Stars: 3 of 5.
Running Time: 114 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Clint Eastwood, Inger Stevens, Ed Begley, L.Q. Jones (BULLETPROOF, Peckinpah movies, LONE WOLF MCQUADE), Dennis Hopper.
Tag-lines: " The hanging was the best show in town. But they made two mistakes. They hung the wrong man and they didn't finish the job."
Best one-liner(s): "When you hang a man, you better look at him."
There are three types of Clint Eastwood Westerns that spell quality. Those directed by Sergio Leone, those directed by Don Siegel, and those directed by Clint Eastwood. Nowhere on that list is there any room for a gentleman by the name of Ted Post. This is not a bad movie, but it was an attempt to cash in on Eastwood's success as Sergio Leone's "Man with No Name." The Leone westerns are gritty, grimy, and dusty. They're loud and violent. The soundtracks are punctuated by primal shrieks and grunts, courtesy of Ennio Morricone. This is a Hollywood film. A Hollywood still clinging to an old type of Western, now tainted by years of televised Westerns and the decline of Hawksian filmmaking. Not until the next year, 1969, with THE WILD BUNCH, would Hollywood get with the program. To illustrate my point, HANG 'EM HIGH depicts The Man With No Name taking a woman on a picnic.
Let me say that again. THIS FILM DEPICTS THE MAN WITH NO NAME AND A LADYFRIEND ON A PICNIC. If you do not understand the horrifying implications of that statement, then maybe you shouldn't be watching Clint Eastwood movies anyway.