Johnny Guitar


In an extended discussion of Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954), James Harvey (2001:325) writes, ‘…rigid with anticipated pleasure, like a walking hard-on, Emma moves up the hill to her fulfillment…’

I just love scholarly moments like these. And you can see it with Emma here, even on the DVD cover above (she is second from right in the bottom panel). Each of the three men could be too, I suppose, except that Emma has her body slightly turned, as if walking.

A fortuitous turn of phrase in another way, too, as Emma is (only partially) fulfilled by shooting (in the head, although let’s pretend it’s castration) a man. The women really can hold their own up against the men in this world, we can almost see this final gunfight as a macho pissing contest. Emma’s hard on is too powerful for the Kid’s to stay up with in.


About cinemelo

I love to write about film and comment on culture. Hopefully providing insight and interesting thoughts for fellow cultural itinerants.
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