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Joan Crawford in red and yellow Western gear
"Johnny Guitar" (1954)

This Coming Thursday and Friday at the Packard Campus Theater (July 20 and 21, 2023)

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The Packard Campus’ month of off-beat Westerns–“Off the Beaten Trail”–continues this Thursday and Friday with these two films.

A yellow wooden cross bears the title of the film next to gun-toting, cowboy images of its two stars Poitier and Belafonte
“Buck and the Preacher” (1972)

Thursday, July 20 @ 7:30pm

“Buck and the Preacher” (Columbia, 1972)

Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte helped rewrite the history of the western, bringing Black heroes to a genre in which they had previously been sorely underrepresented. Combining boisterous buddy comedy with blistering, Black Power–era political fury, Poitier and a marvelously mischievous Belafonte star as a tough and taciturn wagon master and an unscrupulous, pistol-packing “preacher.” (Color, 102 minutes.)

Illustration of Joan Crawford amid colorful western images from the film
“Johnny Guitar” (1954)

Friday, July 21 @ 7:30pm

“Johnny Guitar” (Republic, 1954)

“There is really no other film quite like it. It is an intense, unconventional, stylized picture, full of ambiguities and subtexts that rendered it extremely modern. ”—Martin Scorsese. Joan Crawford is at her steely best as Vienna, an enterprising businesswoman who has opened a casino on the outskirts of a small town. Sterling Hayden plays Johnny Guitar, a guitar-slinging former gunman and Vienna’s old flame. But it’s Mercedes McCambridge (the voice in “The Exorcist”) who steals the film as an insanely powerful woman who wants Vienna dead. Director Nicholas Ray’s (“Rebel Without a Cause”) mastery of genre mechanics is on full display here, even as he deploys those mechanisms in service of unprecedented thematic and stylistic interventions.  (Color, 110 minutes.)

For more information on LC screenings, see this link.

 

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