Search - The Ox-Bow Incident on DVD


The Ox-Bow Incident
The Ox-Bow Incident
Actors: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
Director: William A. Wellman
Genres: Westerns, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2003     1hr 15min

Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find th...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
Director: William A. Wellman
Creators: Arthur C. Miller, Allen McNeil, Lamar Trotti, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Genres: Westerns, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/04/2003
Original Release Date: 05/21/1943
Theatrical Release Date: 05/21/1943
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 15min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English, Spanish
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

FRONTIER INJUSTICE...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 01/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a classic, black and white western about frontier justice gone awry. Based upon a true incident that was memorialized in Walter Van Tilburg Clark's best selling novel, this film was a Best Picture Academy Award nominee in 1943, losing to "Casablanca".

This timeless and classic western, about how mob rule can carry the day, is set in Nevada around 1885. Cattle rustlers are the bane of the town's existence, when cowboys Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and his illiterate side-kick, Art Croft (Henry Morgan), return to town. On the heels of their return, word gets around that a popular rancher, Larry Kincaid, has been murdered, shot in the head, and his cattle stolen.

The townspeople, mostly men, decide to deputize a posse on their own and take justice into their own hands, rather than wait for the return of the sheriff from the Kincaid ranch. The one woman, "Ma" Grier (Jane Darwell), is a harridan as bloodthirsty as the men. The mob disregards the sane, rational advice of the town's judge and of those townspeople who have cooler heads. Instead, those with blood lust in their veins prevail, and the so-called posse rides out in pursuit of frontier justice. Gil and Art join them, despite being of a mind that it would be best to wait for the sheriff.

The posse happens to come across three sleeping travelers with a herd of cattle. A dapper Mexican (Anthony Quinn), a young husband and father (Dana Andrews), and a piteous, slow-witted, old man constitute the hapless trio. With blood lust rampant, the mob obtains some seemingly damning information from them and quickly forms an opinion as to their guilt. Even though seven men, Gil Carter and Art Croft among them, disagree with the decision, the merciless majority prevails, and rough frontier justice is meted out without benefit of formal trial or due process.

This film is similar in some ways to the 1957 film, "12 Angry Men", also starring Henry Fonda. There, despite a seemingly open and shut case, twelve men are prevailed upon to weight the facts very carefully and to examine the evidence in an objective rational fashion to ensure that justice be done. In "The Ox-Bow Incident", one sees what can happen when one seemingly has an open and shut case but fails to examine the evidence in an objective and dispassionate manner. In one case, justice is done. In the other, a travesty of justice occurs.

This is a superb film, deftly directed by William A Wellman, who exacts marvelous performances from the entire ensemble. Despite its brevity, being only approximately seventy-five minutes in length, the film manages to pack a dramatic wallop. Moreover, the sets are realistic looking, with a dirty, dusty, and gritty feel, as are the seemingly threadbare, dirty, and ratty clothing worn by some of the actors. The film deservedly earned its 1943 Academy Award nomination for best picture.

The transfer to DVD is great, as the print has apparently been re-mastered, providing the viewer with clear, crisp visuals and excellent audio. The DVD also provides some extras, such as a commentary by western scholar Dick Eulain and William Wellman, Jr., the director's son, an excellent A & E Network "Biography" episode, "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero", as well as a stills gallery. This is a well-priced DVD of a great film, which should find its place in the personal collection of all those who love such films.


"
A not-so-famous gem!
Lawyeraau | 05/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When, oh when will this movie come out on DVD? I often don't agree with "film critics", but this Western deserves all the accolades it gets. This movie speaks to the dangers of mob rule. Films so often become preachy and condescending when trying to tell a story with a `moral' behind it such as this, but William Wellman pulls it off here with beauty and finesse.Henry Fonda is at his most believable in this role, much better in my opinion than in `12 Angry Men', where he single-handedly convinces 11 other jurors of a teen's innocence in a murder trial. Here, Fonda is far more human. He cusses. He drinks. He fights. And, most importantly, because suspicion has already been cast on him and cohort Harry Morgan as possible suspects in the murder/rustling case, he ultimately allows the execution of 3 innocent men to take place. Although he serves as the mirror for law, order, and justice, his own human weaknesses make him powerless to stop the lynching.The supporting cast is excellent. Morgan does a surprisingly good job as Fonda's buddy `Art'. Jane Darwell is perfect as the untamed Ma Grier. And Leigh Whipper as the black preacher `Sparks' gives the film some spice without going over the top. My only criticism is with Dana Andrews - his performance comes off as rather stagy, but not enough to reduce the powerful impact of the film.This movie was not shot `on location' but in a studio, purportedly to give it a `claustrophobic' effect. It does just that! There are a few interesting sub-plots too, such as Major Tetley's obsession with `making a man' out of his less-than-masculine son, and Gil (Fonda) meeting up with former sweetheart Rose, who is now married to an obnoxious businessman from San Fransisco.This film has not a boring moment in it. On an emotional level it runs far deeper than most Westerns. And, if you're a Henry Fonda fan and have not seen this movie, do so. He is far more convincing as an `average Joe' than in many of his `hero' type roles. It may be his best performance ever."
Short and Sharp
Sarah Hadley | Murfreesboro, Tennessee USA | 02/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film is incredibly tense and concise; the antithesis of sprawling, yawning Westerns like "The Missing" and "Open Range." At just 75 minutes, shot in claustrophobic black-and-white, not a shot or line of dialogue is wasted. Dana Andrews is completely sympathetic as the leader of the three men unjustly accused of murder, while Henry Fonda has an unusually disquieting turn as someone who goes along with the lynching...at least, until the very end of the picture. They are just two of the many powerful performances. It's a great picture, even for people (like me) who aren't really too keen on Westerns.The DVD includes a commentary by Dick Etulain, Western professor and enthusiast, and director William Wellman's son. This gets repetitive quickly, so it's best to sample the first thirty minutes and then move on. Strangely, Fox's sound editors seem to have felt similarly, because Wellman repeats a comment right in the middle of the film! Also included are a trailer, photo gallery, restoration comparison, and the real gem of the thing - a great "A&E Biography" episode on Henry Fonda."
Justice Western Style
Gunner | Bethlehem,Georgia | 11/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ox-Bow Incident

This is a classic, black and white western about frontier justice gone awry. Based upon a true incident that was memorialized in Walter Van Tilburg Clark's best selling novel, this film was a Best Picture Academy Award nominee in 1943

This timeless and classic western, about how mob rule can carry the day, is set in Nevada around 1885. Cattle rustlers are the bane of the town's existence, when cowboys Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and his illiterate side-kick, Art Croft (Henry Morgan), return to town. On the heels of their return, word gets around that a popular rancher, Larry Kincaid, has been murdered, shot in the head, and his cattle stolen.

The townspeople, mostly men, decide to have the sole deputy left behind by the sheriff deputize a posse ratherher than wait for the return of the sheriff from the Kincaid ranch.

This is a superb film, deftly directed by William A Wellman, who exacts marvelous performances from the entire ensemble. He is especially good when the subject is strong men mano-a-mano The film deservedly earned its 1943 Academy Award nomination for best picture.

The transfer to DVD is great, as the print has apparently been re-mastered, providing the viewer with clear, crisp visuals and excellent audio. The DVD also provides some extras, such as a commentary by western scholar Dick Eulain and William Wellman, Jr., the director's son, an excellent A & E Network "Biography" episode, "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero", as well as a stills gallery. This is a well-priced DVD of a great film, which should find its place in the personal collection of all those who love such films.

Highly recommended for fans of classic westerns and Henry Fonda.

Gunner November 2007
"