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The Lawless Breed (1953)

Not Rated | | Action, Biography, 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.



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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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


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


The Greatest Gunfighter of Them All! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 January 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gefährliches Blut  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Capt. W.H. McNally: John Wesley Hardin has made the name of Texas stick in the nostrils of justice.
See more »


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

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User Reviews

standard western that could have been different with a less likable actor
9 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

A standard western with something of a Greek Tragedy, "Lawless Breed" romanticizes the life and exploits of one of the most legendary gunmen of the far west.

The film has some fine moments, notably the scene where Rock Hudson shoots Lee Van Cleef down amid a wind storm.

The events are quite predictable and the film becomes eventually formulaic. Veteran Raoul Walsh shows his craftsmanship solving scenes with great economy and pace.

Hudson is less obscure than many of the heroes of his films, and that makes me think what kind of picture this could have been with a less likable actor.

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