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The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Western  |  21 May 1943 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 15,104 users  
Reviews: 121 user | 58 critic

When a posse catches up three men suspected of killing a local farmer, some of them become strongly divided on whether or not to lynch the men.



(written for the screen by), (from the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Art Croft (as Henry Morgan)
Matt Briggs ...
Judge Daniel Tyler
Arthur Davies
Frank Conroy ...
Jeff Farnley
Paul Hurst ...
Monty Smith
Victor Kilian ...
Chris-Pin Martin ...
Willard Robertson ...
Sheriff Risley


Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find three men in possession of the cattle, and are determined to see justice done on the spot. Written by David Levene <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


LYNCH LAW RULES THE MOB! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 May 1943 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conciencias muertas  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Henry Fonda was generally unhappy with the quality of the films he had to do while under contract with 20th Century Fox. This was one of only two films from that period that he was actually enthusiastic about starring in. The other was The Grapes of Wrath (1940). See more »


Despite being of Mexican descent, Juan Martínez (Anthony Quinn) repetitively replies "No sabe" to questions. The correct conjugation of "I don't know" in Spanish is "No sé". See more »


Gil Carter: [First lines: Gil Carter and Art Croft have just ridden into town] Deader than a Payute's grave!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits an ad for U.S. war savings bonds is shown on the screen. It says that "15,000 movie theatres are now selling U.S. war savings stamps and bonds! Buy yours in this theatre." See more »


Referenced in M*A*S*H: Hawkeye (1976) See more »


Lonesome Valley
Traditional Negro Spiritual
Performed a cappella by Leigh Whipper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

22 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

Shall we call this western?This is so moving,so harrowing and so tragic it would be a sacrilege.With a running time of 75 min,William Wellmann's work runs the whole gamut of emotions:hatred,contempt,madness,despair,indifference,you name it.Besides,the script is wonderfully written,depicting with a gutsy realism the supporting characters :the old man,the terrifying shrew,the renegade officer,his coward son -but who 's the real coward in the end?-,the Mexican,all are unforgettable.Between the lines ,there are secret plots which could provide the substance for at least four other movies.

Oddly,star Henry Fonda is nothing but a witness-except for the last sequences -and it's Dana Andrews' extremely harrowing performance which will haunt the viewers -as well as his hangmen- long after the ending.Andrews' portrayal is so moving that he almost outshadows the rest of the stellar cast,not a small feat:a western hero has rarely shown so much despair and dignity and his letter will move you to tears .It's anyway the sequence when he writes it that climaxes the movie,when most of the guys are guzzling or drinking ,with the horrible fat woman 's shrill chuckles as a sinister soundtrack.

As Neil Young sings "would fade away so young/with so much left undone/remember me to my love I know I'll miss her" (Powderfinger)

Do not miss this film !It's a timeless classic.

60 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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