Bad Day at Black Rock

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Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 film about a one-armed stranger who comes to a small town. The town's inhabitants possess a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Directed by John Sturges. Written by Don McGuire and Millard Kaufman, based on the story Bad Day at Hondo by Howard Breslin.
Suddenly you realize murder is at your elbow! - and there's no way out!

Hector David[edit]

  • I wanna know everything he does, Pete. Phone calls, mail...In the meantime, I'll crowd him a little, see if he's got any iron in his blood.
  • [to Macreedy] These rooms here is for us cowboys...when I'm in town. And I'm in town, as any fool can see.

Doc T.R. Velie Jr.[edit]

  • I was just wondering what all you people are worrying about...Not that I have the slightest idea...I hold no truck with silence. I've got nothing to hide...It's just that you worry about the stranger only if you look at him from a certain aspect. From my perspective, I look upon him with the innocence of a fresh-laid egg.
  • Four years ago, something terrible happened here. We did nothing about it. Nothing! The whole town fell into a sort of settled melancholy, and all the people in it closed their eyes, and held their tongues, and failed the test with a whimper. And now something terrible's going to happen again. And, in a way, we're lucky because we've been given a second chance.


Sheriff: Let Smith find himself a new boy. I can't take it another day. Four years ago, if I'd of done my job, if I'd of checked up and found out what happened. But I didn't! It was just like Smith figured...I didn't even try to find out. Don't you understand? You know, when you wear this badge, you're the Law. And when somebody does something against the Law, then you're supposed to do something about it. Me - I did nothin'. That's what's eatin' me. What kind of prescription you got for that?
Doc: I don't know. I haven't found one for myself. But there's one thing, Tim, don't quit.
Sheriff: Why not?
Doc: Because maybe this feller Macreedy's got the prescription.

Doc: They're gonna kill you with no hard feelings.
Macreedy: And you're gonna sit there and let 'em do it.
Doc: I try to live right. I drink my milk every day. But mostly, I try to mind my own business - which is something I'd advise you to do.

Macreedy: Wouldn't it have been easier to wait until I turned my back? Or are there too many witnesses present?
Smith: You're still in trouble.
Macreedy: You're in trouble. Whatever happens, you're sunk.
Smith: You got things a big twisted.
Macreedy: You killed Komoko, Smith, and sooner or later you're gonna go up for it. Not because you killed him, because I think in a town like this, you can get away with it. But because you didn't have guts enough to do it alone. You put your trust in guys like this - and Hector here - not the most dependable of God's creatures. And one of these days, they're gonna catch on that you're playin' 'em for a sap. And then what are ya gonna do? Peel 'em off, one by one? And in the meantime, one of 'em's gonna crack and when they do, you're gonna go down - but hard. 'Cause they got somethin' on ya, Smith. Something to use when the goin' gets tough. And it's gettin' tougher every minute.


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