Ox - Bow Incident

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JackFavell
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by JackFavell »

I totally get that connection. Anyone not afraid of that alien would have to be crazy anyway....

I think you have Jane Darwell pegged. She'd have a good dinner and drop off before her head hit the pillow.

And now, my friend, I am off to bed. I'll see ya in the mornin light. Thanks for that last implanted thought of Alien in my head before going to sleep. :shock:
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rohanaka
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by rohanaka »

JackFavell wrote:If he came in like John Wayne, it wouldn't be a story about hard decisions. It wouldn't be a story about US and what we would do. A lone man standing up against a mob with a shaky voice.... that is a powerful example for us.


Duke fan that I am, a little sliver of me WISHED for him to "magically appear" and make it all work out... ha. But I DO agree it is a much more powerful example TO the audience to see the struggle that Fonda had to face. It makes it a more relevant "lesson" in the end.

And PS Miss Maven... I will see your "SyFy example" and raise you one...ha.

As I was reading your thoughts about Darwell's character it set me to thinking. She was DEFINITELY a hard case and you are likely right that even in the face of the truth, she would not be one who would ever admit to her wrong doing. And it made me think of a documentary I once saw on The Discovery Channel (I think) about crop circles... and you had basically three camps... people who BELIEVED in the space aliens... people who did NOT... and people who just wanted "answers" one way or the other.

The people who did NOT believe in the aliens even went so far as to PROVE that it is possible to make a VERY good crop circle.. w/ all the fancy swirls and designs... and do it w/out leaving ANY trace evidence or busting up the corn... AND do it TOTALLY undetected in the middle of the night while being filmed w/ infrared cameras. They photographed these guys from close up and far away... as they were making the crop circle. From the close up shots they were able to show how these guys used wooden boards and ropes and such to make the design.... and then they also filmed it from a distance (and from a couple of different angles) and the corn was SO dense... and they were SO quiet... if you had not known they were there... you'd have NEVER known they were there. There was NO sign of them in the corn at all, but they were there all the same... making their lovely little crop circle.

And so... (to get to the point... because there IS one..ha) the people who kept insisting the space aliens were REAL (and that there was NO other solution to how crop circles were made) STILL maintained their belief because they said JUST because it could be DUPLICATED... did not mean that Aliens were not still “out there” hovering over the corn making all these fancy designs too.

I guess what I am saying is... that no matter the evidence, no matter the reality... no matter WHAT... as far as the Alien devotees were concerned, the only TRUTH for them was the one they wanted they to believe.

And I think that for Darwell... and maybe a few others there... this would be their same mindset. They will still maintain their innocence (or at the very least attempt to justify what they did) to the bitter end, DESPITE being proven wrong, no matter what. But as I said... (even if they never admit it) I would still like to believe that somewhere in the middle of the night... the cold hard truth was there.... nagging away at them in the dark little cobweb of their soul. Maybe in the creaking tree limbs outside their window, by the light of the moon... a sound of wood bending just a bit will remind them of the sound they heard that night... and a little shiver will run up their spine... (maybe I am just being too "dramatic about all this, but that is my steadfast "black and white" way of looking at the world.. ha)

Maybe I am just a wilfully determined "crop circle maker" (ha) wanting to THINK they would respond to the truth once it is presented and I would LIKE to see them sweat... even if only on the inside.

In the end it comes down to two scenarios: Some may repent.. but I know others very ikely will not. Because as much as it pains me to admit it, I know it is entirely possible that there are some people who were born w/out any semblance of "moral sweat glands".

But I DO believe they all (at least on some level) still KNOW right and wrong and still know their guilt... (no matter how they might choose to justify it). The ones in our story that have more of a conscience will be the ones that will likely suffer more. The others (like Darwell's character) may end up sleeping like a baby but eventually they will change too as they harden more and more over time. Because again.. image how BLACK her soul would have to be to know that truth and not only live with it, but allow herself to ignore it.

