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Author Topic: The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)  (Read 11331 times)
stanton
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« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2010, 05:43:39 AM »

Maybe, but I live in 2010.

Of course. And I didn't wanted to say that a film is better when this particular film was maybe unusual in its days.

Today it only counts what we still can see on the screen and not how people viewed it then. And how the film compares to modern films (that's if we like modern films).

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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2010, 06:35:52 AM »

Yeah, luckily for all of us, the situation around the globe drastically changed since this movie was made.
Huh? I didn't realize that lynchings were so popular in 1943. I don't know about around the globe, but if the statistics at this site are accurate (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html) there were 3 in the US that year. That's 3 too many, sure, and that's different from the way things are now (I'm pretty sure we haven't had any lynchings since the 60s), but would you say things have drastically changed since then? It's just a matter of categories. Last time I looked, people are still getting murdered, and miscarriages of justice still occur.

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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2010, 11:44:28 AM »

Huh? I didn't realize that lynchings were so popular in 1943. I don't know about around the globe, but if the statistics at this site are accurate (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/lynchingyear.html) there were 3 in the US that year. That's 3 too many, sure, and that's different from the way things are now (I'm pretty sure we haven't had any lynchings since the 60s), but would you say things have drastically changed since then? It's just a matter of categories. Last time I looked, people are still getting murdered, and miscarriages of justice still occur.

lol?

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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2011, 05:19:13 PM »

just saw this movie for the first time (rented the dvd from Netflix).

In high school, we had to do a book report on a historical novel, and I chose The Ox-Bow Incident. I didn't know jack about Westerns back then; I probably just chose it cuz it was very short, which was pretty much my entire criteria for choosing books for high school book reports  Wink

They did a good job with the movie. I certainly don't remember the book very well, but as I recall, there are a few points where the movie differed with the book (some of them are based on my recollection, for some of them, I relied on Wikipedia to refresh my memory):

SPOILER ALERT:

a) the book was written as a first-person account narrated by Art Croft (the character played by Harry Morgan). In the movie, his buddy Gil Carter -- played by Henry Fonda -- is the main character. Then again, I guess the narrator is often the sidekick, so once they were not going with a narration in the movie, it made sense to make Carter the main guy; after all, he is the hothead etc. and a far more interesting character than Croft. (Reminds me of eg. Stalag 17, which is narrated by a sidekick, though the William Holden character is the main guy).

b) As I recall, in the book, the narrator Croft voted in favor of the lynching (I did not see this point discussed anywhere; if anyone can confirm, I'd appreciate it); I don't recall how Gil voted in the book.

In in the book, when they take the vote, there were 5 who opposed the lynching; in the movie it's 7. So I wonder if indeed the difference is that in the book, Carter and Crofy voted in favor of the lynching, whereas in the movie, they opposed. Again, I am not sure sure about this point -- how Carter and Croft voted in the book -- and couldn't find it discussed online; if anyone can confirm I'd appreciate it.


c) In the movie, Tetley (the leader of the mob) locks his son out of the house; his son shouts at him telling him what he thinks of him, then Tetley shoots himself.

In the book, after Tetley locks his son out of the house, his son goes to the barn and hangs himself. When Tetley learns of his son's suicide, he commits suicide himself by falling on his sword.


d) In the movie, Carter brings the letter to Martin's widow (after the movie is over).

In the book, Drew (the rancher whose cattle had been rustled, and who had sold the cattle without a bill of sale to Martin) is asked by Davies to deliver the letter (along with a ring that Martin had asked Davies to also deliver ) to Martin's widow; Davis feels to guilty to face Martin's widow himself.

-------------------------------------------------------------

These are mostly minor differences, except the for the movie (possibly) changing the main character(s') votes to opposing the lynching, cuz that kinda changes the character.

Anyway, I'm just pointing out some differences here, just for the hell of it; not being critical at all. I thought the movie was done well. I think the fact that it was done in low budget black and white (with virtually no other visible townsfolk besides than the posse members) makes for a great atmospheric element. According to the dvd commentary, the novel's author Walter Van Tilburg Clark liked the film adaptation (though one of the commentators is  William Wellman, Jr., son of the film's director, so take it for whatever it's worth  Smiley)

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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2011, 05:46:47 AM »

Refer to my comment on the first page of this thread. The Ox-Bow Incident is a great film . . . for children.

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« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2011, 07:37:07 AM »

one of the special features on the dvd is a Fonda bio that's about 45 minutes long (I believe it's from one of the cable channels).

As a child in Nebraska, a black man accused of a crime was lynched, and Fonda's father took him to watch it, (I don't recall if it said why) which made an indelible impression upon him.
Fonda -- who was under contract at 20th Century Fox -- really wanted to do this movie, and pushed Darryl F. Zanuck to do it; but Zanuck was reluctant to do so, as he didn't think that such a dark movie was what audiences would be interested in, considering the times. Indeed, Zanuck was proven right, as the film -- though it did well with critics and ultimately came to be considered a classic -- did not do well at the box office.

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« Reply #36 on: February 23, 2017, 08:40:48 PM »

This is a masterpiece.  This should be in the top 20 westerns of all time, heck, maybe even top 10.  I was told about this movie and went ahead and watched it.  Forget My Darling Clementine, THIS is the classic...

