Hermine Carlton

Written by Hermine Carlton

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Source: Amazon.com

The Ox-Bow Incident is a classic Western film that was released in 1943. Directed by William A. Wellman, the film is based on the 1940 novel of the same name by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. Set in Nevada during the 1880s, The Ox-Bow Incident tells the story of a small-town posse who sets out to track down and punish three men accused of cattle rustling and murder.

With its gripping storyline, stellar performances, and thought-provoking themes, The Ox-Bow Incident has cemented its place as one of the greatest Westerns ever made. In this article, we will delve into 49 interesting facts about the movie, including behind-the-scenes tidbits, casting trivia, and its impact on the Western genre. So saddle up and join us as we ride through the fascinating world of The Ox-Bow Incident!

Key Takeaways:

  • The Ox-Bow Incident” is a classic Western film that explores the dark side of human nature and the consequences of mob mentality, challenging viewers to confront their own beliefs and biases.
  • This thought-provoking movie delves into themes of justice, morality, and the fragility of human nature, leaving a lasting impression on audiences and solidifying its place in cinematic history.
Table of Contents

The Ox-Bow Incident is a 1943 American Western film.

Starring Henry Fonda, the movie is an adaptation of the 1940 novel of the same name by Walter Van Tilburg Clark.

The film was directed by William A. Wellman.

Wellman, known for his work in the Western genre, brought his expertise to create a powerful narrative.

It was nominated for Best Picture at the 16th Academy Awards.

The Ox-Bow Incident received critical acclaim and secured a nomination for the prestigious Best Picture category.

The movie explores themes of mob mentality and frontier justice.

Through its gripping storyline, The Ox-Bow Incident delves into the dark aspects of human nature.

Henry Fonda delivers a remarkable performance as Gil Carter.

Fonda’s portrayal of a reluctant participant in a mob serves as one of the highlights of the film.

The Ox-Bow Incident is known for its chilling depiction of vigilante violence.

The harsh realities of frontier justice are captured in a way that leaves a lasting impact on the audience.

Walter Brennan gives a standout performance as the Old Man.

Brennan’s captivating portrayal adds depth and authenticity to the film.

The movie was praised for its cinematography, capturing the vastness of the American West.

The stunning visuals enhance the overall cinematic experience and transport viewers to the untamed frontier.

The Ox-Bow Incident was a box office success.

Despite its dark and thought-provoking themes, the film resonated with audiences and achieved commercial success.

The film sparked discussions about vigilantism and the flaws in the American justice system.

Its social commentary brought important issues to the forefront, provoking conversations and debates.

The movie’s screenplay was written by Lamar Trotti.

Trotti’s adaptation successfully captured the essence of the original novel and translated it onto the screen.

The Ox-Bow Incident received a Special Recommendation from the National Board of Review.

It was recognized for its exceptional storytelling and its impact on the world of cinema.

The film remains a classic example of the Western genre.

Its exploration of morality, justice, and the human condition continues to captivate audiences today.

The Ox-Bow Incident serves as a powerful critique of mob rule.

It raises important questions about the implications of acting on impulse rather than seeking justice through proper channels.

Several renowned critics have hailed The Ox-Bow Incident as one of the greatest Westerns of all time.

Its lasting impact and compelling storytelling have solidified its place in film history.

The movie has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry.

This recognition underscores its cultural, historical, and artistic significance.

The Ox-Bow Incident continues to be studied in film schools and analyzed by scholars.

Its narrative complexities and themes make it a rich subject for academic exploration.

The film’s black-and-white cinematography adds to its atmospheric and gritty tone.

The stark visuals evoke a sense of realism and contribute to the overall impact of the story.

The Ox-Bow Incident was celebrated for its powerful ensemble cast.

In addition to Henry Fonda and Walter Brennan, the film features talented actors such as Dana Andrews and Anthony Quinn.

It was one of the first films to explore the psychological effects of mob violence.

This exploration of the human psyche adds depth and complexity to the narrative.

The movie’s title refers to a pivotal incident involving an oxen-drawn wagon.

This incident sets the stage for the moral dilemmas and subsequent mob actions that unfold throughout the story.

The Ox-Bow Incident showcases the struggle between justice and revenge.

It examines the consequences of acting out of anger and vengeance rather than seeking truth and fairness.

The film’s script is filled with powerful and thought-provoking dialogue.

The dialogue serves as a vehicle for conveying the underlying themes and motivations of the characters.

The Ox-Bow Incident highlights the importance of individual accountability in the face of injustice.

Through its characters, the film explores the internal struggle between conformity and standing up for what is right.

The movie masterfully builds tension and suspense as the story unravels.

The pacing and narrative structure keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

The Ox-Bow Incident received positive reviews for its realism and authenticity.

Its attention to detail and portrayal of the American West contribute to its enduring appeal.

The film sheds light on the complexity of human nature and the dark side of humanity.

It poses moral questions that challenge viewers to confront their own beliefs and biases.

The Ox-Bow Incident explores the power dynamics within a group and the influence of authority figures.

It raises important questions about corruption, manipulation, and the abuse of power.

The movie’s climax is emotionally charged and leaves a lasting impact on audiences.

It serves as a poignant reminder of the consequences of unchecked collective action.

The Ox-Bow Incident was ahead of its time in addressing sociopolitical issues through the lens of the Western genre.

Its social commentary has paved the way for future films that tackle relevant and important themes.

The film’s score, composed by Cyril J. Mockridge, adds depth and emotion to the storytelling.

The music reinforces the mood and enhances the overall cinematic experience.

The Ox-Bow Incident sparked conversations about the power of perspective and the importance of empathy.

It prompts viewers to question their own biases and consider multiple points of view.

The movie’s success contributed to a resurgence of interest in the Western genre during the 1940s.

It revitalized the genre and paved the way for other Western classics that followed.

The Ox-Bow Incident’s legacy is evident in the influence it has had on subsequent films tackling similar themes.

Its narrative and moral complexities continue to inspire filmmakers to explore the darker aspects of humanity.

The film’s realistic portrayal of the American frontier immerses viewers in the setting.

The attention to detail in the costumes, sets, and landscapes adds authenticity to the story.

The Ox-Bow Incident dares to challenge the audience’s preconceived notions of justice and morality.

It serves as a reminder that justice can sometimes be clouded by prejudice and irrationality.

The movie’s events unfold over a span of just a few days, intensifying the tension and urgency of the narrative.

The compressed timeline adds to the emotional impact of the story.

The Ox-Bow Incident’s powerful message about the dangers of mob mentality remains relevant in today’s society.

It serves as a cautionary tale and a reminder of the importance of critical thinking and individual responsibility.

The film’s exploration of the consequences of moral ambiguity resonates with viewers on a deep level.

It forces us to question our own convictions and confront the complexities of right and wrong.

The Ox-Bow Incident stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and the impact of film as a medium.

Its ability to provoke thought and evoke emotion is a testament to its enduring relevance.

The movie’s themes of justice, morality, and the fragility of human nature make it a powerful cinematic experience.

It challenges us to examine our own beliefs and confront the difficult realities of the world we live in.

The Ox-Bow Incident has left an indelible mark on the Western genre and the history of cinema.

Its influence and legacy continue to be felt to this day.

The film’s critical and commercial success solidified its place in film history and established it as a cinematic masterpiece.

The Ox-Bow Incident remains a must-watch for film enthusiasts and lovers of the Western genre.

The movie’s thought-provoking exploration of justice and morality makes it a timeless work of art.

Its impact is felt long after the credits roll, leaving a lasting impression on all who experience it.

The Ox-Bow Incident’s enduring legacy is a testament to the power of storytelling in film.

Its ability to captivate and engage audiences has secured its place as a classic in cinematic history.

This iconic Western film continues to be celebrated for its powerful performances and thought-provoking narrative.

The Ox-Bow Incident stands as a testament to the timeless nature of cinema and its ability to provoke reflection.

In conclusion, The Ox-Bow Incident remains a cinematic masterpiece that challenges our understanding of justice and morality.

Its exploration of the complexities of the human condition and its thought-provoking narrative continue to captivate audiences.

The Ox-Bow Incident is a film that should be cherished and remembered as a testament to the power of storytelling.

Its impact on the Western genre and its exploration of relevant themes make it a true classic.

Experience the gripping tale of The Ox-Bow Incident and immerse yourself in its thought-provoking narrative today.

With its powerful performances and compelling story, this film will leave an indelible mark on your cinematic journey.


The Ox-Bow Incident is a timeless classic that explores the themes of justice, morality, and the consequences of mob mentality. With its gripping storyline, stellar performances, and thought-provoking message, this movie continues to captivate audiences to this day. Its portrayal of the darker side of human nature serves as a reminder of the importance of questioning our own beliefs and judgments.From its powerful narrative to its stunning cinematography, The Ox-Bow Incident leaves a lasting impression on viewers. It reminds us of the devastating consequences of prejudice, intolerance, and the danger of acting without fully understanding the facts. This film serves as a cautionary tale, urging us to reflect on our actions and the responsibility we have towards each other.In conclusion, The Ox-Bow Incident is a must-watch for any movie enthusiast. Its thought-provoking themes and brilliant execution make it a timeless masterpiece that will continue to resonate with audiences for generations to come.


1. When was The Ox-Bow Incident released?

The Ox-Bow Incident was released on May 21, 1943.

2. Who directed The Ox-Bow Incident?

The movie was directed by William A. Wellman.

3. Is The Ox-Bow Incident based on a book?

Yes, The Ox-Bow Incident is based on the novel of the same name written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark.

4. What is the running time of The Ox-Bow Incident?

The movie has a running time of approximately 75 minutes.

5. Who are some of the main cast members in The Ox-Bow Incident?

The main cast members include Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, and Mary Beth Hughes.

6. What genre does The Ox-Bow Incident belong to?

The Ox-Bow Incident is primarily categorized as a Western drama.

7. Has The Ox-Bow Incident won any awards?

Yes, the movie won the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

8. Is The Ox-Bow Incident available for streaming?

Yes, The Ox-Bow Incident is available for streaming on various platforms, including Amazon Prime and Netflix.

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