Info: Date - 1955. Directed by John Sturges
Original story by Howard Breslin adapted by Don McGuire.Soundtrack by André Previn.
Cast (in credits order)
Spencer Tracy .... John J. Macreedy
Robert Ryan .... Reno Smith
Anne Francis (I) .... Liz Wirth
Dean Jagger .... Sheriff Tim Horn
Walter Brennan .... Doc T.R. Velie Jr.
John Ericson .... Pete Wirth
Ernest Borgnine .... Coley Trimble
Lee Marvin .... Hector David
Russell Collins (I) .... Mr. Hastings, Telegrapher
Walter Sande .... Sam, Cafe Proprietor
A one-armed man (John J. Macreedy played by Spencer Tracey) steps off a train in the one horse town of Black Rock at the end of World War II looking for the Japanese father of his dead wartime buddy. Shunned by the townsfolk but determined to do right by his friend he gradually uncovers a shameful secret in the town's past despite being the object of hatred, physical attack and even at one point a murder plot.
Why you should watch this movie:
Bad Day at Black Rock is the seminal town with a guilty secret movie and beyond that an example of damn near perfect movie making. Nothing in this film is wasted, nothing is surplus, not a twist of the plot, not a line of dialogue, not an edit or a camera shot. A riveting storyline that keeps you hooked right up to its denouément - a revelation of the town's secret kept carefully concealed up to that point - is accompanied by dialogue, editing and acting that uses the minimum necessary to tell the maximum possible. The spirit of the film is best summed up by a description of one scene: Spencer Tracy's character goes into the local diner to eat, there he encounters a local farmhand and bully who tries to pick a fight with him (goaded/manipulated by his employer - the local big man) only to be sent reeling to the floor by the one one-armed Tracy in two moves, and two shots (IIRC), in a masterpiece of choreography that remains the best fight scene I've ever seen.