One of the first revisionist westerns. It features Clint Eastwood as Jed Cooper, a man first wrongly accused of stealing cattle and lynched, then saved from near-death by a marshal and offered the chance to take vengeance with a badge in his hand.
Not only does the movie set up a grey morality from the very beginning, it proceeds to point out the hypocrisy of its lawful society, where a desire for vengeance, influence and a sense of belonging are passed off as longing for justice.
Back when Rockstar was making the original game, Rob Wiethoff, the voice actor portraying John Marston said of the character’s past:
I think John made some decisions in his life that made him feel accepted. I don’t know if he knew that what he was doing was wrong or not. I don’t know if he cared until, one day, he realized he didn’t want that life anymore.
Those words aren’t exactly canon, but if Rockstar proceeds with that or a similar interpretation of Morgan’s and Marston’s actions in RDR2, they’re going to need to picture a society that pushed them into this life. A society as flawed as the one depicted in Hang ’Em High.