6.7/10
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13 user 9 critic

The Hangman (1959)

Not Rated | | Western | 17 June 1959 (USA)
U.S. Marshal Bovard comes to a small border town to identify and arrest a fugitive, but the whole town seems determined to prevent the Marshal from doing his job.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Dudley Nichols, Luke Short (story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Mackenzie Bovard
Tina Louise ... Selah Jennison
Fess Parker ... Sheriff Buck Weston
Jack Lord ... Johnny Bishop
Gene Evans ... Big Murph Murphy
Mickey Shaughnessy ... Al Cruse
Shirley Harmer Shirley Harmer ... Kitty Bishop
James Westerfield ... Herb Loftus
Mabel Albertson ... Amy Hopkins
Jose Gonzales-Gonzales Jose Gonzales-Gonzales ... Pedro Alonso
Betty Lynn ... Molly - Waitress
Lorne Greene ... Marshal Clum Cummings
Richard Collier Richard Collier ... Hotel Clerk
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Storyline

A marshal nicknamed "The Hangman" because of his track record in hunting down and capturing wanted criminals traces a robbery suspect to a small town. However, the man is known and liked in the town, and the citizens band together to try to help him avoid capture. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the cheap intimacy of that hotel room she was going to find out if the marshal was human - and why they'd hung the hated name of hangman around his neck ... like a noose ! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Henker See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As his primary job is tracking down outlaws often without revealing his true profession, Deputy Marshal Bovard (Robert Taylor) doesn't wear his badge, but always carries it in his pocket. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Drama in the West
18 March 2012 | by drystyxSee all my reviews

This isn't your typical Western, but it isn't exactly "atypical" either.

This is actually more of a drama that just happens to be set in the West.

In other words, you could put this on a stage in front of a live audience, and probably get the same production.

And that's generally pretty good.

We have a story line that really isn't the story line.

The surface plot is Robert Taylor as a cynic who is trying to identify the fourth man in a robbery, a man we know early on played a very minor role, if any. The man is sentenced to be hanged.

He finds that people don't want to identify the man, Jack Lord with blond hair. It's much like "The Spy Who Loved Me" in that it is a quest to have a man killed who probably doesn't deserve it.

That's just the surface plot. In essence, Lord becomes the fourth character. The real plot is the romantic subplot that lays beneath the surface.

The woman in the triangle finds herself in emotional turmoil over betraying Jack Lord's character to the law, which is represented by Taylor and Fess Parker.

Parker is the younger, striking man who immediately sets out to make her his wife. Taylor is the older man who sets out to understand her and have a relationship.

In this, we have a switch. The younger man becomes the solid, steady force, and strangely devoid of romance. He is a tall, handsome, affable fellow. What women call "a catch" in public, but in practice, they just can't find what the all "chemistry" with.

Taylor's character, meanwhile, is full of charged emotion. While Fess is a "Earth", Robert is "fire".

The story becomes the story of female romanticism. It is a very credible depiction, whether we like it or not.

It isn't what I call a "great Western", but perhaps I judge it on the standards of usual action. It is actually a drama, one of those stage dramas that focus on a subject. It isn't dull, and the characters are three dimensional, like most golden age Westerns. It's very watchable.


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