My husband and I watched one of Clint Eastwood‘s early westerns (Hang ‘Em High) a few days ago and I thoroughly enjoyed every second. Westerns from the 1960’s were their own little works of art and I haven’t met one yet I didn’t like – especially when they star one of my favorite actors of all time. Clint Eastwood was just made for westerns and I often think they were made just for him. If it weren’t for one John Wayne, I’d be convinced they were made for Eastwood and Eastwood alone.
Hang ’em High (1968) was directed by Ted Post. Eastwood and Post had worked together on the television series Rawhide (1959-1965). The movie also stars Ed Begley, Inger Stevens, Dennis Hopper, Pat Hingle, Ben Johnson and even “the Skipper,” Alan Hale.
Hang ’em High Trivia:
- This movie has been referred to as Clint Eastwood’s first home-made American “spaghetti western” (it was filmed in New Mexico).
- The Producer and Director’s personalities clashed so badly that Clint Eastwood, himself had to intervene. He reportedly told the producer, “If you show up on this set again, there won’t be a set … won’t be a cast, won’t be a crew.” He took the star’s advice and stayed away.
- Eastwood’s leading lady in Hang ’em High was Swedish Inger Stevens. The actress, who seems to have suffered greatly from emotional problems, once even tried to commit suicide. She had a tendency to fall in love with her co-stars and when the love wasn’t reciprocated, she would become very depressed. She died when she was only 35 years old, a result of a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol.
- A biography was written about the troubled life of Inger Stevens: The Farmer’s Daughter Remembered.
- Before Ben Johnson (Marshal Dave Bliss) became a star, himself, he was a stuntman for stars such as s John Wayne, Gary Cooper and James Stewart.
- Johnson, who was in more than 300 movies, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1994.
- Ed Begley was the father of actor Ed Begley Jr.
- Unlike a few of the stars of Gilligan’s Island, Alan Hale (Matt Stone) loved the entire Gilligan’s Island experience. In fact, he wore Captain’s hats similar to The Skipper’s for the rest of his life. He donated many of these hats to charities.
- Alan Hale (he dropped the “Jr” from his name after his dad died) served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.
- Hale was married to Naomi Hale from 1964 til the day he died in 1990 (cancer). Nearly as interesting in death as he was in life, Hale had his ashes scattered at sea.
- Dennis Hopper (The Prophet) worked with James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Hopper would later say that James Dean was the best actor he ever worked with.
If you’re a fan of Clint Eastwood and/or Westerns, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your collection.
Movie Description from Amazon: They riddled him with bullets. They strung him up. They left him to die. But they made two fatal mistakes: they hanged the wrong man…and they didn’t finish the job. In his first American-made western, Clint Eastwood indelibly carves his niche as the quintessential tough guycool-headed, iron-willed and unrelenting in his pursuit of revenge. Oklahoma, 1873. Jed Cooper (Eastwood), mistaken for a rustler and killer, is lynched on the spot by crooked lawman Captain Wilson (Ed Begley) and a rampaging band of vigilantes. But as Wilson and his gang flee the scene, there’s one very important detail they’ve overlooked: Cooper is still alive! Out for justiceand vengeanceCooper takes on the job of deputy marshal…and, one by one, tracks down the nine men who “done him wrong.”