The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Starring: Henry Fonda, Harry Morgan, Harry Davenport, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Frank Conroy, Marc Lawrence, Dana Andrews
Directed by: William Welman
Two drifters (Fonda and Morgan) reluctantly join a lynch-mob intent on capturing and punishing some cattle rustlers suspected of murdering a local farmer…..they find the cattle, but are the men in possession of them guilty? The lynch-mob splits into two distinct groups: 7 men who believe the men to be innocent and the rest, who wish to hang them on the spot.
A gripping western, packed to the rafters with cherished character actors and well-directed tension. Surprisingly, it is these character actors – rather than Fonda or Quinn – who steal the show here. In particular, the cold-blooded leader of the mob Major Tetley is played perfectly by Frank Conroy. Marc Lawrence’s pitted face glows eerily throughout, his character hell-bent on revenge; whilst Eythe’s cowardly portrayl of the major’s son is almost career defining. In addition, Harry Davenport’s part as Mr Davies, the mob’s conscious, is both heartfelt and endearing.The sum of all this is a cracking movie, which would be just as at home on the stage as on celluloid. Fonda and Quinn aren’t half bad either….
It may be old, but it’s still a movie which is of great value. A little gem (and a short one too, comming in at under 75mins).
hotdog rating: 7.5/10