MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 45,896 this week

Good Day for a Hanging (1959)

 -  Western  -  January 1959 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 379 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

After claiming his daughter's childhood-sweetheart killed the marshal, one man finds himself in conflict with his daughter, his fiancée and many of the townsfolk.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 197 titles
created 06 Oct 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 24 Aug 2012
 
a list of 320 titles
created 05 Aug 2013
 
a list of 206 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 2830 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Good Day for a Hanging (1959)

Good Day for a Hanging (1959) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Good Day for a Hanging.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Roy Rowland
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Ward Bond
Cowboy (1958)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Chicago hotel clerk Frank Harris dreams of life as a cowboy, and he gets his chance when, jilted by the father of the woman he loves, he joins Tom Reece and his cattle-driving outfit. Soon,... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Glenn Ford, Jack Lemmon, Anna Kashfi
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Bill Burnett, a resident of Bali, visits New York City, meets and falls in love with Gail Allen, the successful manager of a Fifth Avenue shop, who is determined to remain free and ... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Allan Jones
History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

United States has just acquired Louisiana from France. An expedition led by Lewis and Clark is sent to survey the territory and go where no white man has gone before. Are they able to ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Charlton Heston, Donna Reed
The Egg and I (1947)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

On their wedding night Bob informs his new bride Betty that he has bought a chicken farm. An abandoned chicken farm, to be exact, which is obvious when the two move in. Betty endures Bob's ... See full summary »

Director: Chester Erskine
Stars: Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray, Marjorie Main
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When whites hunger after the gold on Ute Indian land, a bigoted young man finds himself forced into a peacekeeping role.

Director: Nathan Juran
Stars: Audie Murphy, Walter Brennan, Lyle Bettger
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A ruthless Union captain is renowned throughout his prison fort as the toughest soldier in the business, capable of capturing every escaped convict under his supervision. However, when he ... See full summary »

Director: John Sturges
Stars: William Holden, Eleanor Parker, John Forsythe
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This hilarious comedy gave MacMurray a chance to show his comedic chops as Peter, a radio personality who is told he's just inherited two million dollars by a gold-digging secretary.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Eleanor Parker, Richard Carlson
At Gunpoint (1955)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The peace-loving owner of a general store, who became a town hero when he luckily killed the leader of a gang of bank robbers, is deserted by the townspeople who fear the threatened return of the vengeful bandits.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Malone, Walter Brennan
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young cowboy, whose dedication to the principles of peace and reason has earned him a reputation for cowardice, overcomes his psychological aversion to violence after his elder brother ... See full summary »

Director: Abner Biberman
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Jeffrey Hunter, Janice Rule
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

In 1846, a reporter for the New York Herald joins a wagon train bound for the Oregon Territory. He hopes to confirm a rumor that President Polk is sending in soldiers disguised as settlers ... See full summary »

Director: Gene Fowler Jr.
Stars: Fred MacMurray, William Bishop, Nina Shipman
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Judge Jim Scott must contend with the vicious relatives of a murderer he's about to sentence...and his unfaithful fiancee.

Director: Harry Keller
Stars: Fred MacMurray, Joan Weldon, John Ericson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marshal Ben Cutler
Margaret Hayes ...
Ruth Granger (as Maggie Hayes)
...
Eddie Campbell
Joan Blackman ...
Laurie Cutler
...
Paul Ridgely
Wendell Holmes ...
Tallant Joslin
Edmon Ryan ...
William P. Selby, Attorney
Stacy Harris ...
Coley
Kathryn Card ...
Molly Cain
Emile Meyer ...
Marshal Hiram Cain
...
George Fletcher
Russell Thorson ...
Harry Landers
...
Deputy Ed Moore
...
Deputy William Avery
...
Olson
Edit

