Johnny Guitar? You probably think this film is about you.
This is the text of an introduction I gave at a re-release screening of Johnny Guitar at the British Film Institute on May 6th 2016 I saw Johnny Guitar for first time here at the BFI to whom I"ll always be grateful. You kind of need to see it in company to believe it got made. Leonard Maltin called this cinema's first "kinky" Western which is a very American term that undersells its sexual weirdness. I have myself in the past called it polysexual and plain wacko. In Johnny Guitar, all the conversations and backstories suggest almost everyone is in love with everyone else, or has had everyone else in the past or would like to have had everyone else. But most importantly, the main point hammered home for the benefit of its star is that every man in this film, is really also only in love with Joan Crawford. Which is as it should be. Which is why the more I watch it, even though it's based on a novel by a different Western writer, I think of this film as forgive the pun. Fifty Shades of
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