3.5, United States/Canada

The Ox-Bow Incident

1943 / William A. Wellman > The Ox-Bow Incident is a simple story of conscience done very, very well. Often reminding me of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, the film’s crux is a lynch mob hellbent on punishing some rogue cattle rustlers for the crime of murder. How this unfolds isn’t particularly novel, but is undoubtedly daring for a film made in 1943. Henry Fonda is instantly watchable, as is Dana Andrews and Anthony Quinn as a couple of men that get held up at the stake. If only the resolution didn’t delve into a sort of preaching mode, this would have stood out as a better testament of mob mentality.