Bad Day at Black Rock

[Amazon Link] [3.5
stars] [IMDb Link]

Have I mentioned that we signed up for Blockbuster's online DVD rental program? It's pretty good. One of the great things is that I can add movies to my queue on a whim, as long as I can make it to a web browser before the whim decays into the "what was that movie I wanted to rent?" memory hole.

And the selection is better than any local video store.

I've also been queueing up movies from my dim childhood, like this one, which I saw on a black-and-white TV one afternoon in Omaha in the early 60s. I was much impressed then, not quite so much now; it's standard one-guy-against-the-town stuff, not quite as good or complex as High Noon. And there's a racial angle, probably daring at the time the film was made.

After an impressive opening shot of a passenger train barrelling toward the dusty town of Black Rock, the cameraman loses his imagination for the rest of the picture, leaving the camera planted about ten feet away from the actors at all times. Apparently, according to the IMDB, this was a very early Cinemascope effort, so maybe they were just getting their feet wet.

Spencer Tracy was nominated for an Oscar. Must have been a slow or sentimental year, because Spence mainly just talks, except for one scene where he shouts. He gets a couple action scenes too.

Last Modified 2012-10-26 10:28 AM EDT