The Ox Bow Incident

Movie Details

DirectorWilliam A. Wellman
Key CastHenry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan, Jane Darwell
MPAA RatingApproved
Film TypeBlack and White
Genre(s)Western, Drama
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“The Ox Bow Incident” is a Sobering Tale about Crowd Justice.

Henry Fonda stars in this classic western movie that is based on a true story.
Cowpokes Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and Art Croft (Harry Morgan) roll into a small town just before a furor erupts.
Someone rushes into town to tell the people that local rancher Larry Kincaid has been killed and his cattle stolen. Reeling, the townspeople quickly form a posse to go after the wretched cattle rustlers.
The town posse quickly comes upon three men – Donald Martin (Dana Andrews), Juan Martinez (Anthony Quinn) and Gerald Tetley (William Eythe) – who deny being responsible for the murder. The three men have the cattle, but they claim that they legally purchased the herd. When they are asked to show a bill of sale, they don’t have one.
Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) becomes a passionate voice of reason and tries to get the angry mob to not jump to conclusions and hang the men. He urges the group to return to town, find the sheriff and give the trio a fair trial. Carter gets a lot of resistance to his suggestion because there are people in the posse who disagree and want the men immediately lynched.
The intensity of the three men fighting for their lives, the mob frenzy and the circumstantial evidence make for a very dramatic western.
With great Black and White cinematography, and a heightened sense of drama, “The Ox Bow Incident” is a sobering classic western not to be missed!

• The only reason why Darryl F. Zanuck agreed to make “The Ox Bow Incident” was because Henry Fonda and William Wellman agreed to do other, less popular movies for the studio in exchange for making this one. Zanuck didn’t put a lot of money into making this western, which is obvious from some of the set scenery in the background. This western, however, was critically-acclaimed and went on to be nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award.
• The western movie “The Ox Bow Incident” is based on the novel named “The Ox Bow Incident” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark which was first published in 1940. The movie and the book are based on a true story.
• Henry Fonda made “The Ox Bow Incident” in between his starring roles in two other major classic movies – the classic film “The Grapes of Wrath” and the famous cowboy western “My Darling Clementine.”
• “The Ox Bow Incident” lost a fortune at the box office which is something that studio head Darryl F. Zanuck never tired of mentioning to actor Henry Fonda and director William Wellman. But, the western movie has grown in popularity over the years and is now considered a classic of the genre.
• After completing the filming for “The Ox Bow Incident”, Henry Fonda reported for military duty in the United States Navy. He served in the Navy for three years.
• The Ox-Bow Incident was nominated for a 1944 Best Picture Academy Award.
• “The Ox Bow Incident” was selected in 1998 to the U.S. Library of Congress, National Film Registry.


The Ox Bow Incident Movie DVD

“The Ox Bow Incident” is based on a true story and is one of the few westerns to be selected for the U.S. Library of Congress National Film Registry.

This western was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award which surprised the studio because they did not spend a lot of money to make this film.

Movie studio head Darryl Zanuck only agreed to make this western because actor Henry Fonda and director William Wellman felt passionate about it and were willing to do other films for him in exchange for making “The Ox Bow Incident.”

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