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Hang 'Em High (1968)

When an innocent man barely survives a lynching, he returns as a lawman determined to bring the vigilantes to justice.

Director:

Ted Post
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2,564 ( 311)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Marshal Jed Cooper
Inger Stevens ... Rachel Warren
Ed Begley ... Captain Wilson
Pat Hingle ... Judge Fenton
Ben Johnson ... Marshal Dave Bliss
Charles McGraw ... Sheriff Ray Calhoun
Ruth White ... Madame 'Peaches' Sophie
Bruce Dern ... Miller
Alan Hale Jr. ... Matt Stone
Arlene Golonka ... Jennifer
James Westerfield ... Prisoner
Dennis Hopper ... The Prophet
L.Q. Jones ... Loomis
Michael O'Sullivan ... Francis Elroy Duffy
Joseph Sirola ... Reno
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 August 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hängt ihn höher See more »

Filming Locations:

Dona Ana, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$16,900,000, 31 December 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Goldberg and Leonard Freeman were first told that Clint Walker was cast in the lead but were severely disappointed when they were informed that it was actually Clint "Easterwood." Needless to say it worked out better than if it had been Clint Walker. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady
Music by Thomas Hastings
Sung by crowd before mass hanging
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting Commentary on the Criminal Justice System
15 January 1999 | by sboxSee all my reviews

Eastwood, as Jed Cooper, sits on both sides of the fence in American criminal jurisprudence. First, he is hung (although they didn't get the job done) in a deputized mob lynching. After he recuperates (the first time), he returns to his career as lawman to help a "hangin' judge" grease the wheels of justice. Of course all that Cooper really wants is to see justice done to the mob that lynched him. He soon finds out that his transgressors were "men of the community" or leading town folk.

The irony is plentiful in this film. For example, the two young men who go peacefully in an impossible 3 day ride, submit completely to the new Marshall. How are they rewarded? Well, they are hung of course! This really sets the tone of the film. The audience quickly recognizes that the "hangin' judge" just might me a bit too effective in his role of "statemaker."

While the movie does get a bit tedious, the story is razor sharp, the soundtrack is good although a bit epic, and the acting is very well done.

One is left with a sympathy for the men Cooper is hunting. Of course, this is a deliberate result of the filmmakers who meant this to be a commentary on capital punishment. Well, I enjoyed the film despite the deeply woven propaganda.


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