Hang 'em High

Hang 'em High

4.4 7
Director: Ted Post

Cast: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Ed Begley Sr.

     
 

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Hang 'Em High was Clint Eastwood's first American Western, and if perhaps only a middling film in its own right, it certainly has historical significance for students of the genre. Although not without merit, MGM's DVD does not really exploit Hang 'Em High's potential. The picture quality is excellent, particularly for a film made in the '60s, with the

Overview

Hang 'Em High was Clint Eastwood's first American Western, and if perhaps only a middling film in its own right, it certainly has historical significance for students of the genre. Although not without merit, MGM's DVD does not really exploit Hang 'Em High's potential. The picture quality is excellent, particularly for a film made in the '60s, with the anamorphic widescreen transfer illustrating exactly how good Westerns can look for home viewing. Unfortunately the sound quality is very poor for DVD, and even the best home audio equipment available will be unlikely to make it any better. The extra features are minimal, extending only to the original theatrical trailer. This DVD does at least come with an eight-page booklet detailing the film's production, but it is a mystery as to why more material could not have been put on the disc itself. Given Clint Eastwood's enormous following, any kind of background on Hang 'Em High would have been valuable. Though this disc will probably be satisfactory to fans of Eastwood and of Westerns generally, it really could and should have been somewhat better.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
When Hang 'em High first appeared, it was dismissed by many critics as a pale shadow of the Italian-made Westerns that Clint Eastwood had made with director Sergio Leone during the mid-'60s. In fact, the movie offered far more than was perceived by most reviewers, and a range of virtues that set it apart from the Leone films. Eastwood's portrayal of Jed Cooper, for a start, was a surprisingly subtle and complex performance, displaying a range of varied and conflicted emotions just below the surface that made his character far more fully developed than any of his prior portrayals. Pat Hingle was equally important to the movie's success, bringing a deep and serious interpretive talent to the part of Judge Adam Fenton. He was based on the real-life figure of Isaac Charles Parker (1838-1896), the judge in charge of the U.S. Court for the Western District of Arkansas, based in Fort Smith. In his 21 years on that bench, Parker issued 160 death sentences, resulting in 79 executions. His first week at Fort Smith resulted in rulings leading to a six-man hanging, very much like the one depicted in Hang 'em High, complete with a huge crowd of on-lookers, hymn-singing, and prayers, as well as massive press coverage. Eastwood and Hingle's scenes together are so good that one just wants to replay them, though Hingle's greater experience does show his performance coming from a much deeper place inside of himself than Eastwood's. They get extraordinary support by a uniformly good cast: Dennis Hopper, barely recognizable as a lunatic called "The Prophet", who dies in the opening minutes of the film; James Westerfield in a wryly ironic portrayal of a doomed prisoner; Bob Steele as the conscience-stricken Jenkins; Bruce Dern as the manipulative and bloodthirsty Miller; James MacArthur as the preacher, leading the prayers and hymns at the mass-hanging; Bert Freed as Schmidt, the taciturn hangman; Ben Johnson as Bliss, Fenton's best deputy marshal; and Michael O'Sullivan as the hapless murderer Francis Duffy, leaving this earth after giving a mournful speech, in the kind of scene that could make a career. Director Ted Post pulls all of these elements together into a graceful, compelling, spellbinding whole that's as much a serious drama as a Western, and as much an epic about the settling of the west. Very much in the manner of The Wild Bunch and William S. Hart's Tumbleweeds, among other classics of the genre, it is a personal, character-driven tale of revenge. Eastwood would make more artful and ambitious Westerns in the '70s and beyond, but Hang 'em High -- which was co-produced by his fledgling company, Malpaso -- was an exceptional beginning and his best work in the genre up to that time.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/19/1997
UPC:
0027616673022
Original Release:
1968
Rating:
PG
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[monaural]
Time:
1:55:00
Sales rank:
9,581

