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Trivia / Johnny Guitar

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  • Creator Backlash: In an interview in The Criterion Collection release of The Killing, Sterling Hayden stated that he did not care for the film. "They put string, like you get at the grocery store, over my guitar in case I accidentally hit them," he said, acknowledging that "I can't play guitar, and can't sing a good-goddamn, either." "I was at war on that film, during the daytime, with Joan Crawford and at night with my second wife." Despite his reservations about the film, Hayden acknowledged its popularity.
  • Hostility on the Set: Joan Crawford didn't get on with either of her costars.
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    • Sterling Hayden quipped, "There isn't enough money in Hollywood to make me work with Joan Crawford again. And I like money". Crawford referred to Hayden as "the biggest pill in Hollywood."
    • That was nothing compared to her feud with Mercedes McCambridge. She was jealous of the younger star and was infuriated when the crew burst into applause after one of her scenes. According to Nicholas Ray, he then began shooting the younger actress' scenes in the early morning before Crawford got there. After the star witnessed one of these early shoots she flew into a rage, broke into McCambridge's dressing room and slashed her clothes to shreds. McCambridge blamed her next two years of inactivity on Crawford's repeated attempts to blacklist her.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Sterling Hayden was an unusual choice for the title role since he didn't know how to ride a horse, play the guitar or shoot a gun.
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  • Reality Subtext: Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge play bitter rivals. In reality, they didn't get on at all. One night, in a drunken rage, Crawford scattered the costumes worn by McCambridge along an Arizona highway. Cast and crew had to collect the outfits.
  • Wag the Director: Joan Crawford insisted on her close-ups only being filmed in the studio, where the lighting could be rigidly controlled. No close-up of her was ever shot while on location.
  • What Could Have Been:
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