Good Day for a Hanging
|Good Day for a Hanging|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Nathan H. Juran|
|Produced by||Charles H. Schneer|
|Screenplay by||Daniel B. Ullman|
|Based on||The Reluctant Hangman|
1956 in Texas Rangers
by John H. Reese
|Edited by||Jerome Thoms|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Eddie Campbell (Robert Vaughn) watches a stagecoach as it rides toward a Nebraska town. Other members of his gang are waiting there to rob the bank. Ben Cutler (Fred MacMurray), owner of the stage line, is on board, and is returning home to be wed to Ruth Granger (Margaret Hayes).
During the holdup, a bank teller is killed. Ben joins the posse. His daughter, Laurie (Joan Blackman), is in love with Eddie and doesn't believe him to be truly bad. Eddie shoots the Marshal, however. He is wounded by Ben and brought back to town to stand trial.
Ben, who had once been a lawman but gave up the profession after his daughter was born is offered a temporary job as Marshal. Selby (Edmon Ryan), a publicity-seeking lawyer who defends Eddie, insinuates that Ben was just acting in vengeance because his client had been intimate with Ben's daughter. Ben punches him for this slur on Laurie's character.
Eddie is found guilty due to Ben's eyewitness testimony. He is sentenced to hang. Townspeople begin to have their doubts, even Ruth, partly due to Eddie's manipulation of their emotions. Laurie tries to smuggle a gun to Eddie's cell, but her father finds it.
Ben must ride to the state's capital after a plea for clemency from the governor is made. As soon as he is gone, Eddie's gang busts him out of jail. He physically assaults Laurie, revealing his true nature. Ben returns just in time, though, and shoots a fleeing Eddie atop the gallows.
- Fred MacMurray as Marshal Ben Cutler
- Maggie Hayes as Ruth Granger
- Robert Vaughn as Eddie Campbell
- Joan Blackman as Laurie Cutler
- James Drury as Dr. Paul Ridgely
- Wendell Holmes as Tallant Joslin
- Edmon Ryan as William P. Selby, Attorney
- Stacy Harris as Coley
- Kathryn Card as Molly Cain
- Emile Meyer as Marshal Hiram Cain
- Bing Russell as George Fletcher
- Russell Thorson as Harry Lander
- Denver Pyle as Deputy Ed Moore
- Phil Chambers as Deputy William Avery
- Howard McNear as Olson
- Rusty Swope as Midge Granger
Good Day for a Hanging was released in theatres in January 1959. The film was released on DVD on April 5, 2005.
- Good Day for a Hanging on IMDb
- Good Day for a Hanging at AllMovie
- Good Day for a Hanging at the TCM Movie Database
- Good Day for a Hanging at the American Film Institute Catalog