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Good Day for a Hanging

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Good Day for a Hanging
Theatrical release poster
Directed byNathan H. Juran
Screenplay byDaniel B. Ullman
Maurice Zimm
Based onThe Reluctant Hangman
1956 in Texas Rangers
by John H. Reese
Produced byCharles H. Schneer
StarringFred MacMurray
Margaret Hayes
CinematographyHenry Freulich
Edited byJerome Thoms
Color processColumbiaColor
Morningside Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • January 1959 (1959-01)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Good Day for a Hanging is a 1959 American Western film directed by Nathan H. Juran and starring Fred MacMurray and Margaret Hayes.[1]


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.



Good Day for a Hanging was released in theatres in January 1959. The film was released on DVD on April 5, 2005.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Good Day for a Hanging". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  2. ^ "Good Day for a Hanging". Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Culver City, California: Sony Pictures, Inc. USA. April 5, 2016. ASIN B0007MANYO. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
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