The Lawless Breed (1953)

The Lawless Breed (1953)
  • 1034
  • Approved
  • Genre: Western
  • Release year: 1953 ()
  • Running time: 83 min
  • Original Title: The Lawless Breed
  • Voted: 1034

Released from jail, John Wesley Hardin leaves an account of his life with the local newspaper. It tells of his overly religious father, his resulting life of cards and guns, and his love for his step-sister replaced on her death during a gun fight with that for dance-hall girl Rosie.

1Rock HudsonJohn Wesley Hardin
2Julie AdamsRosie McCoy
3Mary CastleJane Brown
4John McIntireJ.G. Hardin,John Clements
  • Unwatchable Clunker by 2

    This is a low budget Western that is barely watchable. It could only be of interest to intense Rock Hudson fans. This was his first leading role.

    Here are its good points:

    • Old reliable John McIntyre ("Winchester '73) plays a dual role.

    • That's it for positives

    Here are the bad points:

    • I didn't buy Rock Hudson in the role of Western hero for one second.

    • Implausible that Hardin was framed for every killing he committed. The guy was a saint, apparently.

    • Story is paint by numbers

    • Backlot Western. Locations are all San Fernando Valley.

    • Typical secular agenda Hollywood Christian bashing

    • No Indian or Mexican references.

    • No comic relief

  • Excellent by 10

    Rosie is unhappy there, worried that she can change but Wes never will, and that he will grow bored with her and farm life. To convince her of his devotion, Wes brings home a parson and marries Rosie. Soon after, she becomes pregnant and writes to J. G., who is secretly pleased at the thought of a grandson. Rosie admits to Wes that she was wrong about his ability to change, and that she feels safe with him. That day, however, Wes is caught in town by the Rangers. In Austin, he is found guilty of murdering Webb and sentenced to twenty-five years of hard labor. As he bids goodbye to his father, wife and new son, Wes continues to insist that he is not a murderer. In the present, Wes returns to the ranch, where Rosie, who has waited for him faithfully, embraces him joyously and sends him to the barn to meet his son, John. As John proudly spins his father's gun, horrific scenes of his own outlaw background flash before Wes's eyes. Like his own father, Wes snaps and hits his son, who runs off. Despondent, Wes explains to Rosie that he cannot let his son follow in his footsteps. He finds John in a saloon, about to enter a gunfight with a man who is insulting Wes. Wes discourages his son from shooting and escorts him to the door, but as they leave, the other man shoots Wes in the back. John holds Wes and promises his father he will not become a criminal. Later, Rosie and John take a recovered Wes home to his ranch.

  • Say what? Hardin a nice guy? by 6

    This movie tries to depict a back shooting lowlife as a good family man and neighbor. The real Hardin was a cold blooded coward and murderer who would ambush his victims.The movie , though not historically accurate, is just another oater gone wild.

  • Raoul Walsh Tells Another Tall Tale by 7

    John Wesley Hardin never murdered a man. First they would admit to dealing him seconds at cards, then they would draw on him, so he would reluctantly take out his gun and shoot them in the back. Hardin was a proud man, being Rock Hudson and all, so what choice did he have? We know this is true, because he wrote this down himself. Hardin claimed to have killed more than 40 men, all in self-defense. He is known to have killed about two-thirds that number, one because his snoring annoyed him.

    Raoul Walsh directed this Universal western in the long afternoon of his improbably long career. According to his memoirs -- which is filled with improbable and entertaining lies -- Jack Pickford once remarked that Walsh's idea of light comedy was to burn down a brothel. Even his name was a fiction (he was really Albert Walsh), and he was considered the right man to direct this movie because of the violence of WHITE HEAT, and anyone who could get a good performance out of Jimmy Cagney could get one out of Rock Hudson.

    With John McIntire, Hugh O'Brien, Lee Van Cleef and Julie Adams's legs.

  • A Walsh minor but right western by 7

    Chronologically situated between The World in his Arms and Blackbeard the Pirate, and a year after the fine adventure Distant Drums (1951), this is a Raoul Walsh minor but right western, play by soft Rock Hudson and beautiful Julie Adams. Correct, ascetic, vivacious -like the majority of Walsh movies- it tell us the lawless John W. Hardin story based on his autobiography. A entertaining film with no problems or pomp. Nimble. It has got efficacious supporting actors.

1Irving Glassbergcinematographer
2Raoul Walshdirector
3Frank Grosseditor
4John Wesley Hardinwriter
5Bernard Gordonwriter
6William Allandwriter