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Hang 'Em High (1968)

M | | Western | 3 August 1968 (USA)
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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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:

Hang 'Em High 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

Reportedly, producer Leonard Freeman clashed with director Ted Post during production. One day Freeman showed up on the set, issuing orders and taking charge. Post wanted to confront him, but Clint Eastwood intervened. Eastwood spoke to Freeman, and Freeman left the set and didn't return. What he said was, "If you show up on this set again, there won't be a set ... won't be a cast, won't be a crew." See more »

Goofs

When Jed shoots Reno in the saloon, you can see as he is beginning to fall there is no blood on his face. However as the shot goes away for a split second and comes back, there is considerable blood seen on his face as he hits the floor. 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

Referenced in Sin City (2005) 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

 
Worth Watching
13 August 2005 | by gottogorunningSee all my reviews

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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