A band of vigilantes catch Jed Cooper and, incorrectly believing him guilty of cattle rustling and murder, hang him and leave him for dead. But he doesn't die. He returns to his former profession of lawman to hunt down his lynchers and bring them to justice. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Excellent Eastwood Western. By far the most underrated of his films.
Clint Eastwood's most underrated film, Hang 'Em High is a throughly enjoyable movie. It has the feel of a John Wayne western, as opposed to the spaghetti western formula in which Eastwood with Sergio Leone combined so magnificently with each other in the Dollars trilogy.
Eastwood gives a very worthy performance as Marshall Jed Cooper. The central dilemma of having to operate within the law in conflict with his own personal view of justice is executed very well by Eastwood. On the whole, Eastwood's performance is certainly a strong point of the film and a great performance in its own right.
The storyline itself is relatively well structured with interesting elements relating to the law and the justice system. However, a rather pointless, rushed and half baked romantic subplot by Inger Stevens (who is sadly woefully out of her acting league alongside Eastwood) adds nothing to the story and becomes rather annoying on repeat viewings.
However, special mention must go to both Pat Hingle and Ed Begley who both give some excellent performances, perhaps even superior to Eastwood himself.
Hang 'Em High is a great Eastwood western, provided you don't expect something magical like The Good, The Bad And The Ugly or Unforgiven. Entertaining and more complex than you would expect but sadly, greatly underestimated. Every Eastwood fan should at least give it a chance.
Overall I give it a solid and well deserved 8/10. Be sure to get a copy of this hidden gem.
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