Special Features

Full-length feature in both standard and widescreen version; English and French tracks; English, French, and Spanish subtitles; English captioning; Scene selections; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Clint Eastwood Jed Cooper
Inger Stevens Rachel
Ed Begley Capt. Wilson
Pat Hingle Judge Adam Fenton
Arlene Golonka Jennifer
Ben Johnson Sheriff Dave Bliss
Tod Andrews Defense Attorney
Richard Angarola Actor
Larry Blake Actor
Barry Cahill Actor
Bruce Dern Miller
Herb Ellis Actor
Hal England Actor
Bert Freed Schmidt the Hangman
Jack Ging Marshall Hayes
Roy E. Glenn Guard
Richard Guizon Actor
Alan Hale Stone
Dennis Hopper The Prophet
L.Q. Jones Loomis
Robert Earl Jones Actor
Mark Lenard Actor
Jonathan Lippe Actor
James MacArthur Preacher
Charles McGraw Actor
Michael O'Sullivan Francis Duffy
Ned Romero Actor
Bruce Scott Billy Joe
Joseph Sirola Actor
Paul Sorenson Actor
Bob Steele Jenkins
Ted Thorpe Actor
Russell Thorson Mr. Maddow
James Westerfield Prisoner
Ruth White Madam Peaches Sophie
Robert B. Williams Actor
Rick Gates Ben
Dennis Dengate Actor
John Wesley Actor
Bill Zuckert Actor

Technical Credits
Ted Post Director
Bill Brame Editor
John Capter Musical Direction/Supervision
Gene Fowler Editor
Leonard Freeman Producer,Screenwriter
Dominic Frontiere Score Composer
Mel Goldberg Screenwriter
John B. Goodman Art Director
Richard H. Kline Cinematographer
Arthur Krams Set Decoration/Design
Gene Murray Costumes/Costume Designer
Leonard Sough Cinematographer
Leonard J. South Cinematographer
George Swartz Special Effects
Glen Wright Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Scene Selections
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos/Opening [2:16]
2. "Hang Him!" [6:33]
3. Main Titles/Saved? [6:01]
4. "He's Plum Loco!" [4:31]
5. The Tumbleweed Wagon [3:34]
6. Home Not Sweet Home [2:18]
7. Free To Go/Dead Gone [3:49]
8. Badge For Hire [2:19]
9. Picking Up The Swede [1:40]
10. Reno Takes A Fall [5:05]
11. The Stool Pigeon [1:25]
12. Bagging A Blacksmith [3:01]
13. Sidetracked Lawman [2:30]
14. Leave It To The Law [2:27]
15. "We Guilty As Hell!" [2:53]
16. Foiled Rope Trick [6:32]
17. "The Best There Is!" [1:10]
18. Breakfast In Bed [5:30]
19. Looking 'Em Over [1:03]
20. Courtroom Justice? [2:53]
21. Payoff Ploy [2:37]
22. Turncoats [3:32]
23. The Hanging Circus [2:18]
24. Hanging Hymnals [4:50]
25. Frustrated Friends [1:06]
26. Last Rites/ Speeches [5:03]
27. "Holey" Lawman [3:46]
28. Rachel Tells All [5:05]
29. Storm & Shelter [3:31]
30. So Long, Sweetheart [1:47]
31. Treed, Trapped, Hanged [7:49]
32. Quitting & Rejoining [5:34]
Side #2 -- STANDARD
0. Scene Selections
1. Logos/ Opening [2:16]
2. "Hang Him!" [6:33]
3. Main Titles/ Saved? [6:01]
4. "He's Plum Loco!" [4:31]
5. The Tumbleweed Wagon [3:34]
6. Home Not Sweet Home [2:18]
7. Free To Go/ Dead Gone [3:49]
8. Badge For Hire [2:19]
9. Picking Up The Swede [1:40]
10. Reno Takes A Fall [5:05]
11. The Stool Pigeon [1:25]
12. Bagging A Blacksmith [3:01]
13. Sidetracked Lawman [2:30]
14. Leave It To The Law [2:27]
15. "We Guilty As Hell!" [2:53]
16. Foiled Rope Trick [6:32]
17. "The Best There Is!" [1:10]
18. Breakfast In Bed [5:30]
19. Looking 'Em Over [1:03]
20. Courtroom Justice? [2:53]
21. Payoff Ploy [2:37]
22. Turncoats [3:32]
23. The Hanging Circus [2:18]
24. Hanging Hymnals [4:50]
25. Frustratee Friends [1:06]
26. Last Rites/ Speeches [5:03]
27. "Holey" Lawman [3:46]
28. Rachel Tells All [5:05]
29. Storm & Shelter [3:31]
30. So Long, Sweetheart [1:47]
31. Treed, Trapped, Hanged [7:49]
32. Quitting & Rejoining [5:34]

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Hang 'em High 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
tennisbabe38 More than 1 year ago
Wild western movie, but not like blazing saddles.
aunt-mimi More than 1 year ago
All ready own other Clint Eastwood westerns. Got my 13 yr. old son loving these westerns. This one was a little more boring for him (and me) than the other ones I have. Bought this because he was playing the music in band class and he wanted to see it. All though this one was not bad, I still like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" better. Will just add this to my collection.
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