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The Lusty Men (1952)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,481 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 26 critic

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... See full summary »

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Airs Fri. Sep. 11, 4:00 AM on TCM

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Louise Merritt
...
Jeff McCloud
...
Wes Merritt
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
Booker Davis
...
Al Dawson
Walter Coy ...
Buster Burgess
Carol Nugent ...
Rusty Davis
Maria Hart ...
Rosemary Maddox
Lorna Thayer ...
Grace Burgess
...
Jeremiah Watrus
Karen Randle ...
Ginny Logan (as Karen King)
Jimmie Dodd ...
Red Logan
Eleanor Todd ...
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 | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cowpoke  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Parrish directed for several days when Nicholas Ray fell ill. 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

 
Ignore the misleading lurid title, this is a really good movie
8 February 2009 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Don't let the illfitted lurid title mislead you, this is a really good movie played serious, the kind of conventional in its arc but altogether engrossing drama old Hollywood used to make in its golden age. Picked up by RKO for distribution and directed by Cahiers-championed Hollywood auteur Nicholas Ray, THE LUSTY MEN has little to offer in the way of lust but quite a lot of rodeo excitement. Robert Mitchum is worn-out bronco rider Jeff McCloud, once a rodeo legend and now a peniless drifter who drunk and gambled away the small fortune he made falling out of horse's backs. He becomes attached to a man working as a cowhand in a nearby ranch and his lovely wife and soon convinces the man to take up rodeoing with himself as mentor. What at first seems like quick easy money will soon prove to involve a whole lot more, from broken bones to broken marriages. This is a three-character drama that bounces off inside the triangle formed by washed-up, has-been bronco rider McCloud, the ambitious and reckless up-and-comer played by Arthur Kennedy and his wife (Susan Hayward) who desperately wants her husband off the rodeo business while he can still walk in one piece, all this seasoned for good measure with rodeo footage, bronco riding, bulldogging and what have you. Ray's direction is good, the rodeo setting provides an exotic backdrop of western Americana which should appeal to us lovers of open vistas and wild landscapes and the performances are ace all around. Mitchum is at the top of his game playing the kind of character he could play with eyes closed and jack-of-all-trades Arthur Kennedy (who worked with everyone from Fritz Lang and Anthony Mann to Samuel Fuller and David Lean before washing up in Italy for a career doing b-movies for directors like Umberto Lenzi and Jorge Frau) follows suit. Red-haired Susan Hayward was the big revelation for me. This was the first time I saw her in a movie but she appears to have been on contract for RKO, having worked in movies by in-house directors Jacques Tourneur and Mark Robson, before going on to co-star next to such people as Gary Cooper, Robert Mitchum (again), John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck.


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