Blu News – The Hanging Tree – Updated

While this “news” of a movie I hold in the highest esteem has already broken, I’m just adding an extra bit of info which pleased me no end when I saw it, and I think it’s worth flagging up. The Warner Archive page added the following and the part I’ve highlighted in bold and certainly caught my attention:

Run Time 107:00
Subtitles English SDH
DTS HD-Master Audio 2.0 – English
BD 50
Trailer in HD

Many stars saddled up and rode into Technicolor® sunsets during the great Western revival of the 1950s, but only a few would be forever associated with the rugged individualists of the West. Among them are John Wayne, Randolph Scott and the star of The Hanging Tree, Gary Cooper.

The story takes place in Skull Creek, an 1870s Montana gold camp. Dr. Joseph Frail (Cooper) arrives, setting out his shingle near the camp’s boom-or-bust hubbub of adventurers, ladies of fortune, mountain men and just plain decent folks. As skilled with a six-gun as with a scalpel, Frail will need both. A tragic past shadows his days. The treachery of the mob clouds his future. A determined immigrant (Maria Schell), a shifty-eyed miner (Karl Malden) and a hellfire preacher (debuting George C. Scott) figure prominently in Frail’s showdown with fate. Prominent, too, is the breathtaking countryside. Here, the mountains are imposing. And a man alone looms ever taller.

21 thoughts on “Blu News – The Hanging Tree – Updated

  1. “The Hangin’ Tree” on BR? I wish I were living in the US to enjoy such a treat! By a strange coincidence, I have just (re)watched some sequences of this superior western this very afternoon. Pure delight.


    • It is indeed a delight; a genuinely rewarding movie with real depth, which draws you in.
      BTW, it’s not necessary to be in the US to enjoy this presentation – I’m not – as these WA titles are not region locked. Although the lack of language and subtitle options may be problematic?


  2. Hello Colin,
    If there are english subtitles, it’s allright with me. Preferable, I’d say. But in this case, I know “The Hangin’ Tree” well enough to watch it even without subtitles since it’s region free – which I didn’t know. Thanks a lot for the information. I’m still looking forward to finding several major westerns on BR – or decent DVDs (restored or remastered), such as : R. Walsh’s “Pursued” or “Distant Drums”, H. Hawks’ “The Big Sky” and a few other ones…


    • There are US Blu-rays (and DVDs) of both Pursued & Distant Drums, although I can’t say for sure if they are region locked or not. Perhaps someone who knows better will post here and let us know?


  3. The number of important Westerns getting 4K
    remastering is indeed wonderful news.
    added to the list things are certainly looking up.
    Most of Daves’ key Westerns are now available in high def,
    with the exception of DRUM BEAT which will surely follow
    over time.
    I don’t consider THE BADLANDERS a key Daves work but
    would buy a Blu Ray of it in a heartbeat.
    I’ve never seen RETURN OF THE TEXAN so I cannot
    comment,but the fact that Blake Lucas rates it means that it
    must be pretty good.
    Colin, please note that BROKEN ARROW is being released on
    Blu Ray in the UK from a new outfit called Plan B.
    I presume it’s the same master as used on the recent
    Region A Kino version which looked fab.


  4. THE HANGING TREE is one of my favorites and I have to say I can think of no changes I would make with the primary cast… without exception they are terrific. Another segment I really liked was Frankie Laine’s rendering of the title song in the opening credits. I frequently cringe when many songs with a less desirable vocalist delivering them does an injustice to the film we are about to see, but time and again Frankie delivers the goods for westerns. His successful recordings of western ballads and their placement on the “top hits” list confirms the validity that many others agree with me.


    • Max, I like the singing of Frankie Laine a lot and think he made a very significant contribution to a number of important westerns. However, surely the title song in this movie was sung by Marty Robbins? A great accompaniment regardless, and I think its use again in those vital and moving closing moments is even more effective.


      • I agree. When I saw the headline Marty Robbins came to mind. His Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs is a classic album. I also recall Neal Hefti’s Duel at Diablo soundtrack. He could write for jazz,, big bands, Batman, Odd Couple, and yes, Westerns.


        • Yes, I have that album by Robbins too, a great set of recordings.

          Neal Hefti’s work on Duel at Diablo remains somewhat divisive, doesn’t it? It’s not a typical western track but is very catchy and attractive at the same time. Regardless, I think he produced a superb body of work overall.


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