The Hanging Tree - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hanging Tree Reviews

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November 20, 2016
Interesting western with the gold rush as its background. Gary Cooper gives us a characterful frontier doctor.
½ September 29, 2016
Doctor and professional gunfighter, Doc Joe Frail making a new transition to a mining community. He would then come across Rune (Ben Piazza) and makes him to be aid and servant with revelations about Docs personal life to follow.
½ September 26, 2015
Solid western about an old west doctor, Gary Cooper, who sets up office in a wild mining camp. Cooper's character has a mysterious past with a shadow surrounding the death of his wife and him as the prime suspect. There are a few story threads to the film, one with Karl Malden trying to strike it rich, Cooper helping a blind girl, and also a dangerous religious fanatic played by George C. Scott in his film debut. Not a classic, but it's gorgeously filmed and features a strong cast.
½ August 29, 2015
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.
August 13, 2015
Good setup but poor ending.

A doctor, Dr Frail (played by the legendary Gary Cooper), moves into a gold rush town in Montana in the 1870s. He's a no-nonsense, tough-as-nails type with a few skeletons in his past. Then a stagecoach is robbed nearby and its female occupant becomes a patient...

Interesting and intriguing from the word go. Gary Cooper is obviously the hero, but for once he is less than perfect. Good action and a hint of romance.

Decent, but not great. The story is often uneven, going on tangents, and the plot not always consistent. The ending is so random and silly it almost ruins the movie.

Solid performance from Gary Cooper in the lead role. Good support from Maria Schell, Karl Malden and Ben Piazza. George C Scott appears in his first cinematic role (though he had appeared in TV series and a TV movie before this).

Only really worth watching if you're a Gary Cooper fan.
½ May 22, 2015
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-
½ May 14, 2015
Cooper struggles being good with his checkered past, while protecting a Christian immigrant Swiss girl from a motley crew in a remote Montana mining town.
March 30, 2015
not his best,he looked I'll.
½ November 2, 2014
141102: One just can't wait to see Malden...get what he deserves in this film. Very enjoyable but a couple morally corrupt villains and early day rioters turn my stomach. Should likely be four stars but I just hate movies which portray the positive side of people. Excuses people, that's all they are, excuses. Take responsibility for your actions. Jeez, I've fallen into a rant. This gun toting doctor movie is well worth watching.
October 20, 2014
a very good western movie with a good story line ,cast, and nice horses.
February 2, 2013
Amongst the crazy wild West, this is a tender love story.
½ September 3, 2012
I'm not sure about the praise for The Hanging Tree. Perhaps you have to be a pretty big fan of westerns to really get into it. I found that there wasn't many interesting things going on or raised stakes on the characters to make me care about it after the first act. Dr. Frail comes to town and he has a dark past, lots of money, is a solid gambler, but he also takes care of people whether they have money or not. He's kind to the every day folk, but get on his bad side and he doesn't mind clocking you. When a man loses a game of poker to Doc he says something about burning down a house and Doc hits him right in the face. Rune's not too bright. He acts like this couldn't mean anything special. Why would he hit a guy for talking about burning down a house? Hmm, I wonder. Too bad Rune didn't even begin to ask the question. All he does is get upset that he would hit a guy over a comment that didn't make sense to him. Dumbass. His character's written very poorly. In the beginning he's caught robbing someone else's gold and he's shot, then Doc saves him and takes care of him. The Rune robs because he's poor, yet when Doc offers him a job he tells him to screw off. He only starts working for him because Doc still has the bullet. You'd think that the story would be tense with Rune trying to rob Frenchy, but no. There's a hint of recognition in the beginning, but after that moment it's over. The stealing doesn't matter anymore. In fact, when they start working together on a new spot searching for gold I almost forgot about their history. Doc's secret past doesn't really come back to haunt him too much. We hear about the burning of his house, the story of his wife and brother, and he's distanced from Elizabeth because of it. His character's darkness never feels connected to his motivations though. I can see it there, but it never really clicks. George C. Scott's first feature film role is Dr. George Grubb who wants to heal based on the Bible. He says that Doc's ways are evil, it will only bring the town bad things. Once Doc shoos him away that's all we see of him until the climax. I guess we can see this being a parable to the Red Scare. Doc has been rushed out of his home and is forced to change his name so that he can work again. I can see that. The characters are okay, but without anything on the line there's not much keeping me interested in the film. Great performances by Karl Malden, Gary Cooper, and George C. Scott, but this film just didn't do much for me.
½ August 14, 2011
The Hanging Tree is an amazing film. It is about a doctor who saves a criminal from a mob who wants to hang him. The cinematography and outdoor locations are fantastic. Gary Cooper and Karl Malden give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written. Delmer Daves did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and romance. The Hanging Tree is a must see.
February 8, 2011
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.
October 11, 2010
Excellent western, made so by the latter-day talents ot screen legend Gary Cooper. The actor turned gray in more ways than one for films like this and "They Came to Cordura," as his characters walked a fine ethical line, not always landing on the right side. Off-beat story here, with Karl Malden doing a good job as the bad guy.
March 10, 2010
As a cinephile, I have seen a great many western movies and all of Gary Cooper's films, and this one is really a forgotten little gem. I will not spoil your viewing enjoyment by giving details of the movie's story, but I will comment on the film's cinematography and the actors' performances.

The Hanging Tree (1959) is Gary Cooper's best western film and a much better movie than High Noon, period. It also the vehicle for one of Gary Cooper's finest performances ever. Sadly it is also one of last movies he ever made. Filmed in glorious Technicolor, the scenery near Yakima, Washington, is spectacular and the camera work excellent. Under the deft hand of renowned director Delmer Daves (assisted by Karl Malden who stepped in for Daves' during his illness near the end of filming), the actors provide an intense character study of greed, exploitation, moral corruption, redemption, and love - all set in the old west of the late 19th century. Other cast members giving outstanding performances are the beautiful Maria Schell, a drunken fortune hunter, Karl Malden, along with relative newcomers, George C Scott (in one of his more sinister roles) and a very young Ben Piazza. In fact, the entire cast gave excellent performances.

The movie's title song, written by Jerry Livingston (music) and Mack David (lyrics) and sung by Marty Robbins, was nominated for an Academy Award (losing to High Hopes from A Hole In The Head). It is that type of catchy tune that once you hear it you will be whistling, singing and humming it forevermore. The song, The Hanging Tree, was far more popular and received greater airplay than the Oscar winner, High Hopes, and also outsold the winner by over ten thousand to one.

For some unknown reason Warner Bros. has not released this terrific movie on DVD. I have an old, original Warner Home Video VHS copy from which I made a digitized DVD copy for my own use. This movie is one of those classics that is just begging to be restored and released on disc. I'd loved to see a good restored DVD copy of The Hanging Tree before I die.

It does appear from time to time on Turner Classics Movies (TCM) television network. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend this movie to you because once you have seen it, you will never forget it.

Rating: 10/10
June 5, 2008
Mi pelicula favorita
½ December 27, 2007
good movie ,Gary Cooper is amazing
½ October 22, 2007
one of the classic old good
westerns ..
½ October 3, 2007
A great 50's, almost 60's, western. The theme song is a stitch, especially the back-up voices. George C. Scott really steps up.
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