Friday, March 1, 2013

Hang 'Em High (1968)

Clint Eastwood (Non-Spaghetti) Western #1 (Please click the links to read my reviews of Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and High Plains Drifter)

Synopsis: Clint Eastwood gets a bit tied up.

Blurb From the DVD Jacket: "They riddled him with bullets. They strung him up. They left him to die. But they made two fatal mistakes: they hanged the wrong man... and they didn't finish the job."

What Did I Learn?: Spending the night in a local brothel is the perfect cure for multiple bullet wounds. 2) If you hang an innocent man on your own initiative, and he somehow survives, $800 isn’t going to cut it as an apology gift.

You Might Like This Movie If: You figure it’s probably the prequel to Fast Times At Ridgemont High (I wanted to use this clip in my last review, by the way).

Really?: 1) See “What Did I Learn?” 2) Is Jed Cooper (Eastwood) completely indestructible? He not only survives getting shot a bunch of times, but getting hanged as well. 3) Um, what’s the point of Dennis Hopper’s cameo as “The Prophet”? He’s on for about five minutes before Marshal Dave Bliss (whose character is never developed, and he dies off-screen near the end) shoots him in the back? It’s a complete waste of time right at the beginning when Clint is stuck in the prisoner wagon.

Rating: Hang ‘Em High is a generally enjoyable Western with a powerful message about the barbarity of capital punishment. Still, the film could use a better/tighter first act (it takes a LOOOOOONG time before Clint gets out of jail and pins the Marshal’s badge on his chest) and the romance between Jed and Rachel Warren (Inger Stevens) seems tacked on and pointless. 6.5/10 stars.

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