6.9/10
355
9 user 13 critic

The Lawless (1950)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 9 June 1950 (USA)
A newspaper editor in a small agricultural town finds himself going against the people in the town when he gets involved in the plight of the area's fruit pickers, who are mostly Mexican.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writer:

Daniel Mainwaring (written for the screen by) (as Geoffrey Homes)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The day before a young man is to be executed for killing his girlfriend, his alcoholic father shows up to try to prove his innocence.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Michael Redgrave, Ann Todd, Leo McKern
The Big Night (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A teenager comes of age while seeking revenge on the man who beat up his father.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: John Drew Barrymore, Preston Foster, Joan Lorring
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In UK, after pulling a racetrack robbery, repeat offender Johnny Bannion hides the loot in a farmer's field but the police and the local mob come looking for Johnny and for the money.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Stanley Baker, Sam Wanamaker, Grégoire Aslan
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1943, an Allied hospital-ship is sunk by the Japanese in the South-Pacific where a nurse and a Marine become marooned on an island abandoned by natives.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Linda Darnell, Tab Hunter, Donald Gray
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Cameron finds a tank buried in the Arabian desert during WWII, and proceeds to attack the Arabs with it.

Director: Ewald André Dupont
Stars: Rod Cameron, Tab Hunter, John Dehner
Gun Belt (1953)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Outlaw Matt Ringo escapes prison and wants to co-opt his former outlaw brother Billy into robbing a Wells Fargo money shipment, but Billy has gone straight, the town Marshal is Wyatt Earp, and the Clinton gang wants in on the deal.

Director: Ray Nazarro
Stars: George Montgomery, Tab Hunter, Helen Westcott
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Belle (Melina Mercouri) is a tempestuous gypsy girl who is after Sir Paul Deverill (Keith Michell). Her plan is to marry him and take him for every cent he has before moving on to other lovers.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Melina Mercouri, Keith Michell, Flora Robson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
Mystery | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1950s London, Dutch painter Jan-Van Rooyer has an affair with a rich married Frenchwoman who is murdered, causing Van Rooyer to become prime-suspect for the Scotland Yard.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Hardy Krüger, Stanley Baker, Micheline Presle
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A married movie studio executive's life, starts to fall apart when he is intimately stalked by a beautiful woman he claims he does not know.

Directors: Joseph Losey, Alec C. Snowden
Stars: Richard Basehart, Mary Murphy, Constance Cummings
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Sylvia Sidney, Henry Fonda, Barton MacLane
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a convict breaks in a psychotherapist's home, he agrees to rehabilitation rather than arrest but the therapist's wife becomes infatuated with him.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Macdonald Carey ... Larry Wilder
Gail Russell ... Sunny Garcia
Johnny Sands ... Joe Ferguson (as John Sands)
Lee Patrick ... Jan Dawson
John Hoyt ... Ed Ferguson
Lalo Rios Lalo Rios ... Paul Rodriguez
Maurice Jara Maurice Jara ... Lopo Chavez
Walter Reed ... Jim Wilson
Herbert Anderson ... Jonas Creel (as Guy Anderson)
Argentina Brunetti ... Mrs. Rodriguez
William Edmunds William Edmunds ... Mr. Jensen
Gloria Winters ... Mildred Jensen
John Davis John Davis ... Harry Pawