Hang 'Em High [1968]

After starring in the now-legendary trilogy of spaghetti Westerns for Italian director Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood became a box-office star and imported the style of those classic shoot-'em-ups for this 1967 Western directed by Ted Post, with whom Eastwood had worked during their days on the television series Rawhide. Eastwood plays an innocent rancher who is mistaken for a cattle rustler and sentenced to hang by an angry mob. When he is saved from the noose by a passing lawman, he embarks on a renegade campaign of vengeance against the men who attempted to lynch him. Hang 'Em High offers a number of memorable moments and stylistic flourishes, and features a superb supporting cast of Western veterans, including Ben Johnson, Ed Begley, Pat Hingle, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, L.Q. Jones, and the "Skipper" himself, Alan Hale Jr. Made just three years before Dirty Harry, the film marked a turning point for Eastwood, who would soon move into a prolific period of contemporary thrillers. --Jeff Shannon

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