Michael Curtiz (director) and Dudley Nichols (scriptwriter) gave us 1959’s The Hangman, a riveting Western about a U.S. marshal out to arrest a popular man. Marshal Bovard (Robert Taylor) is dedicated to his job and distrustful of people, although he becomes a little less distrustful near the movie’s end. The man he’s after, to be sure, rightly knows that a jury will probably pronounce him guilty when he isn’t. There is constantly a specter of legal injustice.
What is most stellar about this movie is the cast, usually because of how inherently interesting and good-looking it is. Taylor’s virility can rattle any cage. Tina Louise, though limited as an actress, is effectually, amicably sensual and has a charming beauty. Mickey Shaughnessy, Mabel Albertson and even Jack Lord all have their appeal. So does Nichols’s relatively simple if imperfect script. The Hangman is a respectable addition to the Curtiz oeuvre (which includes Casablanca).
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