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Hang 'Em High is a 1968 American DeLuxe Color revisionist Western film directed by Ted Post and written by Leonard Freeman and Mel Goldberg. It stars Clint Eastwood as Jed Cooper, an innocent man who survives a lynching; Inger Stevens as a widow who helps him; Ed Begley as the leader of the gang that lynched Cooper; and Pat Hingle as the judge who hires him as a U.S. Marshal.

The film was the first production of The Malpaso Company, Eastwood's production company.

Hingle portrays a fictional judge who mirrors Judge Isaac Parker, labeled the "Hanging Judge" due to the large number of men he sentenced to be executed during his service as District Judge of the Western District of Arkansas.

The film also depicts the dangers of serving as a U.S. marshal during that period, as many federal marshals were killed while serving under Parker. The fictional Fort Grant, base for operations for that district judge seat, is also a mirror of the factual Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Judge Parker's court was located.

Plot

After a gang of men unsuccessfully attempts to lynch him for a cattle rustling crime he did not commit, Jed Cooper (Clint Eastwood) is saved by marshal Dave Bliss (Ben Johnson) and judge Adam Fenton (Pat Hingle). The lawmen offer him a job as a federal marshal with the caveat that he not abuse his new power to seek revenge against his tormentors. But, when Cooper finds that some of the men who attacked him are involved in another set of crimes, he fights to bring them to justice.

Cast

  • Clint Eastwood as Marshal Jed Cooper
  • Inger Stevens as Rachel Warren
  • Ed Begley as Captain Wilson
  • Pat Hingle as Judge Adam Fenton
  • Ben Johnson as Marshal Dave Bliss
  • Charles McGraw as Sheriff Ray Calhoun
  • Ruth White as Madame "Peaches" Sophie
  • Bruce Dern as Miller
  • Alan Hale, Jr. as Matt Stone
  • Arlene Golonka as Jennifer
  • James Westerfield as Prisoner
  • Dennis Hopper as The Prophet
  • L. Q. Jones as Loomis
  • Michael O'Sullivan as Francis Elroy Duffy
  • Joseph Sirola as Reno
  • James MacArthur as The Preacher
  • Bob Steele as Jenkins
  • Bert Freed as Schmidt
  • Russell Thorsen as Maddow
  • Ned Romero as Charlie Blackfoot
  • Jonathan Lippe as Tommy
  • Tod Andrews as Defense Attorney
  • Mark Lenard as Prosecutor
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