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13 user 10 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 ... 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

 
Marshal Mac Bovard - The Hangman.
25 August 2015 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Hangman is directed by Michael Curtiz and written by Dudley Nichols and Luke Short. It stars Robert Taylor, Tina Louise, Fess Parker and Jack Lord. Music is by Harry Sukman and cinematography by Loyal Griggs.

Marshal Bovard (Taylor) arrives in town to identify and arrest the last of four outlaws who robbed a Wells Fargo stage. Unfortunately for Bovard, the man he seeks is very popular with everyone in town and nobody is keen to help the Marshal do his job.

It is thought, and on reflection it seems likely, that The Hangman is a caustic jab at grassers/finks, with the Hollywood Blacklist never far from the film makers thoughts. Bovard is a grumpy and rough fellow, a jobs-worth who has almost zero faith in the human race. He's confident that the people of this border town wont take much persuading to give up an outlaw, more so as he has money to offer as well. How wrong he is, and the rest of the film follows Bovard as he bangs his head against brick walls, until the banging stops and a light-bulb lights up over his head, perhaps not all people are bad?

In truth not a lot happens, there's no action of note, this is more about morality, redemption, human foibles et al. Yet the literary aspects of the story hold tight, keeping the viewers engaged till the end. It's a very nice looking and sounding picture as well, the absence of airy vistas is not a hindrance as Curtiz and Griggs utilise the interiors for some psychological results that deftly suit the narrative's pointed edges. While the sound mix and musical accompaniments achieve the best results possible to aid the tale.

It's a strange one in that it's more a film in a Western setting than being overtly a Western, it's also a little subversive. It even throws something of an annoying curve ball at the finale, though the makers were probably chuckling away to themselves about this as well. Great and sexy turns from the lead actors sees the material safely onto a healthy grazing pasture, to make it a recommended picture to fans of the stars and of literary Oaters. 7/10


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