IMDb > The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
The Ox-Bow Incident
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The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   13,767 votes »
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Up 38% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lamar Trotti (written for the screen by)
Walter Van Tilburg Clark (from the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Ox-Bow Incident on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 May 1943 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
LYNCH LAW RULES THE MOB! (original print ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
There can't be any such thing as civilisation unless people have a conscience. See more (113 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Henry Fonda ... Gil Carter

Dana Andrews ... Donald Martin
Mary Beth Hughes ... Rose Mapen

Anthony Quinn ... Juan Martínez
William Eythe ... Gerald Tetley

Harry Morgan ... Art Croft (as Henry Morgan)

Jane Darwell ... Jenny Grier
Matt Briggs ... Judge Daniel Tyler

Harry Davenport ... Arthur Davies
Frank Conroy ... Major Tetley

Marc Lawrence ... Jeff Farnley
Paul Hurst ... Monty Smith
Victor Kilian ... Darby
Chris-Pin Martin ... Poncho
Willard Robertson ... Sheriff Risley
Ted North ... Joyce
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
C.E. Anderson ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Bartlett (uncredited)
Hank Bell ... Red (uncredited)
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Green (uncredited)
Paul E. Burns ... Winder (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Jimmy Cairnes (uncredited)
Tex Cooper ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Forrest Dillon ... Mark (uncredited)
Dan Dix ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Larry Dods ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Tex Driscoll ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Halva Harvey (uncredited)

Margaret Hamilton ... Mrs. Larch (uncredited)
Rondo Hatton ... Gabe Hart (uncredited)
Don House ... Posse Member (uncredited)
George Lloyd ... Moore (uncredited)
Tom London ... Deputy (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... Posse Member (uncredited)
George Meeker ... Mr. Swanson (uncredited)
Frank Orth ... Larry Kinkaid (uncredited)
George Plues ... Alec Small (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Deputy Butch Mapes (uncredited)
Ed Richard ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Walt Robbins ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Almira Sessions ... Miss Swanson (uncredited)
Clint Sharp ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Ben Watson ... Posse Member (uncredited)
Leigh Whipper ... Sparks (uncredited)
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Directed by
William A. Wellman 
 
Writing credits
Lamar Trotti (written for the screen by)

Walter Van Tilburg Clark (from the novel by)

Produced by
Lamar Trotti .... producer
William Goetz .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Cyril J. Mockridge 
 
Cinematography by
Arthur C. Miller (director of photography) (as Arthur Miller)
 
Film Editing by
Allen McNeil (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Richard Day 
 
Set Decoration by
Frank E. Hughes (set decorations)
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Earl Luick (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Guy Pearce .... makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ad Schaumer .... assistant director (uncredited)
James Tinling .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Alfred Bruzlin .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
75 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:12 (2008) | South Korea:12 (2003) (DVD rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (2006) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (PCA #8590) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This was the last movie ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture which received no other Academy Award nominations.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): 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 »
Quotes:
[last lines]
Art Croft:Where are we goin'?
Gil Carter:He said he wanted his wife to get this letter, didn't he? Said there was nobody to look after the kids, didn't he?
[they both mount and ride out of town]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "M*A*S*H: Hawkeye (#4.18)" (1976)See more »
Soundtrack:
Lonesome ValleySee more »

FAQ

Is this movie based on a novel?
How closely does the movie follow the book?
What happened to the members of the lynch mob?
See more »
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
There can't be any such thing as civilisation unless people have a conscience., 28 March 2008
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom

The Ox-Bow Incident is directed by William A. Wellman and adapted to screenplay by Lomar Trotti from the novel of the same name written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. It stars Henry Fonda, Henry Morgan, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe and Jane Darwell. Music is scored by Cyril J. Mockridge and cinematography by Arthur C. Miller.

Gil Carter & Art Croft ride into the town of Bridger's Wells, they hit the local saloon to imbibe after a log hard cattle drive. Whilst there a man runs in and announces that a popular man from the town has been shot by rustlers. The sheriff is out of town and a lynch mob quickly forms to bring what they see as swift justice to the culprits, Gil & Art join the posse so as to make sure they themselves don't get blamed for the shooting. The posse finds three weary workers and convince the majority that these guys are guilty and that instant hanging is the only way to do things. There are, however, one or two dissenting voices......

What a fabulous movie this is, a powerful indictment of how the lynch mob mentality can grip and lead to pain for many. William Wellman directs superbly, with a big ensemble in such a small area (Ox-Bow), he manages to get the right blend of emotive reactions from the leading players. Henry Fonda as Gill Carter is perfectly sedate and compassionate, even though he is far from being a flawless character, Dana Andrews as Donald Martin is heart achingly real, while others like Frank Conroy as Major Tetley are suitably full of ignorant bluster. It's quite an experience to see Wellman pull them all together with so much style. The photography from Miller is excellent, shadowy low tone black and white that is in keeping with the downbeat nature of the film, it infuses the picture with a gritty hard bitten noirish look. While Mockridge scores it suitably as sombre.

Ultimately it's the story that triumphs the most, claustrophobic in nature, it is simple yet tragic as it spins out to tell us how a group of seemingly sane individuals turned out to be a mass of incoherent reasoning. When a letter is read out during the finale, it is devastating in its effect, we see men broken, heads bowed in shame, others heavy in heart, their lives never to be the same. The emotional whack is hard hitting, and rightly so. For this is unashamedly a message movie, and a worthy one at that, so much so its reputation has grown over the years, where both the film and novel have made it into some educational curriculum's. It's very much a landmark Western, by choosing to forgo action for dark characterisations, it opened up the Western genre to being more than just shoot-outs and trail blazing. Had it been made seven or eight years later I think it would have garnered higher critical praise.

In spite of being one of Fonda's favourite movies that he made, the film didn't make money. The public were not quite ready for such sombre beats (Orson Welles, tellingly I feel, loved it), the critics of the time were irked by Wellman's decision to film the key trial and lynching sequences on the stage. Yet the closeness this gives the narrative serves it well, thrusting the many characters close together so they, and us, can see the whites of everyone's eyes, this is about focusing on the faces of those about to commit a capital crime. The close confines also gives off a pervasive sense of doom, where pessimism seeps through, there is no short changing here, the makers are dealing in bleakness and the right choices are made to produce one of the finest and most upsetting exponents of mob mentality played out on film. 9/10

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