TCM 31 Days of Oscar – The Hanging Tree

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

It’s challenged myself to watch a movie every day from Turner Classic Movie channel’s 31 Days of Oscar. I’ll be focusing on the movies I haven’t watched yet, with maybe just a few movies I’ve already seen.

Here is my 9th day and movie of my challenge to TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar.

The Hanging Tree

The Hanging Tree movie poster

7 out of 10 stars

1959 Western film. Starring Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, George S. Scott, Karl Swenson and Virginia Gregg.

The 360 Game: It starts off with Meet John Doe starring Cary Cooper, who starred in The Hanging Tree with Maria Schell, who was in the next film show, The Mark.

And the Oscar did not go toMarty Robbins performed the title song that was nominated for best song at the 32nd Annual Academy Awards. Frankie Laine performed this at the Academy Awards.

Short Synopsis: “Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man, realizing that he can exploit his secret.” (IMDb)

My Thoughts: This is a classic Spaghetti Western Film. In this case, it shows how the Gold Rush changes a person. There was a lot of times that I wasn’t sure if I liked or hated Gary Cooper’s character, Dr. Joseph ‘Doc’ Frail. Who I liked the most was Maria Schell as Elizabeth Mahler. At the beginning I thought she would be just another weak female in this Western life. But she’s more of a strong woman than anything. Even if she’s just moved to the US from Switzerland. She still wants to stick around Montana after her father’s murder from the Stagecoach robbers and no family or friends (though she obviously grew on Doc and Rune). This turned out to be a good film for a Western, and that’s saying a lot because I don’t often watch those types of movies.


A note before I start watching this… Why did I pick this one, besides the obvious that I haven’t watched it this and it’s a Gary Cooper film…

It was the title, which had me thinking of the Hunger Games song. And that song is stuck in my head as I review and watch this movie. This Hunger Games video shows 1 key SPOILER, but the video I liked more has even more.

But the 1959 film is a Western Film, not a futuristic dystopia. Although, after watching the The Hanging Tree western trailer, I found the song itself could be somewhat similar to the film.


The Play by Play Thoughts

0:00 The Hanging Tree song. By Marty Robbins. #61 in the Top 100 Western Songs. (end of the Play by Play has the end of this song).

The Hanging Tree 1959

0:04 Bargaining for the rundown house for sale. Right from the start we become aware that everyone’s scheming and bargaining for something.

The Hanging Tree 1959 Rune

0:06 “Hey, Sluice Robber!” Ya, yelling out for the robber that you’re trying to catch is really effective. At least it looks like Gary Cooper will help him.

0:18 “Wait a minute, the tree hasn’t blown down yet.” Gambling. Even Gary Cooper can’t be trusted when playing a game of cards with.

0:21 Stagecoach robbery. Poor Elizabeth, or as everyone starts calling her, Lost Lady.

The Hanging Tree 1959

0:31 “The Lost Lady’s found. Me! I found her!” Frenchie and his greed.

The Hanging Tree 1959

0:41  “You can take the canteen now.” (Doc) “But she’s got a hold of you now Doc.” (Rune). Elizabeth’s done more than take a hold of his hand, and Rune knows that.

0:45 Mame’s Restaurant. And those eggs come all the way from Sour Creek, that’s why the mean store clerks wife is swindling everyone for a dollar an egg. Even a Christian Lady has the money greed sickness.

0:50 “Am I a prisoner Rune?” – Elizabeth. “Doc tells everybody what to do.” – Rune. But yet neither are fighting to hard to leave Doc. So much for Doc moving to Montana for a place to be alone up in the mountains.

0:52 Frenchie scheming for money. And looks like for something more. She shouldn’t have let him in.

The Hanging Tree 1959

0:57 Doc wins the first fight between Frenchie. Of course Frenchie is going to get up and talk mean as soon as Doc has his back to him. Of course.

1:07 “She’s alright. She’s free now.” – Rune. And that’s something that Doc doesn’t want no doubt.

The Hanging Tree 1959

1:13 A woman pan handling for gold is unlady-like. Yet, despite being partners with scum Frenchie, she’s a pretty tough and smart woman.

The Hanging Tree 1959

1:29 Doc sure likes to torture Elizabeth and Rune. Or at least that’s what Elizabeth says.

1:32 Glory Hole. And the whole Town wants to celebrate. Why else would Frenchie want to yell out that they’ve found a bunch of gold. Under a tree no less.

1:41 Gary Cooper to the rescue. Again.

The Hanging Tree 1959

1:42 “Murderer. Lynch him to the tree.” And though Doc killed in cold blood to protect his girl, the whole Town is calling him a murderer. Guess he shouldn’t have kicked Frenchie over the cliff.

The Hanging Tree 1959

1:45 “She wants to buy her man.” And the end of The Hanging Tree song…


Up next from Wednesday‘s TCM 31 Days for the 10th film of my challenge is…

Cain and Mabel (1936 Black and White)

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