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The Lawless Breed (1952)

Not Rated | | Western | 3 January 1953 (USA)
After being released from prison, former gun-fighter John Wesley Hardin hopes to have his autobiography published in order to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation.

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Writers:

(based on the life of John Wesley Hardin as written by himself), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Rosie McCoy (as Julia Adams)
Mary Castle ...
...
J.G. Hardin / John Clements
...
Ike Hanley
...
Jim Clements
Forrest Lewis ...
Zeke Jenkins
...
Dirk Hanley
Tom Fadden ...
Chick Noonan - Undertaker
...
Young John Hardin
Richard Garland ...
Joe Clements
...
Ben Hanley
William Pullen ...
Joe Hardin
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Storyline

Released from jail, John Wesley Hardin leaves an account of his life with the local newspaper. It tells of his overly religious father, his resulting life of cards and guns, and his love for his step-sister replaced on her death during a gun fight with that for dance-hall girl Rosie. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Gunfighter of Them All! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 January 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gefährliches Blut  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real John Wesley Hardin was a sadistic, sociopathic killer who murdered at least 43 people, many from ambush, some shot in the back and one for snoring too loudly. The actual number of people he killed is still unknown. A raging alcoholic, many of his most murderous sprees were fueled by his prodigious consumption of the almost toxic hard liquor of those days. See more »

Goofs

Mid-point in the film, as the wounded Hardin is being helped into hiding by his uncle, a two-trailer truck drives by in the background, clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

John Clements: What are you doing on the trail? Trying to pick up a little stray business?
Chick Noonan: I pick up business any place I can find it. Business was good in Abilene. I had a special embalming and burying job on the Durango Kid. And if I do say so myself, when he was laid out, his own wife didn't even know him. She thought he was a stranger asleep in the parlor.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Texas State Penitentiary-1896

The"Badmen"of the West, the Jameses, the Daltons, the Ringos, and Youngers, are now part of American folk-lore. Research has added another name to the list- JOHN WESLEY HARDIN.

Hardin's story is unique because it was written by the man himself. This extraordinary testament, now a collector's item, was published in Seguin, Texas in 1896. See more »

Connections

Featured in Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Misunderstood Gunfighter!
28 May 2007 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"The Lawless Breed" attempts to tell the life story of John Wesley Hardin, the misunderstood gunfighter, from his point of view.

The story begins with Hardin (Rock Hudson) being released from prison after serving 16 of 25 years for murder. He goes to the local newspaper and presents the editor with a hand written story of his life. The film then flashes back to his youth where young "Wes" is practicing his fast draw. His father, Preacher J.G. Hardin (John McIntyre) takes a whip to him, condemning his life style. Wes decides to leave home and pursue his dream of earning enough money to buy a small horse ranch for himself and his sweetheart Jane Brown (Mary Castle).

The rest of the film can be summed up with the phrase, "I never killed anyone who didn't try to kill me first". He is forced to gun down gambler Gus Handley (Michael Ansara) which brings upon him the wrath of his three brothers, Ike (Hugh O'Brian), Dirk (Lee Van Cleef) and Ben (Glenn Strange).

While trying to escape a posse, Hardin hides out with his uncle John Clements (McIntyre again) and his sons Jim (Dennis Weaver) and Joe (Richard Garland). When he returns home to fetch Jane, she is killed during his escape from the farm. Hardin takes solace in the arms of "saloon girl" Rosie (Julia Adams) whom he later marries.

Ready to surrender to the law after his planned marriage, Hardin is double-crossed and...........................................

Rock Hudson, on the verge of becoming a super star, turns in an excellent performance as the troubled Hardin. He plays the character over a 20 year period. This was one of his first starring roles. He benefited greatly from the direction of the veteran director Raoul Walsh who managed to expose his real talent for the first time.

As in most of Universal's fast paced little eighty minute color westerns, there is plenty of action and beautiful Technicolor photography. It also had the benefit of a cast of recognizable supporting players, most of whom had appeared in countless "B" westerns. In addition to those already mentioned above, Steve Darrell appears as Sheriff Jenkins, Robert Anderson as Wild Bill Hickcock, Dick Wessel, Emory Parnell and I. Stanford Jolley as various bartenders, Francis Ford (brother of John) as a saloon sweeper and George Wallace as a saloon bully.

An entertaining western.


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