Henry Fonda in "The Ox-Bow Incident" (1943)

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) Directed by William A. Wellman. Henry Fonda as Gil Carter

Gil: Darby sure sells rotten liquor. Warms ya up though. Feels like fire creepin’ in the short grass. I guess I’ll just let ‘er spread a little while.

4 Responses to “The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)”

  1. This is a flat out, stone cold masterpiece of the American cinema, and is arguably the prolific William Wellman’s most venerated film. As a story of social injustice this has few peers, and there is a brace of outstanding performances.

    It boils your blood much like it’s source, Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s superlative novella.

  2. I’d hate to give up Casablanca for best picture at the ’44 Oscars, but Ox-Bow gives it a run for its money

  3. Such a good film. One of the few films to incite anger among its audience without cheap tricks.

  4. It’s a rare film that actually lives up to its reputation and still surprises you by how good it is. That happened with me rewatching this one. Though in a way it covers a lot of the same territory later covered by the justifiably well-regarded 12 Angry Men, this is the better film. For one, it’s more entertaining. For another, it’s less overtly earnest. The message is all over it of course, but it packs a dramatic punch on its own all around the edges. Finally, in 12 Angry Men, Fonda’s character starts out honest and upstanding and forthright and he ends the film the same way, having swayed everyone else to his way of thinking. In this film he starts out kind of a drunken roustabout and only proves his real moral mettle when things get ugly. And ***spoiler alert 80 years later*** this one surprisingly has a much darker ending.

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