A town Marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find three men in possession of the cattle, and are determined to see justice done on the spot.Written by
David Levene <D.S.Levene@durham.ac.uk>
This film was completed in 1942, was copyrighted 19 November 1942 and premiered in St. Louis, Missouri 4 December 1942; the American Film Institute of Feature Films 1941-1950 erroneously gives 19 November 1943 as the copyright date, which is incorrect. See more »
Though the Mexican (Anthony Quinn) uses incorrect Spanish in responding "No sabe," his demeanor and his boast that he speaks 10 language suggest he does this deliberately to show derision toward the posse. See more »
This is only slightly any of your business, my friend. Remember that.
Hangin' is any man's business that's around.
See more »
At the end of the credits an ad for U.S. war savings bonds is shown on the screen. It says that "15,000 movie theatres are now selling U.S. war savings stamps and bonds! Buy yours in this theatre." See more »
It is said frequently that psychological or "adult" westerns -less action and more substance in the plots- appeared in the early 50's with films like "The Gunfighter" or "High Noon". However in my opinion, the "Ox-Bow Incident", of 1943, was the first real "adult western (the previous "Stagecoach", though an excellent product in the genre, still maintains the original standards).
Director William Wellman obtains here a fantastic grey and sort of sordid atmosphere to display a story of men taking justice by their own hand and making an unrepairable mistake. The final sequence at the saloon when Henry Fonda reads in a loud voice the letter to his wife left by one of the innocent men hanged is most disturbing but at the same time rewarding for us viewers who get the feeling that justice has been done: the executioners will have to live with their terrible crime in their consciences for the rest of their lives.
Fonda and Andrews are very good in their parts and the supporting cast is excellent mainly with the always accurate Jane Darwell and a young Anthony Quinn.
"The Ox-Bow Incident" stands as a little classic among westerns, or dramas if you prefer.
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