8.1/10
18,344
146 user 75 critic

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Not Rated | | Drama , Western | 21 May 1943 (USA)
When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (written for the screen by), Walter Van Tilburg Clark (from the novel by)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Earps battle the Clantons at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Red River (1948)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru
Stagecoach (1939)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea
Certificate: Passed Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell
Laura (1944)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A one-armed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
High Noon (1952)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell
Rio Bravo (1959)
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Fonda ... Gil Carter
Dana Andrews ... Donald Martin
Mary Beth Hughes ... Rose Mapen
Anthony Quinn ... Juan Martínez
William Eythe ... Gerald Tetley
Harry Morgan ... Art Croft (as Henry Morgan)
Jane Darwell ... Ma Grier
Matt Briggs ... Judge Daniel Tyler
Harry Davenport ... Arthur Davies
Frank Conroy ... Major Tetley
Marc Lawrence ... Jeff Farnley
Paul Hurst ... Monty Smith
Victor Kilian Victor Kilian ... Darby
Chris-Pin Martin ... Poncho
Willard Robertson ... Sheriff Risley
Edit

Storyline

Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find three men in possession of the cattle, and are determined to see justice done on the spot. Written by David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

FOR TRUTH, FOR THRILLS...IT'S TERRIFYING! (original print ad-all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

21 May 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ox-Bow Incident See more »

Filming Locations:

Chatsworth, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$565,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,635,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sara Allgood was originally cast in the role of "Jennie 'Ma' Grier," but was replaced by Florence Bates. Bates was then injured in a horseback riding scene, necessitating her replacement by Jane Darwell, who appears in the finished film. See more »

Goofs

During opening sequences when Fonda is at the bar, the whiskey he is drinking changes from clear to dark. See more »

Quotes

Judge Daniel Tyler: One more word out of you, Smith, and I'll have you up for impeding the course of justice.
Jenny Grier: Judge, you can't impede what don't move anyway.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits an ad for U.S. war savings bonds is shown on the screen. It says that "15,000 movie theatres are now selling U.S. war savings stamps and bonds! Buy yours in this theatre." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Devil Fish (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Lonesome Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional Negro Spiritual
Performed a cappella by Leigh Whipper
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Brilliant and timeless ensemble drama
20 September 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

The Ox-Bow Incident isn't a very well known cinema classic, and therefore it's fan base is comprised mostly of cinema buffs that are willing to go that extra mile to see great films. It's a shame that this film hasn't managed to cement itself better in cinema history since it's release in 1943, but on the other hand; anyone who does make the effort to seek it out is definitely in for a treat! Unlike many other westerns from the golden age of cinema, this one doesn't focus on Cowboys and Indians or other such entertainment friendly subjects, but instead the story is of a much more absorbing and long-lasting nature. The implications of this film can be applied to almost any time in history and it will be relevant, and that is what makes The Ox-Bow Incident such a great film. The story follows two drifters who ride into a town to find that the locals are forming a posse to catch and hang the men that they believe have murdered a local farmer and stolen his cattle. It quickly becomes apparent that the men accused may not be guilty, but the townsfolk are bloodthirsty and hungry to see justice done there and then.

The themes in the film are more prevalent and important than the plot itself. The film shows how rash decisions can out-shadow the truth, and this story can be likened to any number of stories over the last few centuries where the American value of 'innocent until proved guilty' has been overshadowed in favour of a crowd-pleasing decision. The tragedy of the film is always at the forefront, and this makes it difficult to aptly categorise this film as a western. Putting this film in with a genre of film that often focuses on gunfights and chase sequences somehow doesn't seem right. This film is really an ensemble drama, and in just a 72 minute running time, director William A. Wellman has managed to make a film that both intrigues and gives it's audience food for thought. Too many filmmakers these days think that a long running time is what makes a great film; but Wellman has proved that tight plotting and an important story are the far more important aspects. Henry Fonda is the biggest name on the cast list, and he does well; but even he struggles to shine amongst this film's real star, which is, of course, the script and the themes on offer. On the whole, this is a great film, which deserves more respect and shouldn't be missed by anyone!


78 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 146 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed