In 1873, on the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil and has a mysterious past but nobody gives attention to his words. Soon the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Tom Flaunce mentions to Rune that Doc Frail's house was on a bluff where the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers meet. That whole geographical area is too low and flat for a bluff to possibly exist. See more »
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail:
[Trying to be encouraging to Elizabeth as she opens her eyes for the first time]
If you open your eyes and look, you'll see things for what they are. Now, I'm gonna leave you here. You're standing on the edge of a cliff. I don't advise you to go through life with your eyes closed.
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¨Hanging tree¨ results to be a good western set in a gold-mining camp and remains consistently agreeable and attractive . Set in Montana , 1873 , it takes place at a mining village called Skull Creek where arrives a frontier doctor named Joseph Frain (Gary Cooper as a good guy , as usual , being last western Gary Cooper starred in) . The doctor rescues a young thief named Rune (Ben Piazza) from a lynch mob . The doctor temporarily nurses and devotes his time to Elizabeth Mahler (Maria Schell) a strange girl . Unfortunately, however, the doctor with a dark past (it was left ambiguous whether the doctor had killed his unfaithful wife) may place his patient in considerable risk . The nasty (Karl Malden as a bad guy) attempts to rape Elizabeth but Cooper comes to his rescue . Later on , the townspeople took the doctor out to ¨The hanging tree¨ but this time is helped by his friends .
This first-rate but slow-paced Western draws its riveting tale and power from the interaction of finely drawn roles as well as drama and action . A fine and thought-provoking film in which Daves keeps straight face and magnificent control of rhythm in spite of some highly unlikely situations . Masterfully made and including excellent performances , breathtaking background shots and impeccable close-ups . ¨Hanging tree¨ which look a fairly and realist sighting at a mining camp . It stars genre stalwart Gary Cooper as a doctor-gambler-gunslinger who has a rather sinister past , he is a good professional treating a blind girl and saving a rogue thief . Maria Schell as blind woman is awesome too . Furthermore , George C Scott's screen debut as a fanatic preacher . Good adult Western with exciting battle of wits between an obstinate doctor , a beautiful blind woman and a nasty miner . This laid-back Western contains sensitive songs sung at the beginning and ending by Marty Robbing composed by Jerry Livingstone and written Marck Davis , being deservedly nominated for Oscar , in addition an emotive musical score by the classic Max Steiner . Colorful cinematography by Ted McCord , filmed in State of Washington nearly Yakime , where was expressly built a mining village . Well produced by Cooper and his Production Company called ¨Baroda¨ and some scenes were realized by Karl Malden by illness of Delmer Daves . ¨Hanging tree¨ turns out to be stylish, well paced , solid, meticulous and with enjoyable look . This perfectly acted movie is gripping every step of the way . Rating : Above average , worthwhile watching , still a memorable film
The motion picture was well directed by Delmer Daves - including his characteristic use of landscape- , though he fell ill during filming and Karl Malden took over for several days until Daves recovered. Daves was a Western expert for the reason he lived a long time of his boyhood with the Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes as he realized the notorious trail-blazing ¨Broken arrow¨ the first movie for many years not treat the Indians as cannon-fodder for the cavalry , which made the picture unpopular in some quarters . He went on directing the suspenseful ¨3:10 to Yuma¨, other pro-Indian as ¨The last wagon¨ and about Modoc Indians as ¨Drum beat¨ , the Shakespearian style of ¨Jubal¨ , ¨Return of the Texan¨ and ¨Cowboy¨ which a fairly spectacle about a long cattle drive . From 1959 Delmer Daves becomes embroiled for the remainder of his career with teenage love epics and very popular at the Box-office as ¨A summer place¨, ¨Parrish¨, ¨Susan Slade¨, and ¨Rome adventure¨, among others .
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