Hang’em High (1968)
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 federal judge who hires him as a Deputy U.S. Marshal.
Hang ‘Em High 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, during the late 1800s, as District Judge of the United States District Court of the Western District of Arkansas.
The film also depicts the dangers of serving as a Deputy 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.
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