[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bad_day_at_black_rock.jpg]]

-> ''"Four years ago, something terrible happened here."''

A classic 1955 thriller (with some FilmNoir elements) directed by John Sturges and starring Creator/SpencerTracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Walter Brennan, Creator/ErnestBorgnine, and Creator/LeeMarvin.

From the time one-armed veteran John J. Macreedy (Tracy) steps off the train in Black Rock, he feels a chill from the local residents. The town is only a speck on the map and few if any strangers ever come to the place. Macreedy himself is tight-lipped about the purpose of his trip and he finds that the hotel refuses him a room, the local garage refuses to rent him a car and the sheriff is a useless drunkard. It's apparent that the locals have something to hide but when he finally tells them that he is there to speak to a Japanese-American farmer named Komoko, he touches a nerve so sensitive that he will spend the next 24 hours fighting for his life.

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!!''Bad Day at Black Rock'' contains examples of:

* TheAlcoholic: TheSheriff
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler:Liz Wirth's death]]
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: "What happened to Komoko?"
* {{Bookends}}: The movie starts with Macreedy arriving at Black Rock by train and it ends with him leaving the same way.
* ChekhovsHobby: It's established that Macreedy knows how to handle a jeep because of his experience in the army. This knowledge comes in handy later when building the MolotovCocktail.
* CitySlicker: Macreedy has shades of this, though [[{{Subverted}} he's too smart for them]].
* ClosedCircle: Macreedy is trapped in Black Rock. He notes that any attempt to leave would have him shot.
* CoolTrain: The Southern Pacific "Black Widow" F7's during the opening sequence.
* CorruptHick: Reno Smith.
* CutPhoneLines: Reno has the phone lines cut so that Macreedy can't inform the police.
* DinerBrawl: Macreedy [[CurbStompBattle wipes the floor with]] Coley Trimble despite having only one usable arm.
* TheDrifter: Macreedy actually has a specific reason for coming to Black Rock, but once he is there, everything plays out typically for this trope.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: Bad '''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Day]]''' at Black Rock.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Reno is nice to Macreedy in the beginning.
* FrontierDoctor: Doc Velie.
* GiveMeAReason: Macreedy reasons that Reno and his thugs are only looking for an excuse to kill him, e.g. when Coley tries to provoke him at the diner.
* GoldFever: The FrontierDoctor tells a story about the prospectors 'round these parts in the old days.
* GunTwirling: Hector gives us a taste of his skills.
* HandicappedBadass: John J. Macreedy.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Pete Wirth, along with a few others]].
* ImprovisedWeapon: The fire hose and the MolotovCocktail.
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: Reno rips off the sheriff's star and hands it to Hector.
* ManOnFire: A karmic experience for Reno, being set on fire at Komoko's place.
* MolotovCocktail: Macreedy makes one during the final fight, using his tie as the fuse.
* NewOldWest: The film is set in a Western "cowboy" town that, for all its isolation, has by the 1940s managed to acquire such modern technologies as rental cars, telephones and streamlined trains. The pseudo-drifter protagonist served in World War II, and the anti-Japanese racism of the era is an important theme.
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: Pete the clerk at the hotel tries to tell Macreedy that because of the government compliance and the rooms being held for out-of-town cowboys, he can't rent him a room even though the hotel has plenty of vacancies. Macreedy's having none of that.
* PoliceAreUseless: The sheriff is a useless drunkard; mostly as a result of his guilt regarding the dark secret of his town.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Smith is notoriously racist toward Japanese in general, so it is no surprise that [[spoiler:he was the one behind Komoko's murder]].
-->'''Smith:''' Loyal Japanese-Americans, that's a laugh. They're all mad dogs. What about Corregidor, the death march?
-->'''Macreedy:''' What did Komoko have to do with Corregidor?
-->'''Smith:''' He was a Jap, wasn't he?
* PosthumousCharacter: Komoko. His fate is unravels bit by bit.
* RetiredBadass: Macreedy.
* RevengeByProxy: This was part of Smith's motive for [[spoiler:murdering Komoko]], which was motivated by his racism toward Japanese in general. The ''other'' part was [[spoiler:Smith's jealousy toward Komoko for making the farmland he sold the man prosper by digging a sixty-foot well]].
* RewardedAsATraitorDeserves: [[spoiler:Liz Wirth]] helps Macreedy escape from town in her jeep, only to drive him straight into an ambush set by Reno Smith. Smith then shoots her in the back as part of his plan to [[HeKnowsTooMuch silence his old accomplices.]]
* TheSheriff
* StealthInsult: When he gets to the hotel, one of the cowboys says "You look like you need a [[{{Pun}} hand]]." It's not lost on Macreedy.
* TapOnTheHead: Hector goes out after a smack with the hose nozzle.
* ATasteOfTheirOwnMedicine: The {{irony}} of Reno ending up on fire at Komoko's place.
* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: For the time it was made, yes.
* TownWithADarkSecret: The cover-up of Komoko's death. One of the {{Trope Codifier}}s.
* {{Undertaker}}: Doc Velie. Since he's one of the few townspeople to side with Macreedy, he's a rare instance of a heroic Western undertaker.
* UnspokenPlanGuarantee: The scene cuts off before Doc Velie can reveal his plan to help Macreedy escape. Of course things work out as planned ... until Liz Wirth pulls over at Komoko's place.
* UntrustingCommunity: The people of Black Rock meet the protagonist with hostility in an attempt to scare him away.
* VehicularAssault: Coley gives Macreedy a good scare when bumping into his car from behind.
* VehicularSabotage: Hector rips the distributor cap and spark plug wires out of Velie's hearse to stop Macreedy leaving town.
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