Storyline

It's been more than twenty years since Ben Cutler (Fred MacMurray) wore a badge, but when the town's bank gets robbed, he joins the posse. After the chase, where he saw Marshal Cain (Emile Meyer) get killed, he can't say "no" when the town asks him to take over the Marshal's duties. However, that same town starts to turn against him when he takes his new duties seriously by arresting and testifying against the killer... a boy, Eddie 'The Kid' Campbell (Robert Vaughn), who grew up in this town and comes from a broken home, garnering the sympathy of the townsfolk, who'd rather believe one of the other escaped bank robbers shot the sheriff. This is compounded by his daughter, who still has a crush on Eddie, even though after his mother died two years ago, he left town with not a word to her since. She, too, is convinced that Eddie is still that good little boy everyone remembers, and can't believe he's been changed, by his new life of riding with outlaws. Written by AzRanger {ArizonaRanger @ Hotmail . com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Even when he kissed her... he held a gun! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Dois Passos da Forca  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(ColumbiaColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The theme song for 3.10 To Yuma [1957] is played frequently here especially in scenes involving Vaughan and Blackman See more »

Goofs

When the dead Marshal Hiram Cain is brought back into town strapped onto a horse, he is clearly breathing when his widow is standing by him. See more »

Quotes

Ruth Granger: Eddie is just a boy. Tom was killed by a hardened criminal.
Ben Cutler: Do you think this kid is any less hardened? Since when is a young rattlesnake any less poisonous than an old one?
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
There are a lot of things worse than fear.
11 October 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Good Day for a Hanging is directed by Nathan Juran and adapted to screenplay by Daniel B. Ullman and Maurice Zimm from the story The Reluctant Hangman written by John H. Reese. It stars Fred MacMurray, Robert Vaughn, Joan Blackman, Margaret Hayes, James Dury and Wendell Holmes. It is filmed in Columbia Color with cinematography by Henry Freulich.

After claiming his daughter's childhood sweetheart killed the marshal of Springdale during the aftermath of a bank raid, the new marshal, Ben Cutler (MacMurray), finds himself in conflict with his family and the townsfolk who question the motives of his testimony.

Good Day for a Hanging is one of those films that you feel that with a few tweaks it could have been a bona fide great 50s Western. As it is, in spite of some viable complaints from those who have bothered to review it, it's still a hugely enjoyable broody Oater.

Film hinges on MacMurray's moody and stoic performance. Ben Cutler finds himself fighting a lone battle in getting outlaw Eddie "Kid" Campbell (Vaughn excellent) on to the gallows. Campbell's standing in the town is high, he's fondly remembered and after laying on a truly heartfelt plea of innocence during the trial, practically everyone is convinced that he is innocent, even the members of the Cutler posse who were there when Campbell gunned down the old marshal! And with those closest to Ben also firmly against him hanging Campbell, he is being pulled apart emotionally. It's a nicely etched turn from MacMurray, full of inner torment and believable bravado.

Juran constructs some very good passages in the story, the opening robbery is very tense, the court case deftly handled with its observations of how manipulation of the law can happen, and the building of the gallows outside Campbell's cell - and the subsequent morbid interest of the townsfolk - really puts an edge on proceedings. Unfortunately the final outcome to the excellent mood building is undone by an unconvincing turn of events, and it feels very rushed. It's a shame because it just needed someone to step forward and suggest changing the ending from that of the source material. You have to think that the likes of Boetticher and Mann would have put a different spin on it.

Still, and I note and agree that some of the dialogue is out of time for the era, this is way above being an average B Western. At the time Variety wrote in their notices that the colour wasn't right for the tone of the picture. To some degree I agree that shadowy black and white would have worked a treat, but in this High Def age you can really see the benefits of Freulich's photography, it's beautiful, but I viewed it from UK TCM HD Channel, which invariably means I'm seeing it different to those in 1959!

I fully endorse this to Western fans who haven't seen it, and especially to MacMurray and Vaughn fans. It has problems, and yes it's kinda like a poor man's version of High Noon - Ruth (Ben's love interest played by Hayes), even suggests that Ben throw his marshal badge in the dirt - yet it's a mature throwback well worthy of viewing investment. 7/10


1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Good Day for a Hanging (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?