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Hang 'Em High (1968)

M | | Western | 3 August 1968 (USA)
When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sheriff Ray Calhoun
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Madame 'Peaches' Sophie
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Matt Stone (blacksmith)
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Prisoner
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Storyline

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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hanging was the best show in town. But they made two mistakes. They hung the wrong man and they didn't finish the job. See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 August 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hängt ihn höher  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first film produced by Clint Eastwood's Malpaso Company. See more »

Goofs

The length of Miller's beard seems to vary considerably from shot-to-shot, especially during his fist-fight seen with Cooper on their way back to Fort Grant. He appears nearly clean-shaven, but once on the ground, his beard is quite heavy. In contrast, Cooper's facial hair never changes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[to a calf]
Jed Cooper: I'm gonna have to carry ya, huh?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showdown at the Dirt Cheap Liquor & Grocery (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River?
(uncredited)
By Robert Lowry
Sung by crowd before mass hanging
See more »

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User Reviews

Solid western with interesting theme of law and revenge
15 November 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Ex-lawman turned cattle rancher Jed Cooper is taken newly purchased cattle back home when he is caught by a posse who accuse him of murder and lynch him. They ride off to leave him to die, however he is cut down by a group of marshals who add him to their prisoners and take him to the judge. Having had his story cleared Cooper is offered a job as a marshal and agrees to do it. However when his first task is to arrest the men who hung him can he take the stand away from revenge and on the side of the law.

I watched this cause I do like a good western every now and again. The actual plot is quite simple on the surface – man out for revenge, but it uses it quite well. It makes some interesting parallels between the hanging of men by the lynch parties and the hanging of men by a judge. It doesn't fully make it's point but it is good to have something to think about in a western. Outside of this the film has some good drama even if the end feels more like the conclusion of an episode in a TV series rather than the finale of a film.

Of course the reason for this may be Post's involvement as director. He used to direct Rawhide with Eastwood and was picked for this film to support Eastwood. This was his first American film after doing all those spaghetti westerns and I assume he wanted a familiar hand on the tiller. He does well here as he always did with his western characters, I read that he also directed some of it. The rest of the cast are made up of a few famous names (Bruce Dern, LQ Jones for example) but regardless everyone does well in their roles.

It's not a classic western but it rises above the average by having a good lead in the shape of Eastwood and some plot strands that go beyond the revenge storyline and encourage you to think of deeper issues.


16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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