Bad Day at Black Rock…


Fingers crossed, but there may just be a very real possibility that I may get my hands on the famous laserdisc commentary of Bad Day At Black Rock, which Paul Thomas Anderson has attributed as his film school. I’ve been searching forever, and it’s definitely the most elusive commentary out there, but there may just be a chance, and it could even be before Christmas.


Oh the exciting things to come…


2 thoughts on “Bad Day at Black Rock…

  1. Pingback: Commentary selections to come… | filmschoolthrucommentaries

  2. This is a great classic on so many levels. I’ve watched it numerous times and have read the screenplay as well. Great about STURGES is that he might’ve just slashed a lot of dialogue once he got TRACY on aboard; open the lens…give TRACY enough room to be “breathing” in his acting. Without saying a goddamn word.

    I love the fight between TRACY and BORGNINE…because there just isn’t a lot of fancy camera moves ( DE PALMA); or too much dialogue ( MAMET). Now…haven’t heard the commentary…so there could be a lot on the editing room floor. But…compare this to MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and GREAT ESCAPE. I believe BLACK ROCK was done after these and Sturges realized visually, for the encroaching power of the Mob to work even more against TRACY; it was probably important to have a lot of open space…which at first appears psychologically to be more safe: you can see wrong coming a mile away.

    There just aren’t a huge amount of close ups which a lot of directors “crutch” on, because they just don’t trust the power of the story and how it can hold up over a long completeness. That’s the problem with a lot of directors being raised on only TV.

    STURGES came from influences of literature; theatre; photography and art and life expereinces, a good 10 years before TV started showing.

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