On his return to the US, Clint turned down the chance to star in Mackenna's Gold and instead chose the character of Jed Cooper in Hang 'em High. Hang 'em High was the first production of the Malpaso Company, Eastwood's production company.
The story is set in Oklahoma Territory in 1889. It opens with Jed Cooper driving a small herd of cattle across a stream. When the men in a posse ( Capt. Wilson (Ed Begley), Reno (Joseph Sirola), Miller (Bruce Dern), Jenkins (Bob Steele), Matt Stone (Alan Hale, Jr.), Charlie Blackfoot (Ned Romero), Maddow (Russell Thorson), Tommy (Jonathan Lippe) and Loomis (L. Q. Jones)) surround him and accuse him of rustling the herd. Below is a rare photo of Clint and the crew planning the opening shot with toy cowboys.
Below: A big thank you to Kevin Wilkinson for providing this rare shot, we believe this cake was delivered on set to either celebrate the first day of production or possibly to celebrate the wrap and the finish of shooting. It’s a great picture, many thanks Kevin.