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Classic Screenplay: BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK

Screenwriter Series

Bad Day at Black Rock is a 1955 thriller film directed by John Sturges and starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan that combines elements of Westerns and film noir.  The screenplay is by Millard Kaufman who was nominated for an  Academy Award for his effort. The supporting cast includes Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. The picture tells the story of a mysterious stranger who arrives at a tiny isolated town in a desert of the southwest United States in search of a man. The film was adapted by Don McGuire and Millard Kaufman from the short story "Bad Time at Honda" by Howard Breslin. The original story had appeared in The American Magazine in January 1947, with full-color illustrations by Robert Fawcett.

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