Director: John Sturges

1955

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan.

A man who can only use one arm, comes to a backwater town harbouring a dirty little secret, and shakes them up, restoring the rule of law.

That’s Bad Day at Black Rock in a nutshell.

But when I was a kid, it had me entranced because it was Spencer Tracy. He had already put America to rights, and stood up for evolution against small minded bigots in “Inherit the wind”, and here he was, facing up to the small minded bigots in colour, and in cinemascope!
I wanted to be Spencer Tracy when i grew up!

Bad Day at Black Rock is a big film about big issues, and its just as relevant today as it was then. Its about racism and fear, its about what it means to be a man, and what it means to stand up for what is right, even when you are scared and it may cost you.

But best of all, the strongest and coolest man in the film is the one who has been disabled by a cruel and racist war.

You can get a second hand copy of this film for £3-£4 – watch it again – it still looks great, and if you substitute the Japanese man who was murdered for a muslim, it could have happened yesterday!

 

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