Hang 'Em High is a 1968 Western film directed by Ted Post starring Clint Eastwood. It is the story of an innocent man, Jed Cooper, who survives a lynching by nine men, and becomes a US Marshal to see that justice is done.
Jed Cooper is accused by nine men of killing one of their neighbours and stealing his cattle. When he fails to convince them of his innocence, they hang him. Fortunately, there is a U.S. Marshal in the area and he saves Cooper, who is then brought to Fort Grant for trial. Eventually, it is discovered that the man Cooper bought the cattle from was, in fact, the killer. Cooper is released, but still wants to get the nine men who hung him. The judge warns Cooper about taking the law into his own hands, who responds by saying that he knows the law, being a former lawman. The judge then offers Cooper a job as a Marshal. Cooper, while in a town picking up a prisoner, discovers one of the nine men and kills him after he draws on Cooper. When he returns to Fort Grant, Cooper learns that another member of the mob has turned himself in after learning of Cooper's innocence. He provides Cooper with the names of the rest and Cooper leaves to round them up. On his way to bring in the lynchers, Cooper is sidetracked by a report of another rustling and murder. Upon finding the rustlers, one of whom was in the posse that lynched Cooper, the posse wants to lynch them, but Cooper insists that they need to be tried and is left to bring them in on his own. Following a difficult road back to Fort Grant, the remaining members of the posse that hung him try to buy him off, and then decide that the only way they can live free is to finish the job and kill him.
Clint Eastwood ... Marshal Jed Cooper
Inger Stevens ... Rachel Warren
Ed Begley ... Captain Wilson, Cooper Hanging Party
Pat Hingle ... Judge Adam Fenton
Ben Johnson ... Marshal Dave Bliss
Charles McGraw ... Sheriff Ray Calhoun, Red Creek
Ruth White ... Madame 'Peaches' Sophie
Bruce Dern ... Miller, One of the lynching party, the 3 rustlers, and murderer
Alan Hale Jr. ... Matt Stone, black smith, Cooper Hanging Party
Arlene Golonka ... Jennifer, the Prostitute
James Westerfield ... Prisoner
Dennis Hopper ... The Prophet
L.Q. Jones ... Loomis, Cooper Hanging Party
Michael O'Sullivan ... Francis Elroy Duffy, Prisoner
Joseph Sirola ... Reno, Cooper Hanging Party
James MacArthur ... Preacher
Bert Freed ... Hangman Smith
- Sergio Leone was approached to direct this film, but he turned it down since he was working on C'era una volta il West (1968) at the time.
- This was the first film produced by Clint Eastwood's Malpaso Company.