Quick-Thoughts: Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1954)

Emma literally has the power of God working to promote her delusions, but… to ultimately punish her for them at the cost of befalling everybody else’s unnecessary drama? How… poetic? 

Yet, there is no blame to be had here but that of entitled human nature and nature’s presumptuously contrived coincidences; corruption has occurred because Emma and her gang, and even the Dancin’ Kid and his gang, have convinced themselves, in a compound of their unconscious desires and others provoking any kind of exterior signs, that corruption must truly lie in the law, therefore inspiring their own corrupting to counteract and justify what’s left unbalanced to them.

So yeah! This is all *somewhat* systematic narrative material to exaggerate our own world’s questionable order for paving out flawed human decisions, and Joan Crawford’s intimidating performance makes it even more fun to watch! Maybe not too much of a surprise either, but Nicholas Ray does well once again with his ensemble of hopeless romantics; the Oedipus complex goes in on this film! I guess you’re either a loyal lover or a greedy incel in the wild wild west…

Verdict: B

Nicholas Ray Ranked

“Johnny Guitar” is now available to stream on The Criterion Channel.

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