7.2/10
3,099
47 user 21 critic

The Hanging Tree (1959)

Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man, realizing that he can exploit his secret.

Directors:

Delmer Daves, Karl Malden (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Wendell Mayes (screenplay), Halsted Welles (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: 18 Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A reformed outlaw becomes stranded after an aborted train robbery with two other passengers and is forced to rejoin his old outlaw band.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Julie London, Lee J. Cobb
Vera Cruz (1954)
Certificate: 12 Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During the Mexican Rebellion of 1866, an unsavory group of American adventurers are hired by the forces of Emporer Maximilian to escort a countess to Vera Cruz.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster, Denise Darcel
Dallas (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A former Confederate officer hunting for an outlaw who wronged him finds him in Dallas, but now as a wealthy, respectable citizen.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Marshal Jake Wade aids outlaw Clint Hollister escape jail but Clint wants to know where Wade hid an old hold-up loot taken while both men were outlaws in the same gang.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Richard Widmark, Patricia Owens
War | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Major Lex Kearney becomes the North's first counterespionage agent as he tries to discover who's behind the theft of Union cavalry horses in Colorado during the Civil War.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Gary Cooper, Phyllis Thaxter, David Brian
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A trio of American adventurers marooned in rural Mexico are recruited by a beautiful woman to rescue her husband trapped in a cave in Apache territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward, Richard Widmark
Ride Lonesome (1959)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A bounty hunter escorts a killer to be tried for murder, but allows the man's outlaw brother to catch up with them to have a showdown over a previous shocking murder.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Karen Steele, Pernell Roberts
Certificate: 14 Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Wagon train survivors of an Apache attack entrust the sheriff's prisoner, scout Comanche Todd, with their lives despite his wanted-for-murder status.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Richard Widmark, Felicia Farr, Susan Kohner
The Westerner (1940)
Certificate: 18 Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Released from the Yuma Prison in 1898, ex-killer John McBain wants to go straight while ex-robber Peter Van Hoek seeks revenge but their destinies eventually converge in the mining town of Prescott.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Alan Ladd, Ernest Borgnine, Katy Jurado
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
The Tall T (1957)
Romance | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An independent former ranch foreman is kidnapped along with an heiress, who is being held for ransom by trio of ruthless outlaws.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail
Maria Schell ... Elizabeth Mahler
Karl Malden ... Frenchy Plante
George C. Scott ... George Grubb
Karl Swenson ... Tom Flaunce
Virginia Gregg ... Edna Flaunce
John Dierkes ... Society Red
King Donovan ... Wonder
Ben Piazza ... Rune
Edit

Storyline

In 1873, on the Gold Trail, Montana, the mysterious and controlling Dr. Joseph Frail arrives in the small town of Skull Creek with miners in a gold rush. Dr. Frail buys a cabin on the top of a hill and he sees the smalltime thief Rune wounded and chased by a mob that wants to hang him. Dr. Frail helps and heals Rune; but in return, he demands that the young man becomes his bond servant. The alcoholic healer and preacher George Grubb tells to the locals that Dr. Frail, who is an excellent gambler and gunfighter, is a devil and has a mysterious past but nobody gives attention to his words. Soon the stagecoach is robbed by thieves that kill the passengers but the coachman survives and three days later he reaches Skull Creek. He tells that the horses had speed down the hill with a young woman inside the stagecoach. The men organize a pursuit and the rude Frenchy Plante finds the Swedish Elizabeth Mahler burnt and blind. Dr. Frail and Rune take care of her and they learn that Elizabeth and... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only a bullet could get close to him! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1959 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

De boom der gehangenen See more »

Filming Locations:

Nile, Washington, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Baroda, Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Delmer Daves fell ill during filming and Karl Malden took over for several days until Daves recovered. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Frail returns home from the first poker game he reveals to Rune that they are going to start a new "regime" for their daily activities. A regime is a prevailing form of government. What he should have said was "regimen" which is a regulated course of living. See more »

Quotes

Society Red: [Waiting to see if Doc Frail will call his poker bet] Take your time, Doc. Like a man says: where the wind blows too hard, the trees gotta bend.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Red assumes Frail will not call and starts to claim the pot] Wait a minute. The trees haven't blown down yet.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Frail antes up] Call.
Society Red: Ace high.
Dr. Joseph 'Doc' Frail: [Winning the pot] Pair of deuces.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Maria Schell (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hanging Tree
Lyrics by Mack David
Music by Jerry Livingston
Vocal by Marty Robbins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Western gem
24 May 2006 | by matchettjaSee all my reviews

Little known, this Western gem has not attracted the attention or appreciation it deserves. Gary Cooper's Doc Frail is to me the most interesting of his Western heroes, much more complex than the Will Kane of "High Noon." He is a man of sharp contrast, kind but domineering, compassionate but unyielding, a healer but a killer, strong but at the same time frail. He draws people towards him, only to keep them at a distance when they get too close because of a tragic incident in his past, one he can neither forget nor allow to ever happen again. He is a vagabond, moving from gold camp to gold camp to set up his services as a doctor, without hope of ever settling down. Into his life come two key figures bound to change it. One is Rune, a young thief whom he rescues from the hanging tree, and they are bonded together. The other is Elizabeth, a young woman from Switzerland who has come with her father to find a new life in the gold camps. After a stagecoach accident, Doc Frail must cure her, both body and spirit, and she loves him for it, a love he cannot accept. He would send her back to her country; she stubbornly refuses and eventually partners in a gold claim with Frenchy (played by the marvelous Karl Malden), a man with lust in his heart for both gold and women. The emphasis on character lifts this film above the realm of the ordinary. Add to that a memorable title song sung by Marty Robbins, an appealing music score by Max Steiner, a no-nonsense script based on a story by Dorothy Johnson and on location filming in the mountains outside of Yakima, Washington, and what you have is one really fine Western.


39 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed