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Elijah Robinson
Elijah Robinson

Hang 'em High [UPD]

In Oklahoma Territory in 1889, retired lawman Jed Cooper is surrounded by a posse of nine men: Captain Wilson, Reno, Miller, Jenkins, Stone, Maddow, Tommy, Loomis, and Charlie Blackfoot. They demand the receipt for the cattle Cooper is driving. The cattle seller is a robber who killed the rancher. Cooper explains that he knew nothing about the murder, but only Jenkins expresses doubts about his guilt. After Reno takes Cooper's horse and saddle and Miller takes his wallet, the men hang him from a tree and ride away.

Hang 'em High

While picking up a prisoner, Cooper sees his horse and saddle in front of a local saloon. He finds Reno inside and tries to arrest him, but Reno draws on him, forcing Cooper to gun him down. Jenkins, learning of Reno's death at the hands of a marshal with a hanging scar, turns himself in and provides the names of the rest of the posse. Cooper finds Stone in the town of Red Creek, arrests him, and has the local sheriff, Ray Calhoun, put him in jail. Most of the men Cooper seeks are respected citizens of Red Creek, but Calhoun honors Cooper's warrants for their arrest.

Fenton sentences the three rustlers to be hanged, despite Cooper's defense of the teenagers. Fenton insists that the public will resort to lynching if they see rustlers going unpunished, threatening Oklahoma's bid for statehood. Some time later, Calhoun arrives at Fort Grant and offers to pay Cooper for his lost cattle with money from Captain Wilson and the other lynchers. Cooper makes it clear that while they are alive he still intends to arrest them. With the bribe rejected, Blackfoot and Maddow flee, while Tommy and Loomis remain loyal to Wilson and agree to help him kill Cooper.

During a public hanging for Miller, the brothers, and three other men, the lynchers ambush Cooper in a brothel, seriously wounding him. Cooper survives and is slowly nursed back to health by a widow, Rachel Warren. Rachel reveals she is hunting for the outlaws who killed her husband and raped her. She and Cooper begin an affair; he says that she might never find her rapists. Cooper tries to resign, but Judge Fenton gives him the location of Wilson's ranch, where Wilson, Tommy, and Loomis are hiding.

After returning to Fort Grant, Cooper hands in his marshal's star and demands that Fenton sign a pardon for Jenkins, who is both contrite and seriously ill. The two men debate the merits of territorial justice. Fenton insists that he is doing as well as he can, cursing the fact that his is the only court in the territory with little recourse for plaintiffs; and tells Cooper that if he disagrees with him, the best thing he can do is to help Oklahoma become a state (and thus get proper courts) by continuing to serve as a U.S. marshal. Cooper takes back his star in exchange for Jenkins' release. Fenton then gives Cooper fresh warrants for Blackfoot and Maddow, telling him, "The law still wants 'em."

Eastwood spent much of late 1966 and 1967 dubbing for the English-language version of the Dollars Trilogy and being interviewed, something which left him feeling angry and frustrated.[3] Stardom brought more roles in the "tough guy" mould, and Irving Leonard, his business manager, gave him a script to a new film, the American revisionist Western Hang 'Em High, a cross between Rawhide and Leone's westerns, written by Mel Goldberg and produced by Leonard Freeman.[3] However, the William Morris Agency had wanted him to star in a bigger picture, Mackenna's Gold, with a cast of notable actors such as Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, and Telly Savalas. Eastwood, however, did not approve and preferred the script for Hang 'Em High, but had one complaint which he voiced to the producers: the scene before the six-man hanging, where the hero is attacked by the enemies. Eastwood believed that the scene would not be believable if set in a saloon. They eventually agreed to introduce a scene with Cooper taking a prostitute upstairs during the hanging, and having the attack take place afterwards as Eastwood enters the bordello's bar.[4] Eastwood signed for the film with a salary of $400,000 and 25% of the net earnings of the film, playing the character of Jed Cooper, a man accused by vigilantes of a rancher's murder, lynched and left for dead, who later seeks revenge.[1][2][4]

Although the film is purportedly set in Oklahoma Territory, Freeman arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on May 25, 1967, to scout locations. That same day, Freeman located the tree to be used for the hanging in the opening scene, about 12 miles north of Las Cruces.[9] Filming began June 27, 1967, in the Las Cruces area, with additional scenes shot at White Sands.[7][9] The interiors were shot at MGM studios.[1][10] The opening lynching scene was filmed June 29, 1967, next to the Rio Grande.[1][9] The tree used for the hanging is no longer standing and the riverbed is now overgrown with thick brush.[9] Eastwood had considerable leeway in the production, especially in the script, which was altered in parts such as the dialogue and setting of the barroom scene to his liking.[11]

As was the case with the Italian Westerns, "Hang 'em High" is a revenge story. Eastwood is strung up by a lynching mob, led by Begley. But he's cut down and vows to revenge himself. The friendly hanging judge of the nearby town (Pat Hingle) pins a badge on Eastwood, and he dutifully, sets out to gather enough scabs, scars, blisters and rope burns to satisfy the sado-masochistic standards set by Leone.

