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Beauty vs Beast: Cowgirl's Hall of Fame

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast." On this day in 1911 was born the writer-director Nicholas Ray, whose movies have come to seem fairly ahead of their time. His biggest success would of course be 1955's Rebel Without a Cause (his only Oscar nomination was for that film's script) but several of his other works have grown in reputation over the decades, and we're here to look at maybe the weirdest of them all - 1954's technicolor acid-western Johnny Guitar. (See Also: TFE's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" entry for this movie.)

Guitar stars Joan Crawford as the "railroad tramp" Vienna, who runs a saloon and is drawn to bad men, and her cowgirl nemesis Emma Small, played by an enthusiastically hateful Mercedes McCambridge. The actresses apparently tore it up behind the scenes (everybody who's spoken of the filming of this film makes it sound like a nightmare experience) and their rivalry on-screen brings the heat (in more ways than one) as well.

PREVIOUSLY We entertained ourselves last week by wondering why there's no Blade reboot being worked on, and looked back at the original - y'all were just slightly more captivated by Stephen Dorff's villain to the tune of 53% of your vote. Said Harmodio:

"It's hard to imagine anyone other than Wesley Snipes in the Blade character. He totally endorsed the character. Even so the film belongs to Stephen Dorff and his charismatic, strong, confident, evil performance. He dominates the film and his presence is missed in the next movies."

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Reader Comments (8)

Joan Crawford will always get my vote, even over Mercedes "voice of Pazuzu" McCambridge. C'mon, she's Joan Crawford. This movie is intensely weird, but in a good way.

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob

such a tough choice since Emma is so evil but then Vienna is hardly a warm and cuddly protagonist either. And they're both fabulous as charisma goes. Hmmm

August 7, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Those pros and cons are among your best work!

Team Posse Lover.

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Please Ryan Murphy, drop the Royal Family and make this Feud 2, as a prequel

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The craziest western ever made!

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

This overlookes gem is one o JC's best. Much as I enjoy McCambridge all out evilness n Hayden's macho smotherness, it is Joan's icy confidence n eletricfying performance that keeps this western together n makes it a delicious camp.

Afterall, it IS a Miss Crawford's pic n dun cha forget it!!

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

My vote goes to Joan since Emma is a whack job but Mercedes is so great at doing that I hate to deny her.

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I feel this bitch-off is a draw, pardners.

August 8, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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