Cult Movies Podcast: Johnny Guitar

This week I'm joined by archivist Kristin Lipska to discuss Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar. After we stopped recording I mentioned to Kristin that I couldn't remember who recommended that I get her on the show. I want to thank whoever it was (please make yourself known!) because, as I mentioned on Twitter, if I ever decided to go with a regular co-host, Kristin would be the first person I ask. We open the show with Kristin explaining what an archivist does (my dream job now) followed by a discussion of Johnny Guitar, Ray, Joan Crawford, and Sterling Hayden, and we wrap things up with our pairing recommendations.

Excerpt from Danny Peary's Cult Movies:

“Ray and Yordan didn't create a film where people become rivals simply because they don't like one another or feel jealousy. This work is so powerful because what they have presented us with – exposing their political intentions – is a series of dialectivally opposed forces in confrontation. Thus the rivalries become: the future (civilization) versus the past (the untamed West...); progressives (Vienna's visionaries who dream of a railroad and a new town) versus conservatives (those... who oppose a change in their way of life); … the emotionally and sexually self-assured (Vienna) versus the unbalanced (Emma); … and decency and goodness (what America really stands for) versus evil (Emma and those like her who represent the true threat to American ideals).”

 

Other films discussed on this episode:

Wild at Heart (1990, dir. David Lynch)

Walk on the Wild Side (1962, dir. Edward Dmytryk)

Boom! (1968, dir. Joseph Losey)

Lady in a Cage (1964, dir. Walter Grauman)

Point Break (1991, dir. Kathryn Bigelow)

Extremities (1986, dir. Robert M. Young)

Selected Links:

Kristin on Twitter and Letterboxd

Johnny Guitar pin from Michael Seymour Blake

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