John Sturges's classic, both a tale of grace under pressure and an allegory of McCarthyism, stars Spencer Tracy as John McReedy, a World War II veteran with a crippled arm. His arrival in the tiny southwestern whistle-stop of Black Rock in 1945 evokes fear and suspicion in its few inhabitants; no stranger has appeared in town for four years. When he tries to check into the hotel, he's denied a room. When McReedy insists on going up to one of the rooms, Hector (Lee Marvin), a menacing cowpoke, follows him and tries to bait him into fighting but fails. McReedy's request for information about Komoko, the Japanese farmer he's seeking, is met with silence by the frightened sheriff (Dean Jagger). Town boss Reno Smith (Robert Ryan), who's already having McReedy investigated, feigns hospitality while informing McReedy that Komoko left town long ago. McReedy rents a Jeep and rides out to Komoko's abandoned farm only to find a grave. Since he was surveilled by Coley (Ernest Borgnine), one of Smith's goons, McReedy must deal with the worst when he gets back to Black Rock. One of the best films of the 1950s, the tense, atmospheric story, which is exceptionally well acted by Tracy and an all-star cast of supporting players, garnered an Academy Award nomination for director Sturges.
Cannes Best Actor 1955 Spencer Tracy Oscar winning american actor, BOYS TOWN