"The hanging was the best show in town."
Though considered classics today, Clint Eastwood's early spaghetti westerns were initially panned by critics who complained about the movies' "dopey" plots and Eastwood's "wooden" acting. It wasn't until Eastwood returned to America to star in Hang 'em High that he started to receive any recognition for his portrayal of dusty anti-heroes. Co-produced with United Artists (UA) by Eastwood's newly-established production company, Malpaso Productions , and shot on location in New Mexico, Hang 'em High received overwhelmingly favorable reviews and had the largest opening at the box office of any previous UA movie.
Hang 'em High finds Eastwood playing Jed Cooper, an innocent man who survives being lynched by a posse convinced that he is a murderer and cattle rustler. After being found innocent by regional judge Adam Fenton (Pat Hingle) — loosely based on real-life "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker — Cooper accepts Fenton's offer to become a marshal. Cooper invariably crosses paths with the men who lynched him, most of them respected members of the community, and nothing will stop him from seeing that justice is served.hang 'em high
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