Justice Or No? The Movie, “The Hangman”

Michael Curtiz (director) and Dudley Nichols (scriptwriter) gave us 1959’s The Hangman, a riveting Western about a U.S. marshal out to arrest a popular man.  Marshal Bovard (Robert Taylor) is dedicated to his job and distrustful of people, although he becomes a little less distrustful near the movie’s end.  The man he’s after, to be sure, rightly knows that a jury will probably pronounce him guilty when he isn’t.  There is constantly a specter of legal injustice.

What is most stellar about this movie is the cast, usually because of how inherently interesting and good-looking it is.  Taylor’s virility can rattle any cage.  Tina Louise, though limited as an actress, is effectually, amicably sensual and has a charming beauty.  Mickey Shaughnessy, Mabel Albertson and even Jack Lord all have their appeal.  So does Nichols’s relatively simple if imperfect script.  The Hangman is a respectable addition to the Curtiz oeuvre (which includes Casablanca).

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