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Author Topic: The Lawless Breed (1953)  (Read 1160 times)
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« on: February 15, 2011, 10:51:46 AM »

I think that many don't like this because the hero has nothing to do with the real John Wesley Hardin. But if you take it for what it is, you have a fast-moving, not very original but well madeflick with Julie Adams looking her best. Hudson doesn't fit into the part, but it's good for the romance. Wonderful photograhy. 7\10

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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 07:01:17 AM »

I think that many don't like this because the hero has nothing to do with the real John Wesley Hardin. But if you take it for what it is, you have a fast-moving, not very original but well madeflick with Julie Adams looking her best. Hudson doesn't fit into the part, but it's good for the romance. Wonderful photograhy. 7\10

I'm currently watching this.  So far i agree with what you said.  Good cinematography so far. Rock Hudson is miscast. I don't like him as a Cowboy, at least in THIS film. I don't know how he performed as a Cowboy in other movies, but i don't like him in this role...

« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 07:03:59 AM by Moorman » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 12:39:18 PM »

Most of the westerns Walsh made after he left Warner Bros are verveless (new word, keep it in mind) routine products. The Lawless Breed isn't one of the exceptions. 4/10

« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 01:49:54 AM by stanton » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 08:35:51 AM »

Stupid story. Why is everybody going out their way to help the lead character? One character is more loyal to the lead character, than Alfred is to Batman.. Grin
The premise is never set up. Just a ignorant movie...

« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 08:39:10 AM by Moorman » Logged

AlamoScout210
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 09:36:44 PM »

I think that many don't like this because the hero has nothing to do with the real John Wesley Hardin. But if you take it for what it is, you have a fast-moving, not very original but well madeflick with Julie Adams looking her best. Hudson doesn't fit into the part, but it's good for the romance. Wonderful photograhy. 7\10

I agree with all these points.

It took awhile for me to warm up to Hudson but the more I watched his westerns the more he grew on me. Lawless isn't his best western but it's decent enough to watch 90 minutes away.

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"Anybody who doesn't want to hang can step out and get shot"
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 08:28:34 AM »

Adding review.

I never killed a man who didn't try to kill me first.

The Lawless Breed is directed by Raoul Walsh and written by William Alland (story) and Bernard Gordon (screenplay). It stars Rock Hudson, Julie Adams, John McIntire, Mary Castle, Hugh O'Brian and Dennis Weaver. Music is supervised by Joseph Gershenson and cinematography by Irving Glassberg.

Story is based around the life of outlaw John Wesley Hardin (Hudson), itself adapted from his own memoirs. It finds Hardin released from jail and recounts his life outside of the law and his time on the run. It proclaims that Hardin was very much a victim of circumstance, his life spiralling out of control after killing a man in self defence.

OK, forget the proud boast from the makers that this is a true story, this is Hollywood and its best so take in the film as a piece of entertainment only. Where, in truth, it's rather good stuff for the Western fan to gorge on. A tacked on "happy ending" aside, this is mostly interesting narratively speaking, and as a production it is always easy on the eye. Hardin's time on the run throws up a number of scenes to pump the adrenalin, letting some fine stunt work come to the fore in the process. Be it escaping from "Texas Rangers" laid traps, or well constructed horse races (Hardin was a well renowned gambler), Raoul Walsh and his team work real hard to keep this out of B movie territory.

Shot in vivid Technicolor out of Andy Jauregui and Janss Conejo ranches in California (some exteriors also filmed at Vasquez Rocks), film always feels airy, something that's not exactly at one with what should be the claustrophobic feel of an outlaw constantly on the run and looking over his shoulder. There's also a big ask of the audience to accept that Hardin is pretty much indestructible, which is OK once or twice, but more?

However, the film is ultimately about entertainment and forgiving it its irritants is not hard to do. Character interactions always remain of interest, and cast are doing more than decent work. McIntire stands out in a dual role, Hudson is stoic and Adams beguiles with her beauty and sexuality. This is one of the better productions for bringing the radiant Adams to the attention of red blooded lusters. A better pair of legs in Westerns there is not, and in one scene she induces wolf whistles and heart palpitations in equal measure. With prolific Western scorer Gershenson providing easy listening and photographer Glassberg keeping the colours rich, The Lawless Breed rounds out as a better than average viewing experience for the Western buff. 7/10

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