Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hangings in westerns

It seems really morbid. I've seen two westerns where they keep talking about hanging people.

One was John Wayne's Angel and the Badman. Harry Carey plays the marshal who appears periodically. Each time, he tells John Wayne that he hopes to hang him some day.

Bill Cody, Andy Shuford

The other was Mason of the Mounties starring a man-boy western duo, Bill Cody and Andy Shuford. They starred together in a number of B westerns. The men in the movie keep talking about all the horse thieves they've lynched and when they finally catch the criminal in the end, they debate whether he should be taken to Canada to be hanged or hanged there in the United States.

Apparently carrying out executions was once considered normal. There was an episode of Bonanza where the Cartwrights think nothing of hanging a guy themselves when the sheriff who was about to execute him gets killed.

I've never seen it, but I read that an early version of the government's Civil Defense Handbook included instructions on how to carry out executions after a nuclear war.

I guess it's why lynching was so popular. I can't imagine any normal person doing that.

In Paths of Glory, a French guy is horrified when Kirk Douglas makes him participate in a firing squad. That's more the reaction I would expect.

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