The Hanged Man

Overview

Steve Forrest, in his last starring role before moving permanently to series television with S.W.A.T., plays James Devlin, a once-notorious gunman who is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Through an accident -- though the priest Father Alvaro Rafael Campos insists it was divine intervention -- he survives the hanging, barely, and is set free, a death certificate having been duly and lawfully issued by the doctor William Bryant who examined the "body." A near walking corpse, with an odd, dark ...
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Overview

Steve Forrest, in his last starring role before moving permanently to series television with S.W.A.T., plays James Devlin, a once-notorious gunman who is wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Through an accident -- though the priest Father Alvaro Rafael Campos insists it was divine intervention -- he survives the hanging, barely, and is set free, a death certificate having been duly and lawfully issued by the doctor William Bryant who examined the "body." A near walking corpse, with an odd, dark fire in his eyes and a strangely low body temperature and heartbeat, Devlin doesn't know what to do with the rest of his life, however long that may be -- he's got enemies still walking around who would like to finish the job, and neither the doctor nor the priest can tell him how long he might live. Having already reformed before he was convicted, he goes the rest of the way and decides to spend what time he's been given, and use the skills he still has as a gunman and soldier of fortune, on the side of the angels, helping people who need it. He quickly finds himself up to his neck in a deadly land war between an ambitious mining tycoon Cameron Mitchell and a young widow Sharon Acker for the property she owns.
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Special Features

Full screen presentation; Interactive menus
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Steve Forrest acquits himself amazingly well in this made-for-TV movie -- evidently the pilot for a proposed series that didn't sell -- in a role that was better suited to Clint Eastwood. Indeed, the plot of The Hanged Man owed a bit to Eastwood's first movie as a producer, Hang 'Em High, just as its script owed a huge amount to the spaghetti Westerns that made Eastwood famous. Forrest strikes a compelling pose as a man given a great gift -- or is it an unexpected burden -- through a seeming miracle. The best moment in the movie comes when the newly revived Devlin, having survived his own hanging but still unable to speak, trying to cope with the new situation of his still being alive, writes a note to the priest (Rafael Campos) asking, "What did Lazarus do with the rest of his life?" The cleric, desperation in his eyes, replies that the Bible doesn't tell us, and that he must find his own way. Will Geer adds some considerable interest to the second half of the movie as the partly demented hired hand to widowed landowner Sharon Acker. Her character is a little too much of a victim to be believable, though she also provides the story with its heart at the beginning when she tells her son that she opposes executions because they kill whatever good is in a man, along with the bad. Dean Jagger, William Bryant (who made a mini-career in the 1960s portraying Ulysses S. Grant on various shows, and here plays a dipsomaniac physician), and Hank Worden add color to the production, but the violence and setting of the denouement are the real jewels here. When Devlin launches his assault on the villain's smelting plant, it's a depiction of destruction on a scale of which Sergio Leone would have been proud; Devlin's pursuit of the villain, played by Cameron Mitchell, and duels with his gunmen in the smoky, steamy chaos of the smelting plant anticipate some of the visual elements of the ending of Terminator 2 -- and the end for Mitchell's character is pretty grisly for a television film of the era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/15/2008
  • UPC: 011301665041
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Timeless Media
  • Region Code: 0
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:13:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 63,558

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve Forrest James Devlin
Cameron Mitchell Lew Halleck
Sharon Acker Carrie Gault
Dean Jagger Josiah Lowe
Will Geer Nameless
Barbara Luna Soledad Villegas
Brendon Boone
Jane Seymour
William Bryant Dr. Lawrence Nye
Rafael Campos Father Alvaro
John Mitchum Eubie Turpin
Ray Teal Judge Homer Bayne
Hank Worden Ab Wickes
Technical Credits
Michael Caffey Director
Nick Archer Editor
Andrew J. Fenady Producer
Richard Markowitz Score Composer
Cathy O'Dell Art Director
Keith C. Smith Cinematographer
Ken Trevey Screenwriter
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Hanged Man
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