John Ford

It. tit.: La casa del boia; Sog.: da un racconto di Donn Byrne, adattato da Philip Klein; Scen.: Marion Orth; Didascalie: Malcolm Stuart Boylan; F.: George Schneiderman; Int.: Victor McLaglen (Hogan), Hobart Bosworth (James O’Brien, procuratore generale di giustizia), June Collyer (Connaught O’Brien), Larry Kent (Dermott MacDermott), Earle Foxe (John Darcy), Eric Mayne (colonnello di legione), Joseph Benke (Neddy Joe), Belle Stoddard (Anne McDermott), Marion Morrison [John Wayne] (impiccato e spettatore alla corsa di cavalli); Prod.: William Fox; Pri. pro.: 13 maggio 1928. 35mm. L. or.: 7 bobine. L.: 1942 m. D.: 71’ a 24 f/s. Bn.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

Hangman’s House adapted the brooding Murnau manner to an Irish setting, although in a more restrained fashion than in Four Sons (fewer tracking shots). This convoluted, lugubrious tale of a fugitive IRA man (Victor McLaglen) returning to kill the blackguard (Earle Foxe) responsible for his sister’s death seems more Germanic than Irish in its heavyhanded sense of determinism. But in contrast with the fluffy romanticism of The Shamrock Handicap and the fantastic unreality of Mother Machree, the fog- and doom-shrouded atmosphere of Hangman’s House allows Ford to discover greater depth in his mythopoetic view of Ireland. McLaglen’s Citizen Hogan is a hopeless outcast in a society torn by the evils of colonialism, the tragedy of civil war, and the pervasive treachery of informing. The ending of Hangman’s House carries a mystery similar to the famous final shot of The Searchers, which has John Wayne unexpectedly, but inevitably, turning away from the family he has reunited. Hangman’s House is also noteworthy for a sign of greater things to come: the first appearance in a Ford movie of the young man who would become his most important star, John Wayne. A twenty-one-year-old prelaw student and football player at the University of Southern California, Marion “Duke” Morrison had been an extra and bit player in several other movies and was working at Fox as a propman during summer vacations. Unbilled in Hangman’s House, Morrison is first seen in a fantasy sequence as a man about to be hanged, then shows up again as a spectator at a horse race who becomes so excited that he breaks down a picket fence. (from Searching for John Ford)

“The horse race in Hangman’s House… forecasts (and betters) the one in The Quiet Man (there is also an underground meeting place in the film similar to one in The Informer).” Peter Bogdanovich, John Ford, Movie Magazine Limited, 1967

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Preserved with support from The National Endowment for the Arts and The Film Foundation.