Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Hangman (1964)- Maurice Ogden and Paul Julian

"The Hangman" is a poem by Maurice Ogden written in 1951. Its plot concerns a hangman who arrives at a town and executes the citizens one by one. As each citizen is executed, the others are afraid to object out of fear that they will be next. Finally there is nobody remaining in the town except the Hangman and the narrator of the poem.

Les Goldman and Paul Julian directed an animated adaptation of Maurice Ogden’s anti-fascist poem in 1964 and it is narrated by Herschel Bernardi. The film was co-winner of the Silver Sail Award at the Locarno International Film Festival in 1964.

Designed to evoke classic Soviet propoganda, the film vividly illustrates the poem’s theme of creeping fear and social decay invoked by abuses of the State.

The poem