johnny Guitar, not a review of OUATITW. Nor, again, do I consider it an incorrect statement.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 08, 2012, 09:24:36 PM
Generally I'm only rude to a certain tiresome pedant.

Homage seems to be a bugbear with Erickson. He's elsewhere on record saying "There perhaps never was a reason for an homage besides laziness." He also frequently calls out Brian De Palma for frequent borrowings from other directors. Which I don't really agree with; as Leone and many others show, you can make an excellent, textured work of art out of homage. It's what you do with the familiar elements that counts.

However, a distinction is to be made, I think, between a movie that draws thematic/stylistic inspiration from another, and a movie recycling entire scenarios from a previous film. Johnny Guitar and OUATITW falls under the latter category. It is not a direct remake, agreed, but it lifts scenes, characters and overtly from the movie. That's different from Godard quoting a line of dialogue or Almodovar showing a clip within a scene.

To be sure, this specific comment is not diplomatically phrased: "nagging habit" is what bothers me more than appropriation. As if it's something Leone ought to have been rid of. But then this is an appreciation of Johnny Guitar, not a review of OUATITW. Nor, again, do I consider it an incorrect statement.

Well in that case, there must be a shitload of tiresome pedants on these boards.

In a forum that's meant to discuss movies, I do analyze specific lines of dialogue or bits of scenario, even if it's not the main point of the movie or a huge element of the plot. That's because (at least with a good director), every moment in a movie or bit of dialogue is accounted for and has a purpose.. Leone, and so many other great directors, would I guess be considered a tiresome pedant.


--

As for JG/OUATITW, yes it's true that the latter borrows more heavily from the former than it does from other movies. But the whole point of that movie is to reference classic AW's. Some are referenced more heavily, such as JG and High Noon, while others have mere brief snippets of reference, like The Return of Frank James. But as long as he's being explicit that it is a reference, rather than trying to sneak it by the audience as some sort of brand new original plot, then there is nothing wrong with it and I wouldn't call it appropriation.

And if Erickson indeed said that "there perhaps  never was a reason for a homage besides laziness," even if he was being somewhat facetious when he said it, then he is even a bigger jackass than I previously thought. Just about every great director has probably engaged in it at some point. And it is impossible to understand Leone -- the man or his cinema -- without understanding the influence that classic American cinema had on his life.


Also, I think that the way most people will accept a director's homage-work depends on how good a director you are, ie. once you show that you have the ability to make great movies of your own, I think people will accept more "homage" from you; whereas if you never made a good movie in your life and just make a career out of copying others, then people will accept it less. Either way, I think that FOD is the only piece of work in Leone's cinema that can be said to have been appropriated (assuming that it really was stolen without any initial attempt to contact Kurosawa; Frayling is unsure of what actually happened there. But even assuming the worst, I don't think that sort of thing ever happened again in Leone's cinema).
It's just so easy to praise Leone's movies when you are writing an article about Leone, but then when you write an article about Johnny Guitar, take a cheap shot at Leone as a way of praising JG.



Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Groggy on July 09, 2012, 04:38:41 AM
Quote
And it is impossible to understand Leone -- the man or his cinema -- without understanding the influence that classic American cinema had on his life.

And pointing out the influence a film had on his work doesn't qualify how? ::)

Erickson can hardly be accused of disliking or disrespecting Leone. After all, he wrote extensively on the cut versions of GBU and DYS, long before the formal restorations were released. It's a topic he can claim some level of knowledge of, and certainly appreciation for. It would appear to me he enjoys the earlier films more than the later ones, which some members of this board share. I frankly don't care if he questionably assesses an occasional element in a film (OUATITW's plot contortions confuse lots of people, critics included), any more than I do Frayling.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 22, 2013, 12:56:34 AM
Just looking through TCM's upcoming schedule, and I see that they will be showing Johnny Guitar on October 8, 2013, at 11:45 PM EST.
http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2013-10-08

