Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (21)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it !
Spencer Tracy plays one-armed officer in retirement who comes to a little town
Black Rock after the Second World war.Tracy is going to find out what happened
to the his friend's father - japanese emigrant who lived in Black Rock.
He soon understands that he is quite unwellcome and even in danger.
But of course nothing will stop him ... . The story...
Published on 5 Dec 2002 by Irena

versus
1 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars fair film.
Andre Previn music over the top and too loud.

Typical Sturges nonsense but better than the rest of his dismal output.

If you can get past a town with 12 men and one woman with every facility except a food shop and where noone seems to work, you may enjoy.

Some fine acting rescues the daft film.
Published on 16 Jan 2010 by Mr Viewer


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it !, 5 Dec 2002
By 
Irena "Say something about yourself!" (Rishon LeZion, Israel) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bad Day at Black Rock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Spencer Tracy plays one-armed officer in retirement who comes to a little town
Black Rock after the Second World war.Tracy is going to find out what happened
to the his friend's father - japanese emigrant who lived in Black Rock.
He soon understands that he is quite unwellcome and even in danger.
But of course nothing will stop him ... . The story takes your attention
from the first minutes till the final scene of the film. Spencer Tracy
is simple and GREATE, this is one of his best roles, and supporting actors are
also excellent. Kathrine Hepburn remembers in her book "ME" that she was deeply
impressed by Spencer Tracy's work in this film - how natural , simple and convincing
he is. "Bad Day at Black Rock" is one of the films that will never be outdated.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His finest hour, 27 July 2004
By 
E. J. Bell "qwfwq" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bad Day at Black Rock [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Spencer Tracy's best film, playing the one-armed stranger. The supporting cast of Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine are utterly convincing. You can almost smell their fear as they strive to bully - then kill - the unwelcome intruder.
For me, Robert Ryan steals the film. His performance oozes a guilt which he strives to justify with speech after speech of nauseating jingoism. He proves true the phrase: 'Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel'.
Borgnine and Marvin play standard goons but with a genuine gusto.
Even the lesser rôles are filled with character. Note Tracy's drab but hilarious conversation with the unnamed canteen owner: 'We got chilli with beans and chilli without beans'...'Hmm. What if you don't like chilli?'...'Well, that's what they made ketchup for.' Pure poetry. Shakespeare couldn't better that.
Great stuff.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sturges Finest Hour., 20 April 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This film represents the finest hour for that Hollywood veteran director John Sturges. It is far superior to his "The Magnificent Seven" which relied heavily on uniquely skilled, one dimensional, stereo type characters. A film that had such an influence on that demented period of the Italian Western. This film is a very superior contemporary western that has elements of the film noir. Made over fifty years ago it does not look contemporary now, but is still a very handsome film to look at, and has a wonderful fifties feel to it that would be hard to replicate now.

Spencer Tracy plays a one armed second world war veteran on a mission to find the Japanese/American Father of the war hero who died saving his life during the Italian campaign, and to hand him his sons medal. He stops at the small one horse town of Black Rock in the desert but finds that the Father has mysteriously disappeared. He is met with open hostility by most of the townsfolk, especially in the form of Robert Ryan and his menacing henchman. But slowly due to dogged persistence he begins to uncover the grim truth. Tracy heads to an inevitable showdown with Ryan and his thugs.

The film boasts a very fine ensemble cast with possibly the best team of heavies to have ever graced the screen. Robert Ryan was always excellent as a villain. I recall him being especially good in "The Naked Spur". Ernest Borgnine provides another classic example of his pot bellied bully and Lee Marvin exudes menace with his mere presence. Sterling support is provided by Walter Brennan as a sympathetic Doctor and Dean Jagger as the drunken town marshall who turns a blind eye. All worth the admission fee alone.

