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Author Topic: Hang' Em High is highly underrated...  (Read 6791 times)
Moorman
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2019, 08:37:00 AM »

You know, when I read this thread my first thought was "Hang em high? Whatever!!" I really in my mind dismissed it, initially.

But when I REMEMBERED how impacting the movie was, I had to take a breath and respond to this.

As far as western movies go, Hang em High was a top five movie of ALL of them, even if I don't rate it a top five of Clint Eastwood westerns.

It humanized capital punishment, which was a scary thing. It is easy when you believe bad guys get what they deserve, its different when you hear someone whimpering in fear because the hood has been put over their head by the hangman.

Or the scene where the brother says goodbye to the other one before they are hung...JESUS that still gives me chills.


Thats regarding the message of the movie, getting into the gristle of the movie is a seperate critique.

This was really Clints first walk away from the "Man with no name" type character he was used to playing, and it was a little awkward for me seeing him that way. Clean shaven, highly moraled, non ambiguous. I didnt really think it was a character he was made to play. Quite a bit of his western personas arent about what you see, or what he says, its about what you DONT see and what he DOESNT say.
All of that to basically say, I wasnt really comfortable with Clint being the "white hat" good guy, even if he did play it well for the movie, it wasnt really..."him"...at least to me.


For me this movie was made by an outstanding supporting cast that took away the notion that you were watching Clint out of his element...and it was very well cast.


The storyline in itself is worth praise, high praise. That frontier justice was often very cruel and unjust, and that good people died at the hands of a madman judge, like real life judge Roy Bean who was called "The hanging judge" because that was his solution to everything, no matter how slight or small the infraction.


Clear message, challenging premise, moral dilemma, strong cast....definitely a GRADE A western, above many, IMO.

Very good write up.  It IS a impactful film.  I also agree its one of the better CAST Westerns.  One more thing.  You said that this is a western with Clint acting out of his normal bad guy element as a white hat.  I kinda disagree.  Though he played "bad" characters in the Leone films, he was still considered the hero or at least the least bad of the bad, lol.
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bdc28
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« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2021, 02:01:31 PM »

"Very good write up.  It IS a impactful film.  I also agree its one of the better CAST Westerns.  One more thing.  You said that this is a western with Clint acting out of his normal bad guy element as a white hat.  I kinda disagree.  Though he played "bad" characters in the Leone films, he was still considered the hero or at least the least bad of the bad, lol."

Hey Moorman,

You pointed out something I did not make clear, thanks for that, and sorry that I didnt.

I think in the regular "Western formula" there was a white hat (good guy) and the black hat (bad guy), and later even when they stopped the hat colors they still stuck with that formula. Its a proven one, one that still works to this day.

Clint, IMO, always operated as a "Grey hat", he was either BOTH or NEITHER "Good and bad". Alot of his actions could be construed as either.  I have often said that the title "THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY" was operational and rotational, you could make the case that any of those characters in different points in the movie, could change names from Good, to Bad, or Ugly.

Luckily, thanks to Clint, Hollywood realized that the "Grey hat" and morally questionable character is much more interesting to this day. Its why the Riddick (Vin Diesel) character is so interesting. From a writers viewpoint, Riddick is a child of the Man with No name. Manco cleared the way so that Riddick could exist, cinematically.
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2021, 04:57:46 PM »



 I have to agree with Matt. Though I like Hang' the romance with Stevens is kind of lame.. I actually thought Eastwood had better chemistry with the Arlene Golanka character. She even brought him breakfast in bed.....
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