I've seen it once before (also on TCM), and, as mentioned previously, I hated it. But after all these debates we had over whether it was awful or awesome, I'm definitely gonna set my dvr and watch it again.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on September 22, 2013, 01:59:01 AM
I recently re-watched JG. It's easy to see why it enthused a lot of cineastes with its often baroque images. A beautiful western with a great melodramatic sweep and a melodic way of rendering dialogues (at least in the German dub). Unusual for the time it was made.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 06, 2013, 02:17:21 AM
Ladies and gentlemen, set your dvr's: TCM is showing Johnny Guitar this Tuesday, 10/8/10, at 11:45 PM EST http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html?tz=est&sdate=2013-10-08

As much as I hated the movie the first time I saw it, with all the chatter about the movie on these boards, and all the extreme views on it – it seems everyone rates it as either great or awful – I figure I have to give it another viewing. I'll go in with an open mind, and we'll see what happens.

How about everyone watch it around that time – either on TCM, or on blu-ray or whatever – and then we'll reconvene a chat about it starting early Wednesday morning. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy "Beauty and the Beast with Sterling Hayden as Beauty"!


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on October 06, 2013, 02:39:59 AM
Apart from this board here I have never ever read about JG being an awful film. Not everybody likes JG, but apart from here also nobody hated it.

Jean Pierre Melville thought that it was a wrong western, but he said that also about The Wild Bunch or OUTW.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 06, 2013, 08:26:35 AM
what does a "wrong western" mean?

and btw, I know some peeps around here treat any word said against The Wild Bunch as if you're denying the existence of God, but I don't think it's the greatest AW ever made. A solid Western, I believe I may have given it as high as an 8/10 on one viewing, but not any better than 25 other Westerns. Peckinpah was not the second coming of Leone. Or the second coming of anybody. Just a crazy drunk who made some good movies and some bad movies.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on October 06, 2013, 09:11:08 AM
I generally like it when other people don't like the films I love, and TWB is one I love. Cause it is a great sensual experience to watch it. One of those films which really give me a kick. And for that amongst the strongest, together with for example OUTW. And because of that Leone and Peckinpah are both equally fantastic. For me Peckinpah has made a few weaker films, but never a really weak film. Nothing beneath 6/10.

I think your arguments why you dislike TWB were quite funny. As far as I remember it. Apart from that I doubt that anybody here cares really if someone other don't likes one of his favourite films , but I like to defend them though.
(well maybe apart from Mike who seems to be more vulnerable)

A wrong western is obviously a western which in not a real western, not a genuine western. For Melville all Italian westerns were phony, "devastating moronism" as he calls them. But he also says that all his gangster films are "transposed westerns", westerns of the night. He loved westerns, but apparently only the classic ones.

Reading interviews with Melville is always a great pleasure. And this interview book by Rui Nogueira is a great read. Don't know if it ever was translated into English.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 08, 2013, 11:53:01 AM
I generally like it when other people don't like the films I love, and TWB is one I love. Cause it is a great sensual experience to watch it. One of those films which really give me a kick. And for that amongst the strongest, together with for example OUTW. And because of that Leone and Peckinpah are both equally fantastic. For me Peckinpah has made a few weaker films, but never a really weak film. Nothing beneath 6/10.

I think your arguments why you dislike TWB were quite funny. As far as I remember it. Apart from that I doubt that anybody here cares really if someone other don't likes one of his favourite films , but I like to defend them though.
(well maybe apart from Mike who seems to be more vulnerable)

A wrong western is obviously a western which in not a real western, not a genuine western. For Melville all Italian westerns were phony, "devastating moronism" as he calls them. But he also says that all his gangster films are "transposed westerns", westerns of the night. He loved westerns, but apparently only the classic ones.

Reading interviews with Melville is always a great pleasure. And this interview book by Rui Nogueira is a great read. Don't know if it ever was translated into English.

The only specific arguments I remember making about The Wild Bunch were that the slow-mo violence really annoyed me. On subsequent viewings, that didn't annoy me nearly as much. Otherwise, there's not much that I have to say that is really critical of the movie. It's not a bad movie. But for me, it's just not one of the greats, not nearly so. Art just affects different people differently; it's not always something you can explain how or why you like or dislike something: sometimes, it's just that you either enjoy yourself or you don't. And when watching The Wild Bunch, I wouldn't say I enjoyed myself more than when I watched 25 other Westerns.


