Sunday, 16 March 2014

"You're nothing but a railroad tramp!"

On this, what would have been the 98th birthday (and ten years this month since her death) of Miss Mercedes McCambridge - Oscar-winning actress for All the King's Men and nominated for Giant, and surprisingly also the voice of the Devil in The Exorcist.

But it is for her role as the bitter and twisted 'Emma', bent on the destruction of her small-town political rival ('Vienna', played to perfection by Miss Joan Crawford) in one of the most archly camp Westerns ever made, Johnny Guitar, for which we remember her most.

Here are just two of the magnificent sparring-matches between the grandes dames in the film. It helps the crackling atmosphere to know, of course, that the two women despised each other in real life as much as their characters hate each other on screen...

The stand-off:

The piano scene:

And here - of course - is the sublime Miss Peggy Lee to sing the haunting title song:


Johnny Guitar on IMDB

Carlotta Mercedes McCambridge (16th March 1916 – 2nd March 2004)


  1. in that first photo of the girls, my niece resembles joan.
    niece will NOT be amused by this.

    1. But I bet it is a source of endless amusement for her uncle... Jx


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