The Hanged Man
Based on Ride the Pink Horse by Dorothy B. Hughes
Robert Culp, Edmond O'Brien, Vera Miles, Norman Fell,
Siegel’s economical, no-nonsense direction in this early made-for-TV movie adaptation of Ride the Pink Horse (1946) is exciting in itself and well suited to Hughes’s clipped prose (her “dread dream”). Santa Fe at fiesta is now New Orleans but there’s no magic in Mardi Gras, only masked threat. Robert Culp does his best Robert Ryan, sloughing off aid or empathy in the role of Harry Pace, in town to avenge his friend Whitey’s death. Foreign as it is, New Orleans is pretty white; the “other” takes the forms of Cajun culture, Tarot, and Christian Science. With Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz in performance.