RE: Melville: Yes, he is definitely a guy that cineastes love, cuz of what a cineaste he was; I have always enjoyed every interview of his I've seen (all in subtitles).

So did he not like Leone's movies?

RE: gangster films being "transposed Westerns" – one big difference is that the Western hero has much more "rules" than the gangster; there is a certain "language" of the Western that filmmakers adhere to (or consciously undo). For example, the Western hero has to have a duel; he can't walk up behind somebody and put a bullet in his brain.

Also, in the DYS dvd commentary, Frayling talks a lot about how in the making of DYS, Leone (who already had read The Hoods and had OUATIA on his mind) added in some dialogue about Johnny and Johnny going to America and robbing banks, cuz he wanted it to be a sort of transition movie from the Western to the nighttime of the city; DYS was sort of a hint of how Leone was moving from the end of the West to the big city.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 08, 2013, 11:53:54 AM
Just wanna remind everyone that TCM is playing Johnny Guitar at 11:45 PM EDT tonight


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on October 08, 2013, 12:10:48 PM


RE: gangster films being "transposed Westerns" – one big difference is that the Western hero has much more "rules" than the gangster; there is a certain "language" of the Western that filmmakers adhere to (or consciously undo). For example, the Western hero has to have a duel; he can't walk up behind somebody and put a bullet in his brain.



Well, he can.
Breaking the rules is for some films as essential as for others to respect them.

Melville's statement about transposed westerns applies only to his own films. And rules are very important in Melville's hermetic world. As is the betrayal.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Cusser on October 08, 2013, 09:57:58 PM
Just wanna remind everyone that TCM is playing Johnny Guitar at 11:45 PM EDT tonight

I'll put on my metal cleats so I can walk over both those non-males' faces !!!!  They're disgusting, but one is worse !!!


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 08, 2013, 10:11:46 PM
Well, he can.
Breaking the rules is for some films as essential as for others to respect them.

yes, that's what I said: they either have to keep the rules, or consciously undo them. For example, some films may violate certain conventions about the Western or the Western hero, but it's done specifically, and then all the chatter about that movie is how "it is demythologizing the West" or whatever. It's not that they don't have rules to follow - they do, and consciously breaking the rules is a focus of the movie. I think gangster films have less rules they need to follow/consciously break


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 08, 2013, 10:16:38 PM
I'll put on my metal cleats so I can walk over both those non-males' faces !!!!  They're disgusting, but one is worse !!!

Supposin you get to hell and the devil says, "For your punishment for all your sins, you must bang either Mercedes McCambridge or Joan Crawford. And no getting drunk and doing a quickie with a bag over their head; I mean the full treatment. It's gotta be an hour, using all your abilities and capabilities and fully and completely giving yourselves up to their every desire....."  :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P :-* :P :-*

Which one would you choose? or would you beg to be allowed to return to Earth and repent your sins rather than go through with that punishment?   >:D

----


The NY Rangers are playing a late game now at San Jose; so I have my dvr recording Johnny Guitar; I'll watch it either very late tonite or early tomorrow.... I must be a masochist


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 09, 2013, 12:10:40 PM
ok, I watched the movie again. For the final time.

It's Mercedes McCambridge that really makes this movie annoyiong. All her friggin screaming made me wanna tear my ears off.

the only good thing here are some nice performances by Scott Brady and Ernest Borgnine. That's all.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: stanton on October 09, 2013, 01:44:36 PM
For me McCambridge is great in her over-the-top and still realistic performance. She makes sure that the melodrama can boil over with brutish elegance when the time is ripe. I love that shot when she leaves the burning saloon. Pure cinema.

Let's give Marty a gentle chance to help us seeing the light:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAw7y76awqk


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on October 09, 2013, 03:32:25 PM
He doesn't convince me. The only Ray films I really like are They Live by Night, and On Dangerous Ground, the rest I could take or leave.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 09, 2013, 05:45:16 PM
He doesn't convince me. The only Ray films I really like are They Live by Night, and On Dangerous Ground, the rest I could take or leave.

woah, In a Lonely Place is a great movie


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on October 09, 2013, 08:03:20 PM
woah, In a Lonely Place is a great movie

Its OK, not great.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: T.H. on October 10, 2013, 12:04:18 PM
In a Lonely Place might be the greatest film ever made.

