I hope the novel The Hanging Tree, by Dorothy M. Johnson, is better than the Delmer Daves movie adapted from it, for the flick, a Western, is frequently quite dumb. For example, the Montana townspeople here are willing to execute their only doctor (Gary Cooper) for a killing they know absolutely nothing about (it was done, in fact, in self-defense).
Yes, it is entertaining—it is gripping that Cooper gets rough with a sexual harasser (Karl Malden) who becomes a sexual assaulter (let this be a warning to YOU, Al Franken)—and Nile, Washington, where the film was shot, must be a gorgeous place. But it’s a wonder The Hanging Tree, available on TV, DVD and Blu-Ray, is still hanging around.
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