Talk about a "shiver" up the spine... Oh my golly. Only this time it is MY spine. Because I know in my heart that there are monsters out there in the real world, sweat free and happily asleep this very moment... who likely have committed even far worse crimes than the one at the OxBow, with no trouble sleeping at all. (Very scary, aint it?)
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CineMaven
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by CineMaven »

Rohanaka writes:

"And so...(to get to the point...because there IS one..ha) the people who kept insisting the space aliens were REAL (and that there was NO other solution to how crop circles were made) STILL maintained their belief because they said JUST because it could be DUPLICATED...did not mean that Aliens were not still “out there” hovering over the corn making all these fancy designs too.

I guess what I am saying is... that no matter the evidence, no matter the reality... no matter WHAT... as far as the Alien devotees were concerned, the only TRUTH for them was the one they wanted they to believe."


Yes, Ro...I see your point, and absolutely agree with you. We don't even need to go so far as even the crop circles. Look at the 'tea baggers' and 'the birthers' and those that espouse the 'death panels.' No matter what the facts are, people will believe what they find comfortable to believe merely b'cuz they want to believe it. Insurance corporations know this lesson so very well and use it against us; so if it means a race war, or an age/gender war over losing a quarter, a dime, a nickel or a penny of their profits...they'll have no problem implanting the "Aliens made the crop circles" idea on us and letting humans run with it. Politicians can trick and fool people to believe something that will not benefit the people, but benefit the corporation. AND when you try to tell the people they're being fooled, they'll fight you to death to prove you are wrong.

I think (some) politicians and (some) corporations have learned Major Tetley's lesson very well. I think (some) politicians and (some) corporations sleep as well as Jane Darwell's dark character...with a nice cold rope at their side, thawing just enough to wrap around our necks. Maybe all those "isms" are still at our surface even if swept away, ever so briefly, by the initial euphoria of a change in Administration. The Mob (some politicians) even tried it again by giving us that last vice-presidential candidate. They thought they could fool the people with her and threw her in there to help a sagging presidential campaign. And they almost did. But President Lincoln's saying saved us: "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." And her existence in politics is coming back to bite them. They have created a Frankenstein monster, and now cannot get rid of it.

Please believe me, I am not a political animal, folks. (I don't even know who the first president of the United States was). And I truly don't mean to bring politics into this discussion. I just love Jennifer Jones and Clark Gable and The Three Stooges. But Rohanaka, your example of the crop circles and people entrenched in their position hit me like a ton of bricks and I was compelled to put this modern spin on it. After sixty six years, "The Ox-Bow Incident" still teaches us lessons. And as another posted stated, it doesn't have to be in a Western milieu, either.

Rohanaka also writes:

"And PS Miss Maven... I will see your 'SyFy example' and raise you one...ha."


Yes Rohanaka, you most certainly have. :(
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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ChiO
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by ChiO »

This has been a marvelous thread. A noirish question(s):

We probably all agree to the same thing: when you get right down to it, ”The Ox-Bow Incident” is one of the most stunning and devastating indictments against taking the law into one’s own hands.


Is it? Of course, Wellman has set it up so we know the lynch mob did the wrong thing (when has a lynch mob ever done the right thing? The very designation tells us they did the wrong thing.). Don't we want Fonda and Morgan to take the law into their hands? Don't we want someone -- anyone -- to break apart from the mob and take the law into his own hands? Rather than being opposed to taking the law into one's own hands, aren't we really opposed to the so-called wrong people taking the law into their own hands, making a judgment and meting out punishment, especially of the ultimate earthly type? Let Fonda and Morgan take the law into their own hands to get the guys to a trial. Then -- regardless of the trial's outcome -- can't we then wash our hands of any responsibility? After all, We didn't set them free or kill them...the Law did it.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
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JackFavell
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by JackFavell »

ChiO-

We probably all agree to the same thing: when you get right down to it, ”The Ox-Bow Incident” is one of the most stunning and devastating indictments against taking the law into one’s own hands.

Is it? Of course, Wellman has set it up so we know the lynch mob did the wrong thing (when has a lynch mob ever done the right thing? The very designation tells us they did the wrong thing.). Don't we want Fonda and Morgan to take the law into their hands? Don't we want someone -- anyone -- to break apart from the mob and take the law into his own hands? Rather than being opposed to taking the law into one's own hands, aren't we really opposed to the so-called wrong people taking the law into their own hands, making a judgment and meting out punishment, especially of the ultimate earthly type? Let Fonda and Morgan take the law into their own hands to get the guys to a trial. Then -- regardless of the trial's outcome -- can't we then wash our hands of any responsibility? After all, We didn't set them free or kill them...the Law did it.


