Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marshall Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) exclaims that he has a "prisoner in another town in a cardboard box jail", when in fact cardboard was not invented until 1890 in Germany, which would be far after the time period of this film. See more »
As with many westerns at the time the UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to reduce facial closeups during the opening lynching and to edit Cooper's fight with Miller. Later video/DVD releases were intact. See more »
Big Clint's first film outside of Serigo Leone's sensational Dollars trilogy is none other than...a Western. Hang 'Em High is a rather overlooked entry in Clint's long and impressive film wagon, even though it is a serious, no-nonsense and modest look at crime and punishment and a subtle dig at the injustice system, which was somewhat forgotten by his critics who emphasized that he was a symbol of violence, especially in the Dollars trilogy and the Dirty Harry series.
Clint plays an ex-lawman who picks up a new badge after he is almost killed by a group of men who hang him and leave him for dead. He then embarks on a mission to hunt them down one-by-one and hand them over to the law.
Ted Post's watchable Western drama is definitely a refreshing break from most other 'revenge' movies. Instead of cold-blooded vengeance, the script decides to display Clint's character, though still as the cold, silent anti-hero, as a more peaceful person who would truly like to see men behind bars rather than shooting them down. The film also keeps it grip, rarely letting a boring moment crawl in even though this is more talk than action.
Its not a perfect, polished or particularly great film - the characterization always stays pretty low and the romance between Clint and the charming Inger Stevens isn't fully developed, for instance. However, it has its highlights - a memorable opening sequence and an effective musical score - along with its notable touch for seeing justice rather than violence and killing. A good effort that's worth watching and not ignoring.
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