The Hanging Tree (1959)

The Hanging Tree (1959)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Hanging Tree Photos

Movie Info

Doc Frail (Gary Cooper) is a silent drifter who rides into a lawless Montana town afflicted with gold fever. In very little time, he quickly proves himself to be equally as adept with a deck of cards and a gun as he is with his medicine. He saves Rune (Ben Piazza) from a lynching, and Elizabeth (Maria Schell) , nearly dead from exposure to the elements. Both are indebted to him for his interventions on their behalf. The villain Frenchie (Karl Malden) is an evil prospector who tries to take Rune's life and Elizabeth's virtue. When gold is discovered, an angry drunken mob threatens to set fire to the town and hang Doc in the process, apparently just for fun. George C. Scott makes an appearance in the film as the religious fanatic, Grubb.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


Gary Cooper
as Doc Joe Frail
Maria Schell
as Elizabeth Mahler
Karl Malden
as Frency Plante
George C. Scott
as Dr. George Grubb
Ben Piazza
as Rune
Karl Swenson
as Tom Flaunce
Virginia Gregg
as Edna Flaunce
John Dierkes
as Society Red
King Donovan
as Wonder
Slim Talbot
as Stage Driver
Guy Wilkerson
as Home Owner
Bud Osborne
as Horseman
Annette Claudier
as Dance Hall Girl
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Hanging Tree

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 27, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Gary Cooper shines in one of his very last pictures, a Western directed by Delmer Daves.

Full Review… | April 21, 2012

Gold Rush western about man's base nature.

Full Review… | March 16, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Hanging Tree


as far as I know this is as close to 'bad' Cooper ever played 'cos he felt the movie public would only accept him in heroic parts in one of the better 'psychological' westerns of the fifties.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

I don't advise you to go through life with your eyes closed. A local doctor and rancher in the mid west has gained his riches and isn't worried about the local miners and gold diggers belief that riches are in the hills surrounding his property. He lets them be and occasionally nurses the wounded back to health from the mines. A young lady is found in the hills badly wounded and widowed. The doc nurses her back to health but refuses to have a personal relationship with her. She begins her own gold hunting and the doctor suddenly starts paying attention to what everyone is doing around him and the widow. "All he said was something about a house burning down..." Delmer Daves, director of An Affair to Remember, Destination Tokyo, Dames, Dark Passage, 3:10 to Yuma, Broken Arrow, and To the Victor, delivers The Hanging Tree. The storyline for this picture is very good and contains a unique blend of western with the struggle of making it in the west without a gun. The acting is very good and the cast includes Gary Cooper, George C Scott, Virginia Gregg, Karl Swenson, Maria Schell, and Karl Malden. "...and she's been blinded..." I came across this film on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to DVR this classic. I found the film very well done and different than I expected. The conclusion was very well written and executed by the director and cast. Overall, this is a classic western that is definitely worth your time. "The lost lady is found." Grade: A-

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

this western, which plays as a decent morality tale, chugs along at its own steady pace until the second half just sits down and refuses to budge. that's what happens when Gary Cooper is removed from the equation.

Jon LaFollette
Jon LaFollette

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