WHOA....

Are you sure your name isn't FrankGrimes? All this grey area is making me feel faint. :wink:

That is a question that takes a while to compose an answer to.... if one can do it at all...

I think I am coming down with a sick headache.
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rohanaka
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by rohanaka »

Hi Miss Maven...

I am undone. HA! You have used my own crop circles against me! HA!! :D

I think I lean a little on the other side of you politically. In fact... to be honest... I had my own political comparisons floating around in the back of my mind as I was writing some of what I have in this thread... about how sometimes people will happily follow "golden tongued" orators (w/ out so much as a sinlge concern for the facts or the consequence of some of the "change" their candidate will bring once he is elected) because they will only allow themselves to accept what they want to believe. But I am sure it would be better if I kept most of those thoughts to myself. We don't need to "go there" because befofe you know it... it could be we'd have the "OxBow Free For All" instead of just an "Incident". HA!! :D

I will just say instead that we may see things differently about some of the political examples you have made from my little crop circles.

But you DO have the jist of what I was saying, my friend.

And that is what makes discussions like this interesting to me... we can have friendly chats and debates w/ people who may come from differet walks of life and bring different ideas to the table... and it can all be done w/ respect because of our common love of good classic film.

PS ChiO... thanks for bringing in this new little TWIST. It is true that it seems easier to seperate "mob justice" from that "Duke justice" Jackie brought up earlier. But it would still be taking the law in your own hands to stand up and fight to stop the other side from committing their crimes. Where IS the line drawn ?? And is it ever right to be "The Duke" in a situation like that? Very thought provoking questions...

I second Ms Favell.... "Whoa".
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ChiO
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by ChiO »

On a somewhat related point....

COMPULSION (a movie I have a compulsion to watch whenever possible) came up recently on another thread. Welles (Jonathon Wilk aka Clarence Darrow) uses the Law to snatch the decision-making from those empowered by the Law to rule on his clients' fates. He saw them merely as an extension of, or representatives of, the Mob screaming for blood. His maneuver puts his clients' fates in the hands of only one person...and he clearly he plays on that as he speaks directly to the judge, letting him know that he -- and only he -- has to decide whether he wants their blood on his hands. In short, Welles wants one person to bear personal responsibility rather than a group to share the responsibility (which, in effect, as Welles views it, would mean nobody takes responsibility).

Given that one of his clients, Dean Stockwell (Judd Steiner aka Leopold), is obsessed with Nietzsche and the belief that a person can be above the rabble (Boo! Hiss! Boo!) it adds a nice twist that Welles plays to that very undemocratic notion -- he, one man, makes the momentous tactical decision to change the plea without his clients' (or their parents') consent in order to put all responsibility onto another man, a man that he views as above the crowd/mob/people. Very Nietzschean.

So, yes...
it would still be taking the law in your own hands to stand up and fight to stop the other side from committing their crimes. Where IS the line drawn ??
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
Movies can only go forward in spite of the motion picture industry. -- Orson Welles
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CineMaven
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by CineMaven »

Hello Ms. Rohanaka,

I see where you're coming from. We both know how "The Ox-Bow Incident" plays out. Let's wait and see how the other thing plays out as well.

Bogie and Bergman have Paris. At least we have "A Letter to Three Wives." :D
"You build my gallows high, baby."

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JackFavell
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by JackFavell »

Wow! You are really deep, Mr. ChiO.

I loved that comparison to Compulsion. Beautiful, just beautiful.

But my brain still hurts...
Mr. Arkadin
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

ChiO wrote:Very Nietzschean.


No Herd Instinct?
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've seen that this thread has run and run and I've never looked in on it because The Ox Bow Incident wasn't available in the UK. Thanks to Ollie knowing the shortage of this disc in England, he sent it to me and I eagerly awaiting the kids going to bed to put it on. They interrupted the darn thing about 5 times in the first 7 minutes but after that it was plain sailing.

