Hang ‘Em High (1968)

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An innocent rancher is strung up by a lynch mob but upon recovery, he becomes a law man intent on tracking down the would-be killers.

Made directly after Clint Eastwood’s successful collaborations with Sergio Leone, this is Hollywood’s attempt to cash in on his new found fame. Unfortunately it falls short of aping the spaghetti western classics thanks to the efficient but artless direction and a less than stellar supporting cast. There’s a memorable appearance by Dennis Hopper in an early role but his character is all too quickly disposed of, and the film stalls at exactly the wrong moment because of a rather pointless and logic-free romantic interlude.

Eastwood’s steely eyed charisma does manage to carry the story and there are a couple of decent sequences, but the ending felt like that of a TV series pilot and it comes across as exactly what it is; a pale imitation of a Leone western.

5/10

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