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Best of the Badmen (1951)

Approved | | Western | 1951 (UK)
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
Matthew Fowler
'Doc' Butcher
Curley Ringo
Jim Younger (as Bob Wilke)
Lee MacGregor ...


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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Here they come!




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Release Date:

1951 (UK)  »

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?


Opening credits: Except as to true names that are used and as to general historical background, the characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictional. Any similarity to other actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. See more »


When Clanton discusses his plans to get even with Matthew Fowler, Clanton is sitting at a table and there is about a foot between him and Younger. The camera angle changes and Younger is suddenly so close that his elbow is actually in front of Clanton's elbow as they sit at the table. See more »


Doc Butcher: We heard tell about an outlaw that was on the loose. So we just followed the trail of shot-up saloons and worn-out posses.
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

" When investigating history, rip out this page and throw it away "
30 June 2011 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This is a story written about the West and some of the more famous individuals who really participated in it's inception. For many in the audience, this movie star's Robert Ryan and the great and magnetic presence he brings to the silver screen. The story is called " Best of the Bad men. " Proportedly it is set in the 1860's shortly after the Civil War. The last of the rebel hold outs have been captured by Major Jefferson Clanton (Robert Ryan) and the Union army and offered the oath of Alligence to the United States. This does not sit well with the carpetbaggers who believe the Rebels should be tried and hanged. Robert Preston is Matthew Fowler a greedy, mob-stirring businessman who is out to crucify Clanton for denying him his bounty on the former bad men. Walter Brennan, Bruce Cabot and Jack Buetel make for a formidable bunch as the beginnings of the infamous James and Younger gangs. For a touch of feminine beauty we have beautiful and seductive Claire Trevor as Lily Fowler. Together, the entire cast makes for a rousing yarn set in the Old West. There is plenty of explosions, gun-fights, fist-fighting, fast horses and double dealing to keep the audience interesting and for once, our hero Robert Ryan doesn't have to play the heavy. OK, the story is a bit far-fetch, but fun none-the-less. Recommended to anyone who wishes to slay a somber afternoon. ***

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