Oh my goodness, I didn't realise the film was harrowing, I never actually thought that the men would end up hanged, I thought that the sheriff would ride in and save then, the construction of the film kept giving pause to make us think that something or someone would step in to stop the lynching, one of the good ones might grab a gun and hold he others off, the majority might slowly shift to the side of proper justice. I never believed that 2 of them had done it and had very slight suspisions of the Mexican. I was convinced that they had the wrong men, I never guessed that Kincaid wasn't dead.

At the moment I don't think I could go into any great depth, I just feel I need to watch a comedy or something. The lynching showed signs of Julius Caesar a text I studied at high school. I felt that the ones in favour of justice were the ones who had lived a little more or who had inate goodness, the others perhaps had just lived within the confines of their town. The others were a mob, with the mob mentality.

I thought Anthony Quinn and Dana Andrews were superb for different reasons, Quinn was sucha brave heroic man, knowing what was coming and facing it, Dana Andrews faced it in a different way but bravely and the old man, he wasn't with it and would never have been convicted in a court of law.

The letter, I'm kind of torn on that, the content didn't live up to what I thought would be in it but the reading of it and the way it was read rounded the movie off. What justice for the lynchers, they should have all been in prison, it was only their number that kept them out.

To appreciate it more and talk about it in more depth I'd have to watch the movie again, I don't know whether I could bear it. I've found it so difficult to watch.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by MissGoddess »

Oh I'm so glad you finally got to see this very powerful western, CCFan, and that it really packed a wallop for you. I find it tough to watch, it's so, as you aptly said, HARROWING. Good heavens. I've seen countless lynching mob scenes in westerns over the years and this one still stands out as one of the most jolting. Like you, I kept thinking it was going to be forestalled and someone would ride in to save them in the nick of time. Especially poor old Francis Ford, the dottering, obviously irresponsible thing, and something about seeing "Ma Joad" (Jane Darwell) as possibily the most blood thirsty of the bunch was really creepy.
"There's only one thing that can kill the movies, and that's education."
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mrsl
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by mrsl »

.
Hi, CCFan and Miss Goddess:

I'm so 100% with both of you but more so with CCFan. I saw this when I was a kid and got nothing out of it at all. So, when they started talking about it here and on the old TCM, I thought, Maybe I should check it out as an adult. About 2 or 3 years ago, I rented it and, I sat down to watch with no distractions, and when it was over, I hunted all over for a comedy or musical because I was so down-hearted. I've sat and watched parts now and then, but still can't handle sitting through the whole movie.

The acting from everyone is superb, and I, too expected some sort of salvation coming through for the three men. In addition, I cannot handle Jane Darwell in this particular role. My affection for some actors just prohibits me from seeing them in something so totally apart from their normal roles. I cannot take Henry Fonda in that western one either (I can't think of the name, where he's the killer).

.
.
Anne


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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by charliechaplinfan »

Jane Darwell is the most bloodthristy of the lot of them, she relishes the job she's got to do. Personally I think it's more horrifying because she's a woman, we don't expect women to behave that way we expect them to moderate and soothe our men folk, her position perhaps affected some of the men's decisions, as the only woman she was very sure she was doing the right thing. Looking back at history there are women like her and they always make me shudder.

Thank heavens for TV scheduling last night, I caught most of Bridget Jones and Colin Firth made me feel a little lighter hearted.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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rohanaka
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Re: Ox - Bow Incident

Post by rohanaka »

Hi there Ms CC Fan.. I am so glad to hear that you got to finally see this film. It is not your "typical" Western. (In fact, I still maintain it would not necessarily even have to BE a western per se... to tell the story. But it does fit nicely into that particular genre, doesn't it?) And it DOES stay with you for a while, doesn't it? I recall (after my first viewing) how deeply it affected me. (ha.. I should have done what you ladies did and found something light hearted to watch afterward..ha) But honestly, I really enjoy a film that can get under my skin like that once in a while.... but not everyday... UGH. I don't think the old ticker could take it, ha.

And you gals are so right... that Jane Darwell character.. OH what a piece of work she was.... :shock:
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