In 1873, on the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil and has a mysterious past but nobody gives attention to his words. Soon the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"High Noon", move over. "The Hanging Tree", in my estimation, is by far the better picture. The story, characterizations, acting, and musical score put this movie in the class of "Shane", "The Big Country", and "The Magnificent Seven". Cooper portrays Dr. Joe Frail as only he can. He is perfectly cast as a man with "frail hope" and, yet, has the strength and caring to help and protect others. As others have commented, this film is not even available new in vhs format, let alone dvd. The last time I checked The Western Channel and Turner Classic Movies it was not scheduled for viewing.
If you want to enjoy a realistic story and superb acting from a great cast I recommend the "Hanging Tree."
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