This movie is an unheralded classic. I had never even heard of it until a few years ago when I first saw it on TCM. It is absolutely flawless.
Spencer Tracy (why haven't I seen more of his movies?) plays a one armed man who gets off the train in the middle of nowhere - a town named Black Rock. It is a nothing town out west. In fact, when he gets off the train, it is the fist time the train has even stopped there in four years. The year is 1945 and he's there to find a local Japanese farmer.
The locals don't take too kindly to the stranger and are quite suspicious of his intentions. They immediately start harassing him. That soon turns to outright threats and then real acts of violence.
Tracy's motive for being in town is eventually revealed. The bad guys (Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, and Anne Francis) conspire against him. The suspense is good, the Cinemascop is great, the social message is ahead of its time. A modern Western. A great movie.
Directed by John Sturges
Fourth of July, 2014
12 hours ago