Cinematography. Beautiful.  The set pieces were excellent. The black and white was perfect. The lighting, everything was beautiful.

Script.  Perfect. If there was any flaw, it is that the movie wasn't long enough...lol

Acting. Excellent.  Fonda, Quinn, everybody was excellent. Leigh Whipper was excellent. Jane Darwell was excellent.

Musical Score.  Excellent. It fit the mood of the picture.

Overall. I was blown away by this movie. I can't say enough about it.  I give this a 9 out of 10.  If it was just a tad longer, i would give it my first 10 out of 10...

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« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2017, 08:52:19 PM »

This is a masterpiece.  This should be in the top 20 westerns of all time, heck, maybe even top 10.  I was told about this movie and went ahead and watched it.  Forget My Darling Clementine, THIS is the classic...

Cinematography. Beautiful.  The set pieces were excellent. The black and white was perfect. The lighting, everything was beautiful.

Script.  Perfect. If there was any flaw, it is that the movie wasn't long enough...lol

Acting. Excellent.  Fonda, Quinn, everybody was excellent. Leigh Whipper was excellent. Jane Darwell was excellent.

Musical Score.  Excellent. It fit the mood of the picture.

Overall. I was blown away by this movie. I can't say enough about it.  I give this a 9 out of 10.  If it was just a tad longer, i would give it my first 10 out of 10...

Check out the book. It is a famous book. I read it in high school.  Because we had to do a book report on a historical fiction book  Smiley

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« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2017, 08:56:47 PM »

Check out the book. It is a famous book. I read it in high school.  Because we had to do a book report on a historical fiction book  Smiley

Ok. I will do that. I saw that you did a book report on it earlier in this thread...

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« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2017, 09:33:43 PM »

Ok. I will do that. I saw that you did a book report on it earlier in this thread...

 Grin

I see now that I did mention it earlier in the thread. I forgot about that - I wrote that post over 5 years ago!

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« Reply #40 on: July 01, 2017, 06:27:48 AM »

Outstanding picture, and not just for Western fans either. Worthy of this big thread. Adding review >


There can't be any such thing as civilisation unless people have a conscience.

The Ox-Bow Incident is directed by William A. Wellman and adapted to screenplay by Lomar Trotti from the novel of the same name written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. It stars Henry Fonda, Henry Morgan, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe and Jane Darwell. Music is scored by Cyril J. Mockridge and cinematography by Arthur C. Miller.

Gil Carter & Art Croft ride into the town of Bridger's Wells, they hit the local saloon to imbibe after a log hard cattle drive. Whilst there a man runs in and announces that a popular man from the town has been shot by rustlers. The sheriff is out of town and a lynch mob quickly forms to bring what they see as swift justice to the culprits, Gil & Art join the posse so as to make sure they themselves don't get blamed for the shooting. The posse finds three weary workers and convince the majority that these guys are guilty and that instant hanging is the only way to do things. There are, however, one or two dissenting voices......

What a fabulous movie this is, a powerful indictment of how the lynch mob mentality can grip and lead to pain for many. William Wellman directs superbly, with a big ensemble in such a small area (Ox-Bow), he manages to get the right blend of emotive reactions from the leading players. Henry Fonda as Gill Carter is perfectly sedate and compassionate, even though he is far from being a flawless character, Dana Andrews as Donald Martin is heart achingly real, while others like Frank Conroy as Major Tetley are suitably full of ignorant bluster. It's quite an experience to see Wellman pull them all together with so much style. The photography from Miller is excellent, shadowy low tone black and white that is in keeping with the downbeat nature of the film, it infuses the picture with a gritty hard bitten noirish look. While Mockridge scores it suitably as sombre.

Ultimately it's the story that triumphs the most, claustrophobic in nature, it is simple yet tragic as it spins out to tell us how a group of seemingly sane individuals turned out to be a mass of incoherent reasoning. When a letter is read out during the finale, it is devastating in its effect, we see men broken, heads bowed in shame, others heavy in heart, their lives never to be the same. The emotional whack is hard hitting, and rightly so. For this is unashamedly a message movie, and a worthy one at that, so much so its reputation has grown over the years, where both the film and novel have made it into some educational curriculum's. It's very much a landmark Western, by choosing to forgo action for dark characterisations, it opened up the Western genre to being more than just shoot-outs and trail blazing. Had it been made seven or eight years later I think it would have garnered higher critical praise.

In spite of being one of Fonda's favourite movies that he made, the film didn't make money. The public were not quite ready for such sombre beats (Orson Welles, tellingly I feel, loved it), the critics of the time were irked by Wellman's decision to film the key trial and lynching sequences on the stage. Yet the closeness this gives the narrative serves it well, thrusting the many characters close together so they, and us, can see the whites of everyone's eyes, this is about focusing on the faces of those about to commit a capital crime. The close confines also gives off a pervasive sense of doom, where pessimism seeps through, there is no short changing here, the makers are dealing in bleakness and the right choices are made to produce one of the finest and most upsetting exponents of mob mentality played out on film. 9/10

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