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 <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
This was the last movie ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture which received no other Academy Award nominations. See more »
Juan Martinez throws a knife that lands right next to Farnley's foot. If you look closely you can see a thin wire attached to the end of the knife, indicating that first the scene was filmed with the knife being jerked backwards by the wire, then the film was played in reverse, to give the desired illusion of the knife landing at Farnley's feet. See more »
[Carter and Croft are out with the posse]
Doin' this in the middle of the night's crazy.
Thought you liked excitement?
I got nothin' particular against hangin' a murderin' rustler; it's just I don't like doin' it in the dark. There's always some crazy fool who'll lose his head and start hangin' everybody in sight.
Funnier things have happened.
Well we didn't have to come.
Look kinda funny if we hadn't, wouldn't it?
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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 »
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.
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