This next phase of GIFfest 2012 returns to the movies, and the westerns, with some slices of Hang ’em High, the 1968 western notable because it was the first one of Clint Eastwood’s westerns that was not filmed in Italy.

I’ve already noted GIFfed some of the continuity problems in the opening credits, now let’s get to the action. Right in the opening sceme, Captain Wilson, the leader of the mob that wrongly accuses Clintwood’s character Cooper of murder, issues the “Hang “em” command that puts the plot in motion.


Yes, that is Alan Hale Jr pitching in with the bad guys – how can the Skipper do that? What will Gilligan think?

Brought in to Fort Grant, Cooper is released by Judge Fenton, who makes the offer for him to become a Marshall. The Judge lectures Cooper not to take revenge but to let justice play out (which translates here to hanging by the law)


This GIF had a lot of frames! I was trying to keep a lot of the back and forth of the conversation, so I dropped the GIF down to 8 colors to give it more of a cartoony look.

Of course Cooper turns out to be a more than capable Marshall, he eventually runs into a situation where 3 dudes have stolen cattle, and one of them, Miller, turns out to be one of the crew that hung Muller in the beginning. the crime’s victims want to exact revenge the old way, but Cooper insists on bringing them in, which means, marching them 3 days across the wilderness (including scenes ar White Sands, new Mexico).

I liked this back and forth between Cooper and the guy who wants revenge and Miller, played with a sneer by Bruce Dern. A lot of back and forth glances here.


Remarkable Cooper heroically brings in the 3 prisoners alive to Fort Grant, but becomes disgusted at the spectacle that the hangings have become, especially since he feels the 2 younger rustlers do nto deserve death.

In this scene near the end, Judge Fenton again goes back and forth, and utters the phrase “hang ’em high”

Because if the law didn’t hang them, the next posse that goes out will say, “Hang ’em and hang ’em high, there’s no justice in Fort Grant.” And if there’s no justice in Fort Grant, Cooper, there will be no statehood for this territory.


So we have a juxtaposition of what hanging means here in the western frontier, what is the difference between the group think that hung Cooper in the opening from a tree, and the more massive public event in the end, except that it is sanctioned by the court? Hanging is hanging, right? And is there one justice more just than another?

I went a bit more extravagant in these GIFs,m aiming for multiple clip segments, and thus ended up with some bigger files (.5 Mb+). It’s still fascinating to me to isolate the scenes and action to a series of frames. I will slip this one in the Multi-Frame GIF Story assignment.

“GIF ’em and GIF ’em high”

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