United Artists promoted Hang 'Em High with a great ad-line: "They made two mistakes. They hung the wrong man and they didn't finish the job!" But the film is more than just a mere revenge thriller. It skillfully addresses the pros and cons of capital punishment and law enforcement in the context of a Western, not unlike William Wyler's The Ox-Bow Incident (1943). Hang 'Em High was filmed at MGM Studios and on location at the White Sands National Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Eastwood insisted on doing his own stunts for the film and for one scene he let himself be dragged across the Rio Grande by a rope tied around his neck. For the most part, the actual shooting went smoothly except for a momentary clash between Eastwood's partner on the film, producer Leonard Freeman (He created the TV series, Hawaii Five-O), and director Ted Post. In Clint Eastwood by Richard Schnickel, the director recalled that Freeman showed up on the set, "with the Cecil B. DeMille boots and the riding crop, banging the crop against the leather, going on the set and changing things." When Post complained to Eastwood, the actor took Freeman aside and told him to stay off the set or the entire cast and crew would refuse to work. On a visual level, Hang 'Em High is particularly impressive. Ted Post, a television director who had worked with Eastwood previously on the TV series Rawhide, was obviously influenced by the Westerns of Sergio Leone but he adds his own embellishments. His quick push-in on faces for bold close-ups and frenetic editing techniques are all calculated to unsettle the viewer. The brooding mood and sense of menace is also accented by the derelict buildings, the swirling dust, the noise of the wind on the soundtrack and the tumbleweeds blowing around in the street. Dominic Frontiere's music is also terrific, integrating some spaghetti western-style touches (including a church organ) into the arrangements. And the supporting cast is outstanding, particularly veteran character actor Ed Begley as the villainous leader of the posse, Bruce Dern as a taunting vigilante ("You ain't never gonna get me back to town alive, boy") and Pat Hingle as the self-righteous hanging judge. Hingle would go on to work with Eastwood on two more features - The Gauntlet (1977) and Sudden Impact (1983).Hang 'Em High is also notable for being Clint Eastwood's first assignment as a producer. Having formed Malpaso (it means "bad step" in Spanish and Eastwood liked the irony in the phrase) Productions with his friend Leonard Freeman as a loan out company to help struggling independent filmmakers, Eastwood never dreamed it would develop into a full-scale production house. Yet with the modest commercial success of Hang 'Em High and with United Artists agreeing to act as Malpaso's distributor for future projects, Eastwood would soon find himself as one of Hollywood's key players and most durable stars in the decades to come.Producer: Leonard Freeman Director: Ted PostScreenplay: Leonard Freeman, Mel GoldbergArt Direction: John B. GoodmanCinematography: Richard H. Kline, Leonard J. SouthCostume Design: Gene Murray, Glenn WrightFilm Editing: Gene Fowler, Jr.Original Music: Dominic FrontierePrincipal Cast: Clint Eastwood (Jed Cooper), Inger Stevens (Rachel), Ed Begley (Capt. Wilson), Pat Hingle (Judge Adam Fenton), Ben Johnson (Marshal Dave Bliss), Charles McGraw (Sheriff Ray Calhoun), Ruth White (Madame "Peaches" Sophie), Bruce Dern (Miller), Alan Hale, Jr. (Matt Stone), Dennis Hopper (The Prophet), L.Q. Jones (M. Loomis).C-115m. Letterboxed. Closed Michael T. Toole

1. Hang the hoist by S-hook located at top of hoist.2. Let system hang freely with ratchet at bottom and pulley in the middle.3. Attach object to be hoisted onto the hook on the Rope Ratchet.4. Pull the free end of 3/8 rope to raise the item.5. Hoist automatically locks into position as you pull the rope so there is no need to tie-off the end.

In the untamed Oklahoma territory of the 1800s, Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) is a former lawman from Missouri, trying to start a new career as a rancher. He's mistaken by a vigilante citizen mob for a murderous cattle thief and, with no trial, is actually hung from a tree, but the area's legitimate sheriff rescues him at the last minute. Jed is officially exonerated by Judge Fenton (Pat Hingle), a notorious "hanging judge," who invites Jed to work for him as a deputy marshall patrolling a vast frontier plagued by bushwackers and bandits. Jed accepts, mainly because he wants to arrest the civilians who lynched him (one of the guilty is played by none other than Alan Hale Jr., "Skipper" from Gilligan's Island). Jed's heroics help fill Fenton's dungeon with enough suspects -- including teenage boys -- for the town to plan a mass-execution hanging, in a tasteless carnival atmosphere. Marshall Cooper starts to doubt his job, and wonders if Judge Fenton is just as bad as the vigilantes. 041b061a72


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