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Lawless Breed, The (Universal 1953, Rock Hudson, Julie Adams)

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Veteran director Raoul Walsh, no stranger to westerns, tells the ‘real-life’ story of outlaw John Wesley Hardin with elan, aided by the spectacular Technicolor and the outdoor settings.

The film opens with Hardin (Rock Hudson) leaving prison after serving 16 years for killing a man and delivering his life story to the local paper. Cue flashback and his story begins, from his first killing (in self defence) to the shooting of sweetheart Jane Brown (Mary Castle) as they escape from a posse, his marriage to Rosie (Julia Adams) and his eventual capture. On release, he returns to her and his son but still his past haunts him…

A solid film, with Hudson outstanding as a natural outlaw and Adams outstanding as his waiting wife, it’s also a rare early sighting for Lee Van Cleef as a baddie, who steals every brief scene he gets.

production details
USA | Universal | 83 minutes | 1953

Director: Raoul Walsh
Producer: William Alland
Original Story: Bernard Gordon
Cinematography: Irving Glassberg
Editor: Frank Gross
Music: Joseph Gershenson
Art Direction: Bernard Herzbrun, Richard H. Riedel

cast
Lee Van Cleef as Dirk Hanley
Dennis Weaver as Jim Clements
Julie Adams as Rosie
Rock Hudson as John Wesley Hardin
Mary Castle as Jane Brown
John McIntire as J.G. Hardin / John Clements
Hugh O’Brian as Ike Hanley

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