Best of the Badmen (1951)

Passed  |   |  Western  |  19 November 1951 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 369 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 6 critic

The outlaws of the Clanton and Younger gangs are the heroes of this fictionalized biography.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Jeff Clanton
Jack Buetel ...
Matthew Fowler
'Doc' Butcher
John Archer ...
Curley Ringo
Jim Younger (as Bob Wilke)
John Cliff ...
Lee MacGregor ...
Emmett Lynn ...


After the Civil War, Union Major Clanton captures survivors of Quantrill's Raiders, and gets them clemency at the cost of shooting a mob member. Convicted of murder by a kangaroo court, Clanton escapes and joins the former raiders in a gang devoted to robbing everything protected by the corrupt detective agency of his enemy Fowler; culminating in a personal showdown. Written by Rod Crawford <>

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Here they come!




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Release Date:

19 November 1951 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Der Rächer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The name of the Alhambra Hotel and Bar was previously used by MGM in the 1946 award winning film The Harvey Girls starring Judy Garland and John Hodiak. Although her voice was dubbed, Angela Landsbury's character Em performed many a song and dance in the Alhambra. The Alhambra hotel name can still be found today in the U.S. and around the world. See more »


Clanton is seen pouring bourbon under his bandage. He pours for about seven seconds, yet his pants, the bandage and his leg never show signs of getting wet. When he takes the bottle out from behind the bandage, it does not appear to have any less liquid in it. See more »


Doc Butcher: Hey, wait a minute. I've always liked bridles with rosettes on 'em. I ought to take this along as a souvenir. And what do you know? It's got a horse on the end of it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "This story tells a forgotten chapter in the violent history of the West. Months after the tragic war between the States had ended there was still no peace on the Western Frontier." See more »


Follows Return of the Bad Men (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

What Happened To The RKO Script Development Dept?
20 September 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

When I noticed this movie advertised on ABC TV, I looked up the story, checked the cast, noted it was an RKO IB Technicolor production, and thought this just has to be seen. It sounded like I was headed for an above average western that I'd somehow missed over the years. Fifteen Min's in, I began to realize why I'd not come across it before (or had forgotten I had!)

It could offer some fun for the undiscerning or easily pleased, but both reviews by Robert Maxwell, and Plankton Rules (both IMDb) have summed it up perfectly (I should have listened to their warnings). With all the great and good classic productions out there, why waste time on sub standard writing like this! The cast is fine (especially Robert Ryan) Clair Trevor was easy on the eye in gloriously colorful dress, but direction and script fully lets them down. The overused, and under talented Barton Maclane simply became a bit of a put-off in these clichéd roles. Leonard Maltin calls it 'offbeat', but it tends to tread a rather conventional trail...and rather poorly. I like an 'off-beat' story, they can often give us a reason to think along different lines, a bit like James Clavell's early racially aware western: "Walk Like a Dragon" from 1960.

I suppose for 'Best Of The Bad Men' I should have been more conscious of the date ~ by the early 50's the once great RKO had been eroded into the doldrums by it's fanatical owner, and was just a few years away from total collapse. The combination of a 'B' western writer, and a largely Television based director, in this case, did not help either.

Worst of the badmen ~ stay away if your looking for facts, believability or logic.......KenR

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