The film has been compared with "High Noon" with its inherent liberal sentiments. It tackles the big subject of racial hatred and prejudice. Tracy with his one arm can relate to this. Similar themes were explored in Wellman's "The Ox Bow Incident", although the lynch mob in that film regret their actions, unlike the heavies of this film who have no remorse. The films influence can still be felt today in the way its title has fallen into everyday American slang. I must be one of the few in England to use it. Another bad habit picked up by watching too many movies.

This is a well acted and well crafted movie. It still looks good today and the time spent watching it passes all to quickly. We really, really don't get so many actors of this quality in one film any more. One last point of interest is that Black Rock consisted of a purpose built set of which nothing now remains, just the tumbleweeds. But what does remain is this fine film. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Western Film Noir., 20 April 2009
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This film represents the finest hour for that Hollywood veteran director John Sturges. It is far superior to his "The Magnificent Seven" which relied heavily on uniquely skilled, one dimensional, stereo type characters. A film that had such an influence on that demented period of the Italian Western. This film is a fascinating contemporary western that has elements of the film noir. Made over fifty years ago it does not look contemporary now, but is still a very handsome film to look at, and has a wonderful fifties feel to it that would be hard to replicate now.

Spencer Tracy plays a one armed second world war veteran on a mission to find the Japanese/American Father of the war hero who died saving his life during the Italian campaign, and to hand him his sons medal. He stops at the small one horse town of Black Rock in the desert but finds that the Father has mysteriously disappeared. He is met with open hostility by most of the townsfolk especially in the form of Robert Ryan and his menacing henchman. But slowly due to dogged persistence he begins to uncover the grim truth. Tracy heads to an inevitable showdown with Ryan and his thugs.

The film boasts a very fine ensemble cast with possibly the best team of heavies to have ever graced the screen. Robert Ryan was always excellent as a villain. I recall him being especially good in "The Naked Spur". Ernest Borgnine provides another classic example of his pot bellied bully and Lee Marvin exudes menace with his mere presence. Sterling support is provided by Walter Brennan as a sympathetic Doctor and Dean Jagger as the drunken town marshall who turns a blind eye. All worth the admission fee alone.

The film has been compared with "High Noon" with its inherent liberal sentiments. It tackles the big subject of racial hatred and prejudice. Tracy with his one arm can relate to this. Similar themes were explored in Wellman's "The Ox Bow Incident", although the lynch mob in that film regret their actions, unlike the heavies of this film who have no remorse. The films influence can still be felt today in the way its title has fallen into everyday American slang. I must be one of the few in England to use it. Another bad habit picked up by watching too many movies.

This is a well acted and well crafted movie. It still looks good today and the time spent watching it passes all to quickly. We really, really don't get so many actors of this quality in one film any more. One last point of interest is that Black Rock consisted of a purpose built set of which nothing now remains, just the tumbleweeds. But what does remain is this fine film. Why oh why is this film not easily available on Region 2. I cannot unfortunately vouch for the quality of this foreign imported DVD, only the quality of the film. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beware!, 30 Nov 2011
If you like the Discworld genre, you will love this, but it is important to point out that, although this DVD contains the English language versions for both presentations, it is originally of German origin. This does mean that all of the menus are in German and, even if you set the subtitles to off, a number of subtitles during the features, like sign names, still come up in German.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Pratchett's Soul Music & Wyrd Sisters, 15 July 2011
By 
D. Millar (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
You either like Discworld stuff or you don't, the films will have been reviewed many times elsewhere and I don't intend to get into the 'not as good as the books' debate. All I will say is that it was really interesting to hear the music brought to life in 'Soul Music' and my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed both films!

I have been trying to get hold of these films for so long that when I saw this two-disc set at such a good price (£15.99), I bought it without checking the details and so didn't realise it was the German version. I checked it had the English audio on before I took the shrink-wrap off and was pleased to see that it was indeed present. Just select "Sprachen" from the main menu and then "Englisch" and sit back and enjoy.

