HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Hang 'em High Give 'em Enough Rope
Year: 1968
Director: Ted Post
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Ed Begley, Pat Hingle, Ben Johnson, Charles McGraw, Ruth White, Bruce Dern, Alan Hale Jr, Arlene Golonka, James Westerfield, Dennis Hopper, L.Q. Jones, Michael O'Sullivan, Joseph Sirola, James McArthur, Bob Steele
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 4 votes)
Review: In Oklahoma and the Indian Territory, Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) has just bought cattle from a rancher, and is planning to leave behind his previous occupation as a lawman to raise them, but as he has just traversed a river he notices a posse approaching from the other side. Soon they have surrounded him and are quizzing him about where he got the cattle; he explains that he has recently purchased them, but when they tell him that the man he thought he had made the sale from is now dead - murdered - Jed knows he is in trouble. Swiftly, the posse becomes a lynch mob, and hang him from the nearest tree...

Well, that was a short film - oh, wait, Jed's still alive and the passing lawman Ben Johnson cuts him down and takes him into town, where our story begins proper. It's impossible to talk about Hang 'em High without mentioning Sergio Leone, for this was the first Western that Eastwood made after his association with the Italian director had made him an international movie star. Produced by his own Malpaso company, it's plain to see that he was taking no chances and had instructed Ted Post at the helm to make this resemble the now popular Spaghetti Westerns as closely as possible, although perhaps not so closely in plot.

You could tell that this was an American film, not only because of its cast, but because it did not quite have that European flavour that fans of the movies created across the Pond would recognise: for a start, it had more of an American social conscience. The script by producer Leonard Freeman and Mel Goldberg had something to say about capital punishment, starting with Eastwood's character being unjustly executed (sort of), and continuing in that vein for other characters as well. It acknowledges that sometimes the wrong people suffer for the crimes of others, although it's not entirely on the side of the abolitionists as there are those in this who fully deserve some kind of legal discipline.

Whether that should be actual death is left up to the viewer to decide, but there's no doubt there was a liberal texture to Hang 'em High. Once Jed has been exonerated and the local judge, Fenton (Pat Hingle), decides that someone should pay for what happened to him, Jed agrees to turn deputy once more and help to track down the men who tried to kill him. Fenton has a vested interest in justice arriving in this territory because he wants it to be civilised enough to be accepted into the United States, and the tension between the brutality he doles out to ensure this is the case and the more measured authority that a less rough society would need to implement gives more fuel to the capital punishment debate.

Eastwood here isn't quite doing his Man With No Name mark two performance, and presumably hoped to be offering a little more depth to the usual gunfighter shenanigans that he had made his name with. He does pretty well, although even here the role isn't exactly stretching his range, and he gets to perform love scenes with another character looking for justice, the gang rape victim Rachel Warren (the tragically short-lived Inger Stevens) to superfluously soften up his tough guy image. Certainly Jed has more conscience than almost anyone else in the film, and later his attempts to get a couple of teenage boys who may have been rustlers but were not murderers freed see them both hanged, which is equated with the lynchers ambushing Jed and leaving him for dead. But with the issues not as clear cut as the filmmakers would like, the film does seem confused, so it's no wonder it is recalled mainly for being the Leone-Eastwood Western that wasn't. Music by Dominic Frontiere.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5495 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Ted Post  (1918 - 2013)

American television director who made a few films, mostly in the 1970s. They include Hang 'em High, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Magnum Force, trash favourite The Baby, The Harrad Experiment, Go Tell The Spartans and Good Guys Wear Black.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: