Hang ‘Em High (1968) – A Movie Review

Clint Eastwood stars as Jed Cooper, a former law man who is mistaken for a rustler and murderer by a posse and is hanged.  A U.S. Marshall comes upon him and cuts him down in time to save his life.  The Marshall brings Cooper in and his story is corroborated.  And the local judge Adam Fenton offers him a job as a Marshall with warrants for the arrest of the men who hanged him.

The rest of the movie revolves around Cooper’s attempts to bring the eleven men who hanged him to justice.  In the interim there is a love story between Cooper and Inger Stevens who plays a store owner named Rachel Warren who was also the victim of violence.  Ed Begley, Bruce Dern, Alan Hale, Jr and Dennis Hopper appear as members of the posse in supporting roles.  But this is Eastwood’s movie.

I found some parts of the story were overly drawn out and dragged.  The action scenes were good.  In addition to Eastwood, I would say Pat Hingle who played the judge was the most interesting character.  Overall, I enjoyed the movie.  But I am a western fan.

So, what’s the verdict?  As a specimen of the “new western” this is a good representative.  If you’re a western fan I think you’ll like this film.  If you’ve never seen a western it might seem stilted and slow.  I enjoyed it within the limitations I mentioned.