Vigilante Western: The Ox-Bow Incident

After posting about “Johnny Guitar” the other day it made me think of this movie which should be considered a classic by anyone who has seen it.

The 1943 Western “The Ox-Bow Incident” directed by William Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn and Harry Morgan is similar in theme to the previously posted Western ”Johnny Guitar”. Both concern mob rule and vigilante justice, but “The Ox-Bow Incident” is a much more realistically staged film, and is much more powerful for it compared to the McCarthy era paranoia, homosexually repressed and theatrical “Johnny Guitar”. Orson Welles was at a an early screening of the movie and after it was over he is quoted as saying about the audience – “They don’t know what they just saw”.


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