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|Good Day for a Hanging|
|Directed by||Nathan H. Juran|
|Screenplay by||Daniel B. Ullman|
|Based on||The Reluctant Hangman|
1956 in Texas Rangers
by John H. Reese
|Produced by||Charles H. Schneer|
|Edited by||Jerome Thoms|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Eddie Campbell (Robert Vaughn) and two other members of an outlaw band watch a stagecoach as it travels toward a Nebraska town. They are leading two extra, saddled horses. Two other members of his gang are on the stage and they plan to meet in town to rob the bank when the stage arrives. Ben Cutler (MacMurray), owner of the stage line, is to be wed to Ruth Granger (Hayes).
During the holdup, a bank teller is killed. Ben joins the posse. His daughter, Laurie (Joan Blackman), is in love with Eddie, who left town some time before, and does not believe him to be truly bad. Eddie shoots and kills 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 wins a fistfight with 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 breaks 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
- Tom London as Farmer Driving Wagon (uncredited)
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