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The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Drama | 75 minutes
3,70 284 votes

Genre: Drama / Western

Duration: 75 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: William A. Wellman

Stars: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews and Mary Beth Hughes

IMDb score: 8,0 (25.101)

Releasedate: 4 December 1942

The Ox-Bow Incident plot

"Lynch law rules the mob!"

Two passers-by pass a western town. When news comes that a farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen, the townspeople join the passers-by and hunt down the culprits together. When they come across three men who own livestock together, they decide to put them to justice.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Gil Carter

Donald Martin

Rose Mapen/Rose Swanson

Juan Martínez/Francisco Morez

Jenny Grier

Judge Daniel Tyler

Maj. Tetley

Jeff Farnley

Gerald Tetley

Monty Smith

Reviews & comments


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avatar van Kiekerjan


  • 119 messages
  • 106 votes

Kind of courtroom drama in the middle of the wilderness. Initially a typical American western with a number of stock characters that never color outside the lines. Well written overall with a surprisingly dark ending. Possibly some hidden criticism of Nazi Germany (blindly following a 'strong' leader) or at least of the 'mob mentality' that characterizes such posses. I would have preferred to hear more arguments from both sides. Too little doubt is sown and the story has too many collapses where little or nothing happens. What the function of the woman is will also be a mystery to me. Good acting, interesting theme, rather monotonous and cheap decor. The overuse of Red River Valley is also starting to get on your nerves.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Bobbejaantje


  • 1915 messages
  • 1872 votes

Jet black atypical western that I watched in the first place because it is mentioned in a number of film noir lists. And I don't regret it. A compactly told story that magnifies the dark side of the human herd. Henry Fonda plays the anti-hero, as befits a noir, drunk, confused, until he clearly takes sides at the end of the film, but to no avail.. Lots of talk and little action, this film also has in common with the early noirs, and differs from the average western. The only thing that was perhaps still missing was pouring rain, but on the other hand there were already enough depressing elements present to suppress the atmosphere. It was mainly Dana Andrews who provided the (emotional) depth, placed in an unwinnable conflict situation. As for the criticism above of the side story with Mary Beth Hughes, I can see that it may not contribute much to the story on its own. Apart from highlighting Fonda's loser side on the one hand, and on the other hand, it contrasts with the film's finale, in which Fonda decides to visit Dana's widow and concern herself with her well-being. So there's an evolution taking place from friend of genteel girl to keeper of widows, which is probably important within certain American conservative circles then (and now).
To understand that this film is valued as heritage.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original