Sep 2014 - I don't know why this review is now suddenly for 'Bad Day at Black Rock ' - it was originally for this DVD: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Terry-Pratchetts-Discworld-Sisters-language/dp/B007LQUCPE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410294223&sr=8-2&keywords=Terry+Pratchett%27s+Soul+Music+%26+Wyrd+Sisters
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tight, well-constructed thriller about justice, 14 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
It's satisfying to see a relatively small movie that was made efficiently by pros become so widely liked and respected. Bad Day at Black Rock has just about everything...a gripping story that carries a message, vivid characters but a small cast, a dangerous setting, the plight of a brave loner on the side of justice who beats the odds. And it doesn't have dumb things...an extraneous love story, outraged citizens who meet in a church, excessive violence, time spent on flashbacks. It was a long wait for this one to come out on DVD, but it was worth it.

Among many elements I admire are the three character actors: Russell Collins as the weak, cowardly telegraph agent, Dean Jagger as the played-out sheriff (his humiliation at the hands of Robert Ryan is unpleasant), and, most of all, Walter Brennan as the doctor who tries to push things but isn't dumb enough to push too hard. I think this was one of Brennan's last, really good roles before he turned himself into the toothless old coot or cackling grampa of his later films. In his prime, he was a fine actor. And for vicious bullies I don't think anyone has topped Lee Marvin and Ernest Bognine in their roles. I'd even eat my catsup without any chili at all to avoid a confrontation with these guys.

I have a lot of respect for Robert Ryan but find it sad that, despite a number of opportunities, he never was able to break into the top rank of stardom. Maybe he didn't really want that. Maybe he was too willing to play bad guys. Maybe he lacked some element of charisma or just ambition. He was a fine actor and, from reports, a nice guy.

The DVD transfer is excellent
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all time greatest westerns, 7 Dec 2010
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There is a story that the head of the studio that made this film wanted to pull the plug on it because he thought it subversive.

He was right. It subverts a number of genres: it is a western without any horses; a war story thousands of miles from the front line; a thriller like a ghost story; a film noir set in the desert. But most subversive of all, at the core of the film it is about the consequences of racism, most specifically anti-Japanese racism, and how that racism is often dressed up as patriotism.

The film takes the form, popular in US and Japanese cinema, of the stranger arriving into town as a catalyst for the unfolding story. Spencer Tracy delivers one of his most iconic performances as the stranger, a brave man, but one who has seen too much violence already not to appreciate that, when faced with insurmountable odds, discretion is the better part of valour. Robert Ryan is brilliantly terrifying as the charming thug who dominates the town. Walter Brennan provides some light relief as the town undertaker and vet in the midst of a spare and nightmarish story.

The film must still be regarded as deeply subversive to those "heartland" Americans for whom ignorance and provincialism are regarded as virtues. The outsider played by Tracy asserts a different sort of Americanism, a cosmopolitan, progressive and principled one, and is hated and feared as a result.

For Trivial Pursuit and pub quiz afficianados: the film is said to be the first American film to portray the use of eastern martial arts when Tracy's character comes to a point at which he is driven to fight in self-defense, and displays a surprising propensity for karate, the Japanese martial art.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Day At Black Rock dvd, 1 Nov 2009
Not necessarily a 'well known' film but a classic of its generation dealing with immediate post WW2 xenophobia and guilty secrets of isolated communities. Spencer Tracey is superb as the 'one armed' stranger who refuses to be intimidated and shows the true courage of serving men who make promises, not only to their 'brothers-in-arms', but also to themselves i.e. the job has to be completed. Relatively short at 81 minutes but worth the very reasonable price for a film that has proved difficult to obtain.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT AS USUAL, 25 Sep 2011
Two of Terry's fantastic fantasy tales in animation - a much better way to see the books come alive. Fantastic, fun and full of suspense. These come in installments so you can watch them in episodes over a couple of days or nights if you want.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Bad Day at Black Rock [VHS]
Bad Day at Black Rock [VHS] by John Sturges (VHS Tape - 1998)
£18.50
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews