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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)



Reviews and Comments

This tightly woven western from director William A. Wellman is about as far in spirit from the triumphant John Ford western pictures as you can imagine. There's no sweeping vistas or idealized western heroes here. Wellman shot everything on sound stages to enhance the feeling of claustrophobia and used a lot of darkness and shadow to complement the bleak story. The film is a condemnation of mob violence. Cynical audiences might find it a little soapboxy, but there's no arguing it gets its point across. Henry Fonda turns in a terrific performance as one of the few level-headed among the characters.