The Ox-Bow Incident

Director: William Wellman
Year Released: 1943
Rating: 3.5

Quick and intense film about mob rule and the need for 'proper' justice - as well as available women - in a town that consists of mostly angry, heavy drinking men. This 'need for women' is evident from scene one where Henry Fonda and Harry Morgan walk into the bar and stare at the painting above the bar which depicts a woman lying prone while a potential suitor is 'just out of reach' - a moment echoed much later when Fonda encounters a former love interest who has since married and moved on with her life. It's so gracefully directed it appears almost effortless, and the ending has quite an impact despite one pretty big slip-up (Mr. Panayides is absolutely dead-on when he said the letter from Dana Andrews' character to his wife should have never been read). Probably the second-best courtroom drama Fonda's ever done - after 12 Angry Men, naturally.