The Ox-Bow Incident

The Ox-Bow Incident

Director: William Wellman Cast: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes


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This now-classic indictment of mob rule was a pet project of both star Henry Fonda and director William Wellman, both of whom agreed to work on lesser 20th Century-Fox projects in exchange for this film. After a hard winter on the range, cowboys Gil Carter (Fonda) and Art Croft (Harry Morgan) ride into a fleabitten small town for a drink. Within minutes, they get mixed up in a barroom brawl, which earns them the animosity of the locals. By and by, word reaches town that a local rancher has been killed by rustlers. With the sheriff out of town, a lynch mob is formed under the leadership of Major Tetley (Frank Conroy), a former Confederate officer who hopes to recapture past glories. Worried that they'll be strung up, Carter and Croft reluctantly join the mob and head out of town. In the dark of night, the group comes across three sleeping transients: a farmer named Martin (Dana Andrews), a Mexican (Anthony Quinn), and a senile old man (Francis Ford). The fact that Martin carries no bill of sale written by the so-called murder victim is evidence enough for Tetley to demand that the three men be hanged on the spot. Carter knows that this is a gross miscarriage of justice, but he's helpless to intervene. Resolving himself to his fate, Martin gives Carter a letter to deliver to his wife. The three unfortunates die at the end of the rope, and the mob rides off, only to discover that there never was a murder of any kind. Based on a novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, The Ox-Bow Incident is not so much a western as a gothic melodrama, with deep, looming shadows and atmospheric underlighting worthy of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Though the film lost a fortune at the box office (a fact that Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck never tired of pointing out to Fonda and Wellman), it gains in stature with each passing year.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2016
UPC: 0738329206123
Original Release: 1943
Rating: NR
Source: Kl Studio Classics
Region Code: A
Time: 1:15:00
Sales rank: 30,335

Special Features

Audio commentary by western scholar Dick Eulain and William Wellman Jr.; Henry Fonda: Hollywood's quiet hero documentary; Restoration demo; Trailer gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Henry Fonda Gil Carter
Dana Andrews Donald Martin
Mary Beth Hughes Rose Mapen
Anthony Quinn Mexican
Jane Darwell Ma Grier
Harry Davenport Arthur Davies
William Eythe Gerald Tetley
Matt Briggs Judge Daniel Tyler
Frank Conroy Major Tetley
Marc Lawrence Farnley
Paul Hurst Monty Smith
Chris-Pin Martin Poncho
Frank Orth Kinkaid
Ted North Joyce
George Meeker Mr. Swanson
Almira Sessions Mrs. Swanson
Margaret Hamilton Mrs. Larch
Dick Rich Deputy Butch Mapes
Francis Ford Old Man
Stanley Andrews Bartlett
William Benedict Greene
Rondo Hatton Gabe Hart
Paul E. Burns Winder
Leigh Whipper Sparks
George Chandler Jimmy Cairnes
George Lloyd Moore
Hank Bell Red
Forrest Dillon Mark
Don House Actor
Walter Robbins Actor
Larry Dods Actor
Henry Morgan Art Croft
Victor Kilian Darby
Willard Robertson Sheriff
Cap Anderson Posse Member
Tex Driscoll Posse
Tom London Deputy
Frank McGrath Posse Member
George Plues Alec Small
Ed Richard Posse Member
Clint Sharp Posse Member
Ben Watson Posse Member

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
James Basevi Art Director
Alfred Bruzlin Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Day Art Director
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Frank E. Hughes Set Decoration/Design
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Earl Luick Costumes/Costume Designer
Allen McNeil Editor
Arthur C. Miller Cinematographer
Cyril Mockridge Score Composer
Guy Pearce Makeup
Ad Schaumer Asst. Director
Lamar Trotti Producer,Screenwriter

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The Ox-Bow Incident 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best Westerns ever made in my book, although it's a clear departure from the standard Western formula. One of the most compelling aspects are the knock-about, seemingly spontaneous performances from the ensemble, including an edgier-than-usual Henry Fonda (the love-affair subplot involving Fonda is an unfortunate detour, however). What makes the film fascinating is the social implications embedded within the film's narrative (apparently Clark's novel was an allegory of sorts of the political climate in Nazi Germany). It makes the motives of every character in the mob hunt more than a little suspect. Overall, it's a fine rendering of the fear, guilt, violence and ultimate shame in action taken and resulting from mob mentality. ****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago