The Ox-Bow Incident

Synopsis: Two drifters are passing through a Western town, when news comes in that a local farmer has been murdered and his cattle stolen. The townspeople, joined by the drifters, form a posse to catch the perpetrators. They find three men in possession of the cattle, and are determined to see justice done on the spot.
Genre: Drama, Western
Director(s): William A. Wellman
Production: 20th Century Fox Film Corporat
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
75 min

Looks deader

than a Paiute's grave.


That guy's awful slow

gettin' there.

I feel sorry for him.

Always in reach and never able

to do anything about it.

I got a feeling

she could do better.

You're boasting.

- What'll you have? Whiskey?

- What've you got?

- Whiskey.

- You ever see such a guy?

All winter I've been thinking--

And all he's got is whiskey.

- That's rotten, ain't it?

- Rotten.

Two glasses

and a bottle.

[ Clears Throat ]

Well, what's on

you boys' mind?

- Does somethin'

have to be on my mind?

- Well, there's mud in your eye.

Friendly cuss, ain't he?

He's just getting around

to asking if his girl is still in town.

His girl? If you mean

Rose Mapen, no.

She went to Frisco

the first stage out this spring.

That's a lie.

She said she'd wait.

It's a fact.

What a town.

It's my guess

the married women run her out.

Oh, no tar and feathers.

No rails.

They just righteously

made her feel uncomfortable.

Not that she ever

did anything, but--

They just couldn't get over

being afraid she might.

Say, what is there

to do in this town anyway?

- Unless you wanna get in line

and woo Drew's daughter.

- We don't.

The only other

unmarried woman I know

is 82, blind and a Paiute.

That leaves you five choices.

Eat, sleep, drink,

play poker or fight.

Or you can shoot some pool.

- I got a new table in the back room.

- That's just great.

- I see Risley's still around.

- The sheriff?

I thought he never

got closer than Reno

except on special calls.

Hey, it wouldn't be

that rustling folks we're

talking about last fall?

Could be.

Gettin' to be a kinda

touchy subject, huh?

They don't like

to talk about it except

with fellows they sleep with.

- Afraid they'll find out

it's somebody they know?

- Maybe.

- They lose some more this spring?

- Some.

- How many?

- About 600 head.

They got any leads?

They picked up a small-herd

trail and signs of shod horses

down the south draw.

Wouldn't everybody know

if there were strangers around?


And there hadn't been any.

Except you two.

- That ain't funny.

- [ Chuckles ]

Now who's touchy?

You're talking about my business.

Stick to my pleasures.

No offense, Carter.

I just wanted to let you know

where you two stand.

- Listen--

- Take it easy, Gil.

He's had five whiskeys,

and he's sore about Rose Mapen.

- Keep your mouth shut

about Rose, see.

- Okay, Gil.

I was just jokin'.

You can take a joke, can't you?

Sure I can take a joke.

Some jokes.

Lost any

over your way?

No more than the winter

and the coyotes are to account for.

You haven't got any ideas,

have you Farnley?

Except not to have ideas.

Make that clear.

There are a lot of things

around here ain't clear.

You still talkin'

about rustling?

And strangers.

[ Man Whistles ]


Looks happy, don't he?

He just needed exercise.

Whenever he gets low in spirits

or confused in his mind...

he doesn't feel right

until he's had a fight.

It doesn't matter

whether he wins or not.

He feels fine again afterwards.

Ain't that guy got there yet?

[ Retching ]

Holy cow! Now I'm gonna have

to start all over again.

Somebody's sure in a hurry.

- Did Darby use his fist?

- [ Chuckles ]

No, a bottle.

- That's all right then.

- Hey, lay off Farnley, will ya?

- Why should I?

- Because you hit him pretty hard.

You made him look foolish.

- Did I really get him?

- I thought you busted his neck.

- No foolin'.

- [ Chuckles ]

- Why, that no good--

- Shot right through

the head, I tell ya.

- Where'd it happen?

- Down in the southeast corner

of the valley...

- about eight miles from his ranch.

- You see him?

No, sir, but Olsen did.

He found him laying

in a dry wash in the sun.

[ Man Continues ]

Shot right through the head.

- [ Farnley ]


- Well, about 2:

He must've

been shot a lot earlier.

They picked his horse up...

- clear over near the ranch road.

- Any cattle missing?

They couldn't tell.

There been so many working

that range down there.

- Olsen send you for us?

- No, he's in such a hurry...

he just yelled at me

to go get the sheriff.


- Rustlers?

- Looks that way.

- Who was it they got?

- Kinkaid.

Kinkaid? Farnley's buddy?

Yeah. They've been working together

ever since they were kids.

All the way from

the Panhandle toJackson's Hole.

Sure, I knew him.

Short, dark Irishman.

Didn't say very much.

Liked to sing a lot.

These fellows will go

a long way to get the guy

that killed Larry Kinkaid.


I judge.

- Got plenty of sand

but when he's mad, he's crazy!

- Wait, wait,Jeff. No rush.

Even if they have got

a five-hour start.

It's a good 500 miles

to the first border.

Besides, there may

be a bunch of'em.

It won't help Kinkaid now

to get yourself killed.

That kid, Greene, got no

idea which way they went.

Better wait till we

know what we're doing.

We're all with you about Kinkaid.

You know that.

Only, we ought to take our time

and form this posse right.

So if we go, we're sure

to get what we go after.

Okay. Make your posse.

Somebody better get

the sheriff first thing.

And Judge Tyler.

Oh, what do we want with

old Tyler and his trials.

Yeah, one good fast job

without no legal papers

and that's all there is.

Remember, this ain't

just rustling. It's murder.

Wait a minute, men.

Don't let's go off half-cocked...

and do something

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Lamar Trotti

Lamar Jefferson Trotti (October 18, 1900 – August 28, 1952) was an American screenwriter, producer, and motion picture executive. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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