Johnny Guitar ---BONUS Cult Classic ---
1954. Republic Pictures, Color, Aspect Ratio 1.37 : 1, 110 minutes, Not Rated
Release Date: May 27, 1954
Johnny Guitar is available at Amazon.com as an All Region DVD Import, Region 2 Pal DVD format, or on VHS.
Movie Synopsis: A cult classic old-style Western with a twist, where a strong woman (played by Joan Crawford!) fights to keep her saloon and gambling house, despite the efforts of an equally strong female nemesis who leads a gang of cowboys to try to run her out of the territory.
Cast: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady, Ward Bond, Ernest Borgnine, John Carradine, Royal Dano, Paul Fix
Director: Nicholas Ray
Thoughts on the Movie:
For the longest time, I simply thought that I wouldnt like Johnny Guitar. The thought of Joan Crawford in a classic Western was just too much for my mind to take in. Dont get me wrong, I love both Joan Crawford and classic Westerns, but the two somehow combined in absurdity didnt seem like a good idea to me. Boy, was I wrong!
Left: Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden (he is "Johnny Guitar") in a pivotal scene from the film.
I love this movie. And not just because its one of the campiest things around, but because its also a really admirable, well-made classic Western. And what a cast! Stars, future stars, and some of the greatest character actors of all time... all here... in this one great film. It doesnt matter to me why you like Johnny Guitar (if indeed you do); if it simply makes you laugh, thats fine. But I dig it for way more than that. Its fabulously entertaining and truly unforgettable. And if you havent seen this one, get ye to a DVD player... now! ~Jean
Coffee Pot Rock, Sedona, Arizona (see Map)
Many scenes in the movie were shot at this very recognizable location just outside Sedona. From the junction of 89A and Highway 179 in Sedona, travel southwest approximately 2 miles to Coffee Pot Drive. Turn right and travel one-half mile to Sanborn, then turn left. Look for Little Elf Drive, which ends at Buena Vista Drive. Look for the hiker sign, and the trailhead to Coffee Pot Rock is just around the bend on the left.
Right: The town set built near Coffee Pot Rock for the cult classic Western, "Johnny Guitar."
About Sedona, Arizona:
Sedona, Arizona (population 11,220; elevation 4,500 feet; 34° 51 36 N, 111° 47 21 W) is located in the upper Sonoran Desert of northern Arizona, about 20 miles south of I-40, just off I-17. Sedonas main attraction is its stunning array of red sandstone formations, known fondly as the Red Rocks of Sedona, and this particular type of rock can only being found in this area. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The Red Rocks form a breathtaking backdrop for everything from spiritual pursuits to the outdoor recreation opportunities to be had among hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park is an open-sky theatre of fabulous rock formations, located at 4050 Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona, Arizona. Sprawled across 286 unspoiled acres, this popular park is the perfect starting point for hiking, picnicking, bird watching, and photography. At an elevation of approximately 3,900 feet, you can enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of the natural creek threading the landscape. Open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Visitors Center and Gift Shop (open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily) provide an opportunity to learn more about the beautiful Red Rocks region of Sedona.
Right: Location filming with lights and other movie equipment for the movie, "Johnny Guitar," near Coffee Pot Rock outside Sedona, Arizona.
Sedona possesses several naturally occurring energy vortexes, which could be described as subtle, spiraling currents that emanate from the Earth. Purported to increase spiritual growth and personal enlightenment, these spots are incredibly popular. Visitors from locations worldwide come to experience the sensations from contact with these vortexes. Among the vortexes in the area are Boynton Canyon, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock.
Twenty-five miles southwest of Sedona on State Route 89A lies the little town of Clarkdale. Founded in 1912, it was originally a mining town. Today, the population is just more than 3,900 and the economic base is related to various industries including tourism, plastics and cement. For 10 days beginning the first Friday in December, you may view the collections from local artists at the annual Made in Clarkdale Art Show event. Clarkdale is also the location for daily tours of the beautiful canyons from the Verde Canyon Railroad.
Lodging & Dining:
Sky Ranch Lodge. 1105 Airport Road, Sedona, Arizona
Family-owned and operated, Sky Ranch Lodge sits atop Airport Mesa, perched above the center of town, overlooking all of Red Rock Country. There are the jaw-dropping views to the north of Coffee Pot Rock, Capitol Butte, and Snoopy Rock.
Marias Restaurant and Cantina. 6446 Highway 179, #212, Sedona, Arizona
Marias has been serving the Sedona area since 1998, offering fine dining in a casual atmosphere that attracts both locals and visitors. Known for its authentic Mexican cuisine, they also feature Southwestern and American entrees.
Right: The studio-built scenery for Viennas Place as seen in the movie, "Johnny Guitar," filmed just outside Sedona, Arizona.
Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge fought both on and off camera. One night, in a drunken rage, Crawford scattered the costumes worn by McCambridge along an Arizona highway. Cast and crew had to collect the outfits.
Joan Crawford insisted on her close-ups only being filmed in the studio, where the lighting could be rigidly controlled. No close-up of her was ever shot while on location.
Joan Crawford bought the rights to the novel, selling it to Republic Pictures with the provision that she would star in the film.
Sterling Hayden said: There is not enough money in Hollywood to lure me into making another picture with Joan Crawford. And I like money.
Character Quote: Who are you?! And you, and you, to break into my house with your angry faces and evil minds?! ~Vienna (Joan Crawford)