Lonely Place, Rebel, Bigger Than Life, Johnny Guitar, On Dangerous Ground, They Live by Night and The Lusty Men are all masterpiece level stuff to me. Ray is the man. I can't comprehend how he isn't universally loved.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: cigar joe on October 10, 2013, 05:24:37 PM
In a Lonely Place might be the greatest film ever made.

Lonely Place, Rebel, Bigger Than Life, Johnny Guitar, and  are all masterpiece level stuff to me. Ray is the man. I can't comprehend how he isn't universally loved.


I think some are great On Dangerous Ground, They Live by Night, and to some extent The Lusty Men, but Lonely Place, Rebel, Bigger Than Life, Johnny Guitar all are to some extent kinked in some way or another, I feel the same way about a lot of Sam Fuller's later films.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 10, 2013, 06:03:41 PM
I didn't like Rebel Without a Cause or Bigger Than Life


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on October 11, 2013, 01:46:41 PM
I think some are great On Dangerous Ground, They Live by Night, and to some extent The Lusty Men, but Lonely Place, Rebel, Bigger Than Life, Johnny Guitar all are to some extent kinked in some way or another, I feel the same way about a lot of Sam Fuller's later films.
Except for In a Lonely Place, which I like a lot, I pretty much agree. Maybe I don't quite like ODG as much as you; maybe I like The Lusty Men a little more than you. I'm guessing we're pretty close on those. Things like Bigger Than life are sort of middling, and JG is downright annoying (we're pretty close on those too, I imagine). Ray is like most everybody else: He made some good films, some dull films, some bad films. There's nothing special about him.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: T.H. on October 30, 2013, 12:54:42 PM
There's nothing special about him.

Ray's visuals alone make him special. I don't know how you can deny that.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 08, 2016, 04:01:51 PM
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=19386
Quote
Special Features and Specs:
•NEW 4K restoration
•Optional English SDH subtitles
•Video Introduction by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese
•Audio commentary with historian and critic Geoff Andrew
•"Tell Us She Was One of You: The Blacklist History of Johnny Guitar" - with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
•"Is Johnny Guitar a Feminist Western?: Questioning the Canon" - with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney andB. Ruby Rich
•"Free Republic: The Story of Herb Yates and Republic studios" - with archivist Marc Wanamaker
• A critical appreciation of Nicholas Ray with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich
•"My Friend, the American Friend" - Nicholas Ray biographical piece with Tom Farrell
•"Johnny Guitar: The First Existential Western" - an original essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
•Theatrical trailer
STREET DATE: SEPTEMBER 20.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: T.H. on July 09, 2016, 04:18:37 PM
I already have the previous Olive releases of Johnny Guitar and High Noon. I'll definitely make the upgrade for JG because it's 4K but the High Noon transfer would have to really be impressive for me to buy the movie for the third time.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 09, 2016, 06:30:40 PM
I already have the previous Olive releases of Johnny Guitar and High Noon. I'll definitely make the upgrade for JG because it's 4K but the High Noon transfer would have to really be impressive for me to buy the movie for the third time.
I hear ya.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: greenbudgie on March 17, 2017, 06:18:22 AM
I've never understood the lesbian tag put on this movie. Unless all lesbians hate each other of course.

I like the haunting Victor Young title tune that keeps insinuating in the background. It's a pity we only get to hear some of Peggy Lee's lyrics to the tune only at the end of the movie.

I like the way that the saloon is waiting for the railroad to be built for it becomes a paying proposition. I wonder how long Vienna was prepared to wait for that to happen?


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 17, 2017, 06:41:13 AM
I like the way that the saloon is waiting for the railroad to be built for it becomes a paying proposition. I wonder how long Vienna was prepared to wait for that to happen?
For as long as necessary. "You don't sell the dream of a lifetime."


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: greenbudgie on March 17, 2017, 06:44:43 AM
Good quote in "You don't sell the dream of a lifetime." I bet that Vienna would have kept there till her hair was grey.


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Spikeopath on May 06, 2017, 12:38:07 AM
A true great that always provides debate and interesting discussion, so no surprise to see a big thread here.

