8.0/10
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154 user 62 critic

The Ox-Bow Incident (1942)

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

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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 ... Darby
Chris-Pin Martin ... Poncho
Willard Robertson ... Sheriff Risley
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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 »
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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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$565,000 (estimated)
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the 400 movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies. See more »

Goofs

At the very end of the movie when Art and Gil get on their horses, you can see that Art steps up on something with his right foot, before he puts his other foot into the stirrup. In the next shot there is nothing for him to have stepped on. See more »

Quotes

Gil Carter: [Gil and Art discuss their uneasiness about certain members of the posse] Besides, I like to pick my own bosses.
Art Croft: Whether we picked 'em or not, we sure got 'em.
Gil Carter: That's what I don't like. That Smith, and Bartlett, shootin' off their mouths... Farnley... and that renegade Tetley, struttin' around in his uniform pretending he's so much. He never even *saw* the South until after the war, and then only long enough to marry that kid's mother and get run outta' the place by her folks.
Art Croft: I figured there ...
[...]
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

Featured in The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Fabulous Study of Mob Mentality
29 April 2005 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Before "12 Angry Men" there was "The Ox-Bow Incident," a bleaker and never less than fascinating exploration of the nature of mob violence. Unlike "12 Angry Men," this film has no clear-cut heroes. It takes place in a more primitive, wilder time and location, and the principal question at the crux of this movie's conflict is whether or not three suspected cattle thieves should be punished without due legal process. A small group is in favor of letting the frontier town sheriff handle the situation, while a much larger group smells only blood (and in some cases are motivated by personal vengeance) and convince themselves of the suspects' guilt without listening to any of the evidence. It's quite a frightening movie in its own way, and it has a stark look at odds with the average studio film being churned out at the time (1943). Henry Fonda is quite good, as usual, in the closest thing the movie has to a main character, but it seems pointless to single him out in what is obviously such an ensemble effort, and in a movie that only lasts a mere 75 minutes or so and has such a large cast, each actor manages to color his/her character with delightful details, sometimes with no more than a single line of dialogue or one reaction shot.

"The Ox-Bow Incident" is a fantastic film. I don't think it's well-remembered now, but I'm thrilled to see it on DVD and hope that it will be rediscovered.

Grade: A


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