Nicholas Ray’s western, Johnny Guitar, was considered eccentric when it was released in 1954 because it focused on a feud between two women (played by Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge). It wasn’t the usual male-centric western with themes like a stranger comes to town, cattle ranchers versus farmers, or the hiring of a gunslinger for revenge. It’s reminiscent of the Oscar-winning The Favourite. The Favourite, although recently released, was also considered unusual because the women were the main characters, they had most of the speaking parts and controlled the plot of the film while the men looked on dressed in elaborate costumes.
Another unusual twist is that this film is more like a love story than a western. Joan Crawford (Vienna) wins the love of Scott Brady (who plays a character named the Dancin’ Kid). Mercedes McCambridge plays Emma Small, who has an unrequited love for the Dancin’ Kid. Based on her fury for being scorned by the Kid, Emma spends most of the film yelling at the sheriff, the marshal and an assembled posse demanding they hang Vienna. Viewers of The Exorcist will find McCambridge’s braying voice familiar. She spoke for the demon that possessed the little girl. Vienna, who owns and operates a casino, is unconcerned and determined to hold on to her business until the railroad comes through so she can make her fortune.
There are some typical western themes in the film. A stranger (and legendary gunslinger) does come to town. In the middle of all this craziness, Crawford’s true love, Johnny “Guitar” Logan, played by a lunky Sterling Hayden, appears after abandoning her years ago. There’s also the tension between cattlemen and potential settlers. The men seem unconcerned about Crawford’s fabricated crimes and more motivated by potential loss of their endless land where they run their cattle.
Crawford’s garish makeup looks as if it was applied by Andy Warhol. Her over-the-top mix of costumes go from gunslinger to damsel in distress to debutante ball gown. They aren’t the type of drab, frontier clothing worn in a typical John Wayne western. All this strangeness is topped off by Peggy Lee’s crooning of the theme song that seems more appropriate for a love story than a western. Overall, this film is a wild, genre-stretching, gender bending ride that gallops like a crazed rabid horse until the very end!
See JOHNNY GUITAR starting October 27th at the Kiggins as part of our monthly “Saddle Up Sundays” series!
The Kiggins’ staff loves movies! But sometimes we also like to go out in the real world and have some non-cinematic fun!
This past Thursday we went to visit our friends at NW Escape Experience and had an awesome time solving the mystery of D.B. Cooper!
Though we didn’t set any speed records, we did deactivate the bomb and found the hidden money!
If you are looking for a fun team-building experience or a just a night out with friends to blow off steam, check them out at www.nwescapeexperience.com.
Celebrate by stopping by the Kiggins today for the 4:30pm or 7pm showing of the award-winning THE FAVOURITE (or swing by to get advance tickets for an upcoming film or event) and receive a FREE small popcorn! We’ve been told we have the best popcorn in Clark Country (if not the state). Come see for yourself!
We’re also having a special offer on our reusable Kiggins Bowls! Normally $20, they are only $15 on Saturday, and the first fill is free! After that each fill is only $4!
Above offers are available between 4pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, January 19th only.
Gather your fellow Hole in the Wall gang, saddle up the horses, and head down to Bolivia…we mean the Kiggins…to catch the Oscar-winning western comedy BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID on our big screen this weekend!
Believe it or not, it’s been 50 years since Paul Newman and Robert Redford (arguably two of the most handsome men to ever grace the silver screen) first robbed banks, blew up trains and traded quips in George Roy Hill’s big screen classic! Written by Academy Award winner William Goldman (THE PRINCESS BRIDE) BUTCH AND SUNDANCE also features an Oscar-winning score and song by Burt Bacharach and a Gold statue also went to Conrad L. Hall for his stunning cinematography.
This is one you won’t want to miss on our big screen! It will show Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 1pm & 5:40pm and Sunday at 2pm & 6:40pm!
Here at the Kiggins we love movies. All kinds of movies. And over the past several years we’ve attempted to bring the widest variety of films to downtown Vancouver, from Hollywood classics to award-winning foreign films, from cutting edge animation to powerful documentaries. In 2018 to date we’ve presented 90 feature films plus the always popular Oscar Nominated Shorts programs. Many of these films have been Vancouver exclusives, some have even been Northwest premieres.
But sadly, it seems that our current model is not proving sustainable. Though we occasionally have big hits like RBG (our longest running film to date), WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? and THE WIFE, too many of our films often play to just a handful of appreciative die hard film fans.
So, why don’t we get more popular films? Well, in a nutshell, we try to get the most popular film available to us as a single screen independent theater. But due to our proximity to the Regal City Center (whose national buying power and sheer number of screens limit what and when we can get many films) and our unconventional schedule for film runs (due to our extensive list of monthly events like Science on Tap, Comedy on Tap, Noir Nights, and private rentals) we just can’t compete.
So what’s our solution? Though we stand by the quality of our past programming, going forward we are going to focus more on “event cinema”. We are planning to expand on our repertory film programs like Noir Nights by adding more classic film series and one time special presentations. There will be more live events and touring film programs like the next week’s Warren Miller screening. And we will also be more flexible on times and days when private rentals can occur (book your holiday party or event now!). When bigger indie films are made available to us, we will still attempt to schedule them when we can. We’ll still be showing all our holiday staples. And don’t worry, we are still plan on presenting the Oscar Nominated Short Film Programs in early 2019!
For those of you who regularly took risks and came to all of our programming…a huge THANK YOU! We hope you continue supporting us as we evolve! And for those of you who follow us, but rarely come to visit, hopefully we can entice you to “Make Time for a Movie” and join us soon!
Make sure to continue to follow us on social media, check out our website and keep reading your Kiggins Theatre News for these and other updates!