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The Ox-Bow Incident

113 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find three men in possession of the cattle, and are determined to see justice done on the spot.

Special Features

  • "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero" from A&E's Biography
  • Restoration comparison

Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • Directors: William A. Wellman
  • Writers: Lamar Trotti, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
  • Producers: Lamar Trotti, William Goetz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008LDO3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Ox-Bow Incident" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 2, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a classic, black and white western about frontier justice gone awry. Based upon a true incident that was memorialized in Walter Van Tilburg Clark's best selling novel, this film was a Best Picture Academy Award nominee in 1943, losing to "Casablanca".

This timeless and classic western, about how mob rule can carry the day, is set in Nevada around 1885. Cattle rustlers are the bane of the town's existence, when cowboys Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and his illiterate side-kick, Art Croft (Henry Morgan), return to town. On the heels of their return, word gets around that a popular rancher, Larry Kincaid, has been murdered, shot in the head, and his cattle stolen.

The townspeople, mostly men, decide to deputize a posse on their own and take justice into their own hands, rather than wait for the return of the sheriff from the Kincaid ranch. The one woman, "Ma" Grier (Jane Darwell), is a harridan as bloodthirsty as the men. The mob disregards the sane, rational advice of the town's judge and of those townspeople who have cooler heads. Instead, those with blood lust in their veins prevail, and the so-called posse rides out in pursuit of frontier justice. Gil and Art join them, despite being of a mind that it would be best to wait for the sheriff.

The posse happens to come across three sleeping travelers with a herd of cattle. A dapper Mexican (Anthony Quinn), a young husband and father (Dana Andrews), and a piteous, slow-witted, old man constitute the hapless trio. With blood lust rampant, the mob obtains some seemingly damning information from them and quickly forms an opinion as to their guilt.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 8, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
When, oh when will this movie come out on DVD? I often don't agree with "film critics", but this Western deserves all the accolades it gets. This movie speaks to the dangers of mob rule. Films so often become preachy and condescending when trying to tell a story with a `moral' behind it such as this, but William Wellman pulls it off here with beauty and finesse.
Henry Fonda is at his most believable in this role, much better in my opinion than in `12 Angry Men', where he single-handedly convinces 11 other jurors of a teen's innocence in a murder trial. Here, Fonda is far more human. He cusses. He drinks. He fights. And, most importantly, because suspicion has already been cast on him and cohort Harry Morgan as possible suspects in the murder/rustling case, he ultimately allows the execution of 3 innocent men to take place. Although he serves as the mirror for law, order, and justice, his own human weaknesses make him powerless to stop the lynching.
The supporting cast is excellent. Morgan does a surprisingly good job as Fonda's buddy `Art'. Jane Darwell is perfect as the untamed Ma Grier. And Leigh Whipper as the black preacher `Sparks' gives the film some spice without going over the top. My only criticism is with Dana Andrews - his performance comes off as rather stagy, but not enough to reduce the powerful impact of the film.
This movie was not shot `on location' but in a studio, purportedly to give it a `claustrophobic' effect. It does just that! There are a few interesting sub-plots too, such as Major Tetley's obsession with `making a man' out of his less-than-masculine son, and Gil (Fonda) meeting up with former sweetheart Rose, who is now married to an obnoxious businessman from San Fransisco.
This film has not a boring moment in it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By the gunner VINE VOICE on November 24, 2007
Format: DVD
Ox-Bow Incident

This is a classic, black and white western about frontier justice gone awry. Based upon a true incident that was memorialized in Walter Van Tilburg Clark's best selling novel, this film was a Best Picture Academy Award nominee in 1943

This timeless and classic western, about how mob rule can carry the day, is set in Nevada around 1885. Cattle rustlers are the bane of the town's existence, when cowboys Gil Carter (Henry Fonda) and his illiterate side-kick, Art Croft (Henry Morgan), return to town. On the heels of their return, word gets around that a popular rancher, Larry Kincaid, has been murdered, shot in the head, and his cattle stolen.

The townspeople, mostly men, decide to have the sole deputy left behind by the sheriff deputize a posse ratherher than wait for the return of the sheriff from the Kincaid ranch.

This is a superb film, deftly directed by William A Wellman, who exacts marvelous performances from the entire ensemble. He is especially good when the subject is strong men mano-a-mano The film deservedly earned its 1943 Academy Award nomination for best picture.

The transfer to DVD is great, as the print has apparently been re-mastered, providing the viewer with clear, crisp visuals and excellent audio. The DVD also provides some extras, such as a commentary by western scholar Dick Eulain and William Wellman, Jr., the director's son, an excellent A & E Network "Biography" episode, "Henry Fonda: Hollywood's Quiet Hero", as well as a stills gallery. This is a well-priced DVD of a great film, which should find its place in the personal collection of all those who love such films.

Highly recommended for fans of classic westerns and Henry Fonda.

Gunner November 2007
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My opinion on this movie!
Thanks, Cephalus.
Feb 22, 2008 by Elliot Cross |  See all 3 posts
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