Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Louise Merritt
...
Jeff McCloud
...
Wes Merritt
...
Booker Davis
...
Al Dawson
...
Buster Burgess
Carol Nugent ...
Rusty Davis
...
Rosemary Maddox
Lorna Thayer ...
Grace Burgess
...
Jeremiah Watrus
Karen Randle ...
Ginny Logan (as Karen King)
...
Red Logan
...
Babs
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Storyline

When he sustains a rodeo injury, star rider Jeff McCloud returns to his hometown after many years of absence. He signs on as a hired hand with a local ranch, where he befriends fellow ranch hand Wes and his wife Louise. Wes has big dreams of owning his own little farm, and rodeo winnings could help finance it. Wes convinces Jeff to coach him in the rodeo ways, but Louise has her doubts. She doesn't want her man to end up a broken down rodeo bum like Jeff McCloud. Despite Louise's concern, the threesome hit the road in their Woody, chucking a secure present for an unknown future. Will they find success or sorrow? This picture features plenty of rodeo action and thrills. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Fast Buck... A Fast Bronc... A Fast Thrill!

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport | Western

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowpoke  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The practice of lying still after being thrown from a bull fell by the wayside many years ago, for obvious reasons. See more »

Goofs

During the Tucson Rodeo sequence, bull rider [Chet?] Peterson switches hands mid-ride. See more »

Quotes

Jeff McCloud: Hope's a funny thing. You can have it even when there ain't no reason for it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Robert Mitchum: The Reluctant Star (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life On the Rodeo Circuit
8 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of Robert Mitchum's best films from his days at RKO is The Lusty Men about the rodeo circuit. Mitchum plays Jeff McCloud a burned out rodeo rider who spots some potential star talent in Wes Merritt. He also spots Merritt's wife and the Merritts are played by Arthur Kennedy and Susan Hayward.

Mitchum's been thrown by one too many bulls and horses and he's a burned out man. Still the allure of the circuit holds him in sway. He mentors Kennedy until they come to a parting of the ways and not just over Susan Hayward. The part is a perfect fit for Mitchum, his own footloose past made him understand the character of Jeff McCloud and bring it to life.

This was the first of two films Mitchum did with Susan Hayward. She's clearly in support of him and she knows it. Her big moment on screen is dispatching a rodeo groupie at a party who had designs on Arthur Kennedy. Her footage had to be shot first, according to Lee Server's biography of Mitchum, as Hayward had a commitment in Africa to shoot The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Among the supporting cast Arthur Hunnicutt, one of the biggest scene stealers around, is very good as another burned out rodeo rider. Mitchum looks at him and sees that is his future. In fact in the end, so does Kennedy.

The Lusty Men is a fine depiction of rodeo life, ranking up there with the later Junior Bonner and 8 Seconds. Good entertainment all around.


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