IMDb > The Hanging Tree (1959)
The Hanging Tree
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The Hanging Tree (1959) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
7.2/10   2,386 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Wendell Mayes (screenplay) and
Halsted Welles (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Hanging Tree on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1959 (Finland) See more »
Only a bullet could get close to him! See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"Give me a Kiss" See more (44 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gary Cooper ... Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail

Maria Schell ... Elizabeth Mahler

Karl Malden ... Frenchy Plante

George C. Scott ... George Grubb

Karl Swenson ... Tom Flaunce

Virginia Gregg ... Edna Flaunce
John Dierkes ... Society Red
King Donovan ... Wonder
Ben Piazza ... Rune
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Emile Avery ... Townsman (uncredited)
Fern Barry ... Mother (uncredited)
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Trapper (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Dan (uncredited)
Annette Claudier ... Dance Hall Girl (uncredited)
Martin Eric ... Father (uncredited)

Frank Hagney ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dick Hudkins ... Townsman (uncredited)
John Hudkins ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dorothy Klewer ... Duck Girl (uncredited)
Baron James Lichter ... Tim - Piano Player (uncredited)
Cactus Mack ... Townsman (uncredited)
Fred Marlow ... Townsman (uncredited)
Harold Millen ... Townsman (uncredited)
Kansas Moehring ... Townsman (uncredited)
Bob Morgan ... Townsman (uncredited)
Charles Morton ... Townsman (uncredited)
Karen Norris ... Duck Girl (uncredited)
Bud Osborne ... Horseman (uncredited)
Boyd Stockman ... Townsman (uncredited)
Clarence Straight ... Dealer (uncredited)
Slim Talbot ... Stage Driver (uncredited)
Don Turner ... Townsman (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent ... Townsman (uncredited)
Guy Wilkerson ... Townsman who sells cabib (uncredited)

Directed by
Delmer Daves (from 17 June to 28 July 1958)
Karl Malden (from 29 July to 30 Aug. 1958) (uncredited)
Vincent Sherman (only on 30 July 1958) (uncredited)
Writing credits
Wendell Mayes (screenplay) and
Halsted Welles (screenplay)

Dorothy M. Johnson (novel)

Produced by
Martin Jurow .... producer
Richard Shepherd .... producer
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Ted D. McCord (director of photography) (as Ted McCord)
Film Editing by
Owen Marks 
Art Direction by
Daniel B. Cathcart 
Set Decoration by
Frank M. Miller 
Costume Design by
Marjorie Best  (as Marjorie O. Best)
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Alma Johnson .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Lou LaCava .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Ray Romero .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Marion Vaughn .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Henry Vilardo .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Lew Leary .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Russell Llewellyn .... assistant director
Al Alleborn .... assistant director (uncredited)
Gil Kissel .... assistant director (uncredited)
John Prettyman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Archie Neel .... prop master (uncredited)
Don Redfern .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound
H. Cozad .... cable person (uncredited)
Jule Danto .... p.a. operator (uncredited)
William Griffith .... radio man (uncredited)
Louis Hogue .... cable person (uncredited)
Everett A. Hughes .... boom operator (uncredited)
William Lambert .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Robert J. Miller .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Ben Sad .... cable person (uncredited)
John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Slim Talbot .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Gerald Perry Finnerman .... assistant camera (uncredited)
M. Gunther .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Horace Jones .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Wally Meinardus .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Everett Miller .... best boy (uncredited)
George Gordon Nogle .... camera operator (uncredited)
Charles O'Bannon .... gaffer (uncredited)
Maynard Rugg .... camera operator (uncredited)
Jack Woods .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Orry-Kelly .... wardrobe: Miss Schell
Russ Cole .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Kathleen Dennis .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Henry Field .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Michael J. Harte .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Adene Henderson .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
E. Murray .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Alexander Velcoff .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Music Department
Murray Cutter .... orchestrator
Other crew
John Gaston .... first aid (uncredited)
Lou Jones .... publicist (uncredited)
Lee Kuney .... time checker (uncredited)
Dutch Meyer .... auditor (uncredited)
Earl Riley .... technical advisor: Yakima (uncredited)
Bert Steiner .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Marshall J. Wolins .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Argentina:16 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | West Germany:16 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Takes place in Montana, 1873.See more »
Continuity: Prior to the doctor attending to Elizabeth, he rolls his left sleeve up once and then the same sleeve again in the next shot.See more »
Elizabeth Mahler:Must you always look at a woman like that?
Frenchy Plante:Don't a partner have some right, hanh? don't he ever get a free look? I suppose you gotta get a doctor to get that, hunh? I suppose if you was a doctor, then you could get an eyeful, hanh?
[She slaps him]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Portrait of an Actor (1971)See more »
The Hanging TreeSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
44 out of 61 people found the following review useful.
"Give me a Kiss", 18 November 2004
Author: Brian Pelton ( from Whidbey Island, Washington

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.

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