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Bad Day At Black Rock


Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) is both a tightly-written, suspenseful, dramatic action film (with film noirish qualities) and a western. On the surface, this American film classic is concerned with the themes of individual integrity, group conformity and complacency, and civic responsibility. It can also be seen as a powerful, allegorical indictment of the Hollywood blacklist, created during the climate of suspicion and fear of the 1950s McCarthy era.




Bad Day at Black Rock



In the memorable opening scene on a warm day in 1945, the Streamliner diesel train - running on a single line of railroad track - ramrods its way across the Southwestern desert. Mr. Hastings (Russell Collins), a postal telegraph agent in a shack next to the tracks, rises from his rocking chair and reacts to the oncoming train with quizzical bewilderment: "Stopping...? Liz Wirth (Anne Francis), a young woman in jeans and a cotton shirt, stands inside of the door of the garage where she works and stares at the train. Others step out from dilapidated buildings along the town's single street in a dismal, forgotten town with sun-weathered, paint-peeling store fronts. They are silent and motionless - nevously cautious, slightly disturbed, and wondering why the train is coming to a complete stop - and violating their town.


Will Myles: Upon leaving Blackrock I though I'd take the opportunity to scratch the "I want to make my own game" itch I'd had since joining the industry 11 years ago. So I set up Spooky Moon Studio with the intent of making a game from scratch by myself - I'm a programmer by trade but I have a artistic side too, and I felt I'd been sitting on him for too long. Several weeks of hardcore programming later I realised I was deluding myself that I could do it by myself. So I contacted Jim Whittamore, an artist and Alkan Hassan a designer - both of whom I'd worked with at Blackrock. And, we started work with what we had - some water tech running on an iPhone, and a name... Sploosh!


Since the release we have been working not only on supporting Extraction with updates and content, but have been privileged enough to work again with some of the Blackrock alumni on some of the exciting projects they've been working on. It has been great to see how well all the new start-ups have done so far, and long may it last.


BRIDGEPORT -- Osama "Sammy" Ghalayini was backed against the wall of his tiny Black Rock store by two masked men menacing him with a small black handgun, his life beginning to flash before his eyes -- and then he remembered his 9mm.


Macreedy holds his trousers up with a belt that goes almost unseen on screen due to the jacket remaining buttoned, though a few glimpses reveal a strip of black leather rather than the brown that would better coordinate with his shoes. (Since the jacket does keep the belt mostly covered, the lack of coordination would be less an issue.)


Yet another footwear-related continuity error can be seen as Macreedy attempts to escape with Liz Wirth (Anne Francis) in her jeep, and he now appears to be wearing a set of black calf cap-toe oxfords with dark socks (seen here), though the following scene finds him back in the appropriate burgundy-hued derbies and lighter gray socks.


Many critics and interpreters of our American culture concur in the worrisome belief that a correlation exists between the rash of sex and violence that has dominated pictures for the past half-century and the blacklist inquisition of the late 40s and 50s when progressive ideas in film expired and, except for a few pallbearers, nobody came to the funeral. The void left by the abandonment of humanism was filled by an uncomplicated physicality because many writers feared a recurrence of the bad old days and a revival of the Committee. It would be curious indeed if, for half a century, the emphasis on heroic athleticism, both in bed and on the battlefield, derived to some considerable degree from the fear that kept many screenwriters, directors, and producers from exploring the vast and challenging country of ideas.


During the late 1940s and early 50s there had been a few protest films that bucked the tide. One of them was Bad Day at Black Rock with its indictment of racism in the golden west. And it came at a time when the consternation of M-G-M's Hollywood executives peaked with the realization that a crisis other than loyalty oaths and blacklists had to be dealt with immediately. 041b061a72


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