The Hangman

The Hangman (1959-06-17)

Action | Adventure | Thriller | Western |

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 87m
  • Popularity: 3.154
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $0
  • Revenue: $0
  • Vote Average: 5.8
  • Vote Count: 17

  • John Chard

    Marshal Mac Bovard - The Hangman. 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

  • Wuchak

    _**Town-bound B&W Western with Robert Taylor and Ginger**_ An uncompromising marshal known as ‘the Hangman’ (Robert Taylor) rides into a town to apprehend a suspect (Jack Lord), but needs a witness to identify him and so enlists a struggling young woman (Tina Louise). Fess Parker plays the sheriff of the town. While "The Hangman" (1959) is a town-bound Western and hindered by the flat B&W photography, the story is good, which is the most important part. You get to know the characters and the film leaves you with a good feeling. Tina Louise was only 23 during shooting (almost 24) and looks great, not to mention a convincing actress. Five or six years later she would start her 3-year run in Gilligan’s Island. Shirley Harmer is also notable on the feminine front as Kitty, the wife of Johnny Bishop. If you like Robert Taylor, be sure to check him out in the eponymous role of “The Law and Jake Wade” (1958), a standout 50’s Western. The movie is short & sweet at 1 hour, 26 minutes, and was shot at Old Tucson, Arizona, and Paramount Studios & Ranch, California. GRADE: B/B-