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The Hanging Tree (1959)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,214 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 15 critic

Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man, realizing that he can exploit his secret.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Airs Thu. May. 07, 6:00 AM on TCM

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Title: The Hanging Tree (1959)

The Hanging Tree (1959) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Elizabeth Mahler
...
Frenchy Plante
...
George Grubb
...
Tom Flaunce
...
Edna Flaunce
John Dierkes ...
Society Red
King Donovan ...
Wonder
Ben Piazza ...
Rune
Edit

Storyline

In 1873, in the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil, but nobody gives attention to his words. Sooner the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and her father, who was ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From The Prize Novel -- A Picture Of Thundering Power! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

A Árvore dos Enforcados  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,350,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was left ambiguous whether the doctor had killed his unfaithful wife. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Frail returns home from the first poker game he reveals to Rune that they are going to start a new "regime" for their daily activities. A regime is a prevailing form of government. What he should have said was "regimen" which is a regulated course of living. See more »

Quotes

Society Red: [Waiting to see if Doc Frail will call his poker bet] Take your time, Doc. Like a man says: where the wind blows too hard, the trees gotta bend.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Red assumes Frail will not call and starts to claim the pot] Wait a minute. The trees haven't blown down yet.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Frail antes up] Call.
Society Red: Ace high.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Winning the pot] Pair of deuces.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Episode #10.24 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hanging Tree
Lyrics by Mack David
Music by Jerry Livingston
Vocal by Marty Robbins
See more »

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User Reviews

"Give me a Kiss"
18 November 2004 | by (Whidbey Island, Washington) – See all my reviews

The Hanging Tree (1959) is one of my favorite Westerns. Like the other great movies of the genre, it has more to do with human relationships than sagebrush, cattle, and shootouts. This isn't to say that there aren't plenty of action scenes in The Hanging Tree; We have a fistfight, a beating, a shooting, and a mining town set ablaze, but all of this is a backdrop to love, deceit, greed, jealousy, and intolerance.

Gary Cooper, ill during filming, brings his sinister character, Doc Joe Frail, to life with a leathery, wise, and weary portrayal. This is HIS movie.

Much of the movie was filmed in the hills above Yakima, Washington. The sets were located up a old logging road that the Washington State Patrol had barricaded in order to keep onlookers away. George C. Scott (in his debut movie) told how Gary Cooper, ill with lung cancer, would make the mile-long walk down that logging road, and back again, just to sign autographs for his fans. What a man!

There is one scene out of many that I particularly like. In it, a poor miner and his wife have brought their daughter in to see Doc Frail because she "is doin' poorly".

Doc looks at the girl, turns to her parents and tells them that the child is malnourished. And he, realizing that they are struggling, suggests that they take a cow that he he has tied-up outside and to "fatten this child up on some milk".

The mom and dad look very embarrassed; They don't have money for a cow. "We don't know how we can pay you for it, Doc", the father says, stepping forward.

This killer-turned-doctor, looks at the girl and says, "Give me a kiss".

After the girl obeys (and she's an adorable Beanie Baby-type) he smiles and says, "I've been paid".

--- and so have we.


47 of 66 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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