The Lawless Breed (Walsh, 1953)

The Lawless Breed (Raoul Walsh, 1953)

Possibly the worst classic western I’ve seen (though I haven’t really experienced any of the real cheap ‘B’ ones yet). But from a director as highly regarded as Walsh, who was responsible for one of the great westerns I’ve seen lately (Colorado Territory) I expect more. Everything about this movie was awful. Rock Hudson proved yet again that he belonged nowhere near the front side of a motion picture camera. He’s awful and nearly every one of his supporting actors is bad as well. The film’s execution is just as bad with its dull, uninspired cinematography, overbearing soundtrack, and storytelling that felt like it was just going through the motions. The moment when Hudson’s gal begins cleaning some cuts on his back and he grimaces in what looks to be the worst pain of his life while the music charges in to help illustrate such deep anguish, I knew I was watching a train-wreck of lazy emotional output. Said gal, played by Julie Adams however, is the lone bright spot as she somehow manages to rise up out of the foul pile around her and give a performance that keeps her character refreshingly captivating.  4.25/10

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