The Ox-Bow Incident

The Ox-Bow Incident

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Plot

The Ox-Bow Incident, a low-budget, western film noir, was adapted for the screen from Walter van Tilburg Clark’s famous novel of the same name.

The film examines frontier “justice” through a set of simple characters who represent different views and attitudes. At its heart are the violent actions of a criminal gang which ultimately lead to disaster. During the years when World War II was still in progress, the film was judged to be an on-screen projection of the destruction wrought by war. The film is enhanced by the masterful performances of its seasoned actors, while Henry Fonda, despite being the official lead, is careful to blend in with the ensemble.

One of the film’s striking qualities is its nod to the noir genre that was all the rage at the time. Because of its bleak message, the film was kept on the shelves by its hesitant producers for two years, but later garnered favourable reviews from the critics as an honest portrait of the period.

Ahmet Gürata