Me >

You're nothing but a railroad tramp who's not fit to live amongst decent people.

Johnny Guitar is out of Republic Pictures and is directed by Nicholas Ray. It's written by Phillip Yordan, who adapts from a novel written by Roy Chanslor, and it stars Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Ward Bond, Ernest Borgnine & Scott Brady.Victor Young scores the music, with the theme tune sung by Peggy Lee, and Harry Stradling Senior photographs in Trucolor.

On the outskirts of an Arizona cattle town is a saloon run by the strong willed Vienna (Crawford). It's not a busy place, and the users of it tend to be more of the rough kind, notably The Dancing Kid (Brady) and his gang. At the request of Vienna, her former lover Johnny Guitar (Hayden) arrives for his employment as the musical entertainment. But he walks into a war, a war between Vienna and the townsfolk led by the vicious and vindictive Emma Small (McCambridge).

Johnny Guitar has been called many things. From the deep thinkers who like to call it a feminist statement, an anti McCarthyism allegory and a piece smouldering with sexual repressions and yearnings: to the detractors calling it rubbish, campy and acted so badly that it actually smells of bacon cooking in the kitchen. What is immediately evident about it is that once viewed it's unlikely to be forgotten: which ever side of the fence you sit. It was a troubled production that saw both Hayden & McCambridge declare dislike for Crawford, with Crawford reciprocating the dislike for McCambridge by insisting that her character of Vienna be given more meat from which to further dominate the film. Fans of the film will forever be grateful for Crawford's jealousy, for she got her way, this was after all a vehicle for her, if she had walked, as was threatened, it would have died a death. The shift in emphasis, with the subversion of gender roles, is what makes Johnny Guitar the most intriguing and unusual film that it is.

Upon release in America the film was very coolly received, but out in Europe, notably France, the New Wave directors were very impressed and the film has gained a cult status over the years. So much so that nowadays it gets name checked by such luminaries like Martin Scorsese, who eagerly provides an introduction on the DVD for it. What is it that the fans see that makes it such a favourite? Moving away from the fabulous narrative, where two women are the main characters in a perceived mans world; where the psychoanalytic drama seeps from every frame. It's a technical hotpot as Ray moulds his twisted sexual dynamics together. Trucolor has never looked this nice before, nor ever been so apt. it's almost surreal, certainly lurid, and it neatly brings to the fore the Frank Lloyd Wright-like sets. While the Sedona photography by Stradling, particularly the red and browns of the landscape, is simply beautiful. Cover it all with a hauntingly evocative score from Young and it's one of Republic's most pleasing Western productions.

The cast came in for some grief from the critics, with the main charge being of hamming it up. Not so say I, well certainly not to the detriment of the feverish story. Crawford acquits herself well, black eyes, blood red lips and masculine jaw, Crawford nails the task of butch land owner aching for love from within. As her nemesis, McCambridge steals the movie, Crawford was right to feel jealous, such is the intensity that McCambridge puts into Emma. A vicious psychotic harpy, sexually frustrated, watch the orgasmic glee she shows during one particularly vengeful scene. A brilliant and frightening performance. Hayden does what he does best, slinks around and plays it almost close to parody, but never once does he come close to being disparaging, his charisma is massive and he acts it like a coiled spring waiting to unfurl. While Bond (puritanical), Brady (edgy) and Borgnine (feral), the three B's, are very efficient in important supporting roles. Special mention for John Carradine, who plays a background character that, thanks to the prolific actor, manages to get noticed and pangs the heart during the finale. A fine cast that plays it right in this cobweb of Freudian splinters.

Save for some tacky back screen work and the odd incredulous character choice: it's observed that Vienna's white dress will draw attraction to them on the lam; then she selects a bright red shirt!, this is near genius. To my mind it's one of the true greats of the Western genre, so count me in as a paid up member for the cult of Johnny Guitar. 9/10


Title: Re: Johnny Guitar (1954)
Post by: Jessica Rabbit on May 06, 2017, 08:24:41 AM
Spike, nice review and I agree. So much scorn, contempt and ridicule has been heaped on the film over the years, but what it comes down to is that it's simply damn entertaining.