Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : The Ox-Bow Incident

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A couple saddle tramps ride into a one horse town to whet their whistles and find something to do.  The bartender tells them there’s not a lot to do but ” Eat, sleep, drink, play poker or fight”. Word comes into the bar that a local rancher has been murdered and his cattle rustled. This sets in motion a rush to find the perpetrators and lynch them. The majority of the towns people have this mindset with a few voices in the minority calling for following the law and doing the right thing. It seems the majority all have personal agendas that are leading them blindly into taking justice into their own hands. The two saddle tramps, cowboys, and a couple of others ride with the make shift posse to make sure justice is served. The posse heads off with hanging on their minds. They find the three cowboys they’re looking for at Ox-Bow. We watch the struggle between life and death and the wills of men on opposite sides of the rope.

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Another flick CB caught at his local run down movie house (couple bucks for a double feature, bring your own bottle and whatever else). Henry Fonda was my hook to sit through this and I’m glad I did. It’s a pretty simple story played out in a bleak, depressing mood. Not a lot of laughs in this one. You really get swept up in the vibe and how, when a mob gets an idea it is hard to reason with and stop. William A. Wellman directs this small scale western based on the book by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. Wellman keeps you engaged and gets some very good performances along with some of those old time stock western characters. Dana Andrews as one of the accused rustlers is totally believable as a man about to die at the hands of vigilantes. Anthony Quinn is also very good as one of the accused.

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Like I said it was Fonda that made me sit through this one. He is always good as a cowboy and he’s at his best in this one. Subtle, truthful, in the moment acting (before the so called method style). Henry was born to play cowboys. He’s ready to throw fists at the drop of a hat in this one.

I wasn’t expecting much when I sat through this one. Old, probably dated (in parts) boring. No, it was worth the time and CB was caught up in the story. How it felt to be swept into a mob mentality and how it felt to be wrongly accused.  Bleak, depressing, maddening but a good film. What a great title ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’

19 comments on “Movie : The Ox-Bow Incident

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    September 2, 2018

    Great film. Still pretty shocking how it all pans out. Supposedly Fonda was drawn to it because he had witnessed a lynching when he was young.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim S.
    September 2, 2018

    I recall we had to read the book in school. I liked it and later caught the movie. A good ‘un for sure. Fonda was great in just about everything he did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 2, 2018

      Some of that required reading that was actually good. Agree on Fonda. He has some good films under his belt but he is always good. I read John Ford’s biography and Henry was one of the few actors he respected. Great read if you get a chance. ‘Print The Legend’

      Like

      • Jim S.
        September 2, 2018

        That’s from some statement along the lines of, “If you have a choice between the truth and the legend, print the lehend.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 2, 2018

        It’s in the book where they took the quote from. I can’t remember. John Ford was a little on the miserable side but the book is a good piece of film history.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        September 2, 2018

        You’ll dig my latest post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 2, 2018

        Yeah I had a peak and chuckled about our John Ford conversation. I’ll get back and comment more. I’d be interested about his legacy at Monument Valley. I know at one time he brought some economic gain to some of the small bands there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim S.
        September 2, 2018

        I’ll send you a picture. You will appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger
    September 2, 2018

    in the early 2000s I watched hundreds of movies on TCM. This was one of them. Loved it. And loved the black and white cinematography. And years ago I read the book that it’s based on. The book is real good. I’m off to the supermarket. See you later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 2, 2018

      TCM does a good job. They seem to have a variety for all tastes. Ox-Bow is one of those films that sticks with you.
      Don’t forget to pick up the snacks.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J.
    September 3, 2018

    Y’know, I don’t think I’ve seen this. Few familiar faces and I was thinking “aye – good one”, but then I was thinking “wait… I’ve never seen this!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 3, 2018

      I think this was probably a little to heavy for audiences back in the day. It is a little dated in parts but the main theme is a gut shot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J.
        September 4, 2018

        A go old gritty western definitely appeals to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        September 4, 2018

        CB doesn’t read to much into things. I basically got caught up with Fonda’s character and how the “Incident” effects him.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. greenpete58
    September 4, 2018

    Good choice, CB. Fonda was the perfect choice for this role (don’t think John Wayne would have worked). Dana Andrews never seems to be mentioned with the biggest names, but he was a fine actor who made many good films. This one and “Best Years of Our Lives” are at the top.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      September 4, 2018

      I agree on Wayne. Andrews was right in the moment in this one. Yeah he did some good work but like a lot of good actors he was wasted on some mediocre material.

      Like

  6. tref
    September 14, 2018

    Quoth Woody Allen, “My marriage, or as it was known, ‘The Oxbow Incident’.”

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on September 2, 2018 by in 1943 Film, Academy Award Nomination, Henry Fonda, Western and tagged , , .

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