The Hanging Tree (1959)
The Hanging Tree is a 1959 movie directed by Delmer Daves. Karl Malden took over directing duties for several days when Daves fell ill. The film stars Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, George C. Scott and Malden and is set in the gold fields of Montana during the gold rush of the 1860s and 1870s. The story follows a doctor who saves a criminal from a lynch mob, then learns of the man's past and tries to manipulate him. This marked the first film of Scott. He and Malden later teamed for 1970's Patton, for which Scott won an Academy Award. Also the film has in its soundtrack the western ballad "The Hanging Tree". It was scored by Max Steiner and written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston who received nominations for the Laurel Awards and the Academy Awards in 1960. The text is a short reference to the film's story. It was also released on the reissue of the album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins who performed this song in the opening credits of this film. A known cover-version is by Frankie Laine who performed this song at the 32nd Academy Awards.