Friday March 22
Doors open at 7, movie starts at 7:30
Tickets $5 at the door
Released in 1954, Johnny Guitar is the story of Vienna (Joan Crawford), a scrappy saloon owner eagerly awaiting a railroad that will bring business and wealth to her saloon, who faces off with Emma Small (Mercedes McCambridge), who hates her for allowing The Dancin’ Kid, a local small-time crook, to stay at the saloon after he’s accused of robbery and murder. Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden), a troubadour who is actually Johnny Logan, a notorious gunslinger and Vienna’s former lover, is there as a hired hand to help Vienna keep the peace as Emma plots her downfall.
Johnny Guitar shows women who are complex, driven, smart, and even ruinous. Feminist stories aren’t about putting women on a pedestal – they’re about women as they are: good, bad, lovely, horrific. It’s about women doing what they want, whether it’s drawing a gun at high noon, going after a spurned lover, or ruining a woman out of jealousy because you will never have her courage and she will never care for you.
The Western genre is dominated by men’s stories, but Johnny Guitar stands out as one with a distinct, feminist message.