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Archive for December 6th, 2008

 oxbow2

by Allan Fish

the beginning of the 1940s countdown.  No 50 is actually To Be Or Not To Be, which I have covered already on WitD here – 

https://wondersinthedark.wordpress.com/2008/10/06/to-be-or-not-to-be/

 – so here’s no 49.

(USA 1943 75m) DVD1/2

Aka. The Strange Incident

God better have mercy on ya…

p  Lamar Trotti  d  William A.Wellman  w  Lamar Trotti  novel  Walter Van Tilburg Clark  ph  Arthur Miller  ed  Allen McNeil  m  Cyril Mockridge  art  Richard Day, James Basevi  cos  Earl Ruick

Henry Fonda (Gil Carter), Henry Morgan (Art Croft), Jane Darwell (Ma Grier), Harry Davenport (Arthur Davies), Dana Andrews (Donald Martin), Anthony Quinn (Juan Martines), Mary Beth Hughes (Rose Mapen), William Eythe (Gerald Tetley), Frank Conroy (Maj.Tetley), Matt Briggs (Judge Daniel Tyler), Paul Hurst, Francis Ford,

The Ox-Bow Incident is undoubtedly one of the most depressing films in this list, all the more so because there’s a certain inevitability about the proceedings.  Such small towns are a mainstay of westerns, but this is not primarily a western, it’s a lynch drama and, in spite of the merits of They Won’t Forget and Fury, it is categorically the best ever made, as well as the shortest.  Not a frame is wasted and each frame is full of a harsh beauty.

            Two men return to Ox-Bow, one of whom is returning to see his girl, only to find out that she has left for San Francisco earlier that year.  Disconsolate, he is awoken out of it by the shocking news of a murder which sends the town Sheriff out of town to search for the culprits.  However, the local townsfolk believe that three wandering cowhands, who have unfortunately no proof of sale for their steers, have stolen the steers and committed the murder, all because one of them has found the deceased’s gun.  (more…)

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