The Hangman is a stock western with a thin plot and cardboard characters, about a rigid, U.S. Marshal. Mackenzie Bovard (Robert Taylor) takes his job working for the federal government very seriously, and when he goes out to get the riff-raff that defy the laws of the land, he finds them and hangs them. This one-two punch does not sit well with a local community when he comes into their midst to pick up Johnny Bishop (Jack Lord). Johnny has turned himself around and is not only supported by his friends and neighbors, but also by the sheriff (Fess Parker). For the first time in his career, Mackenzie is faced with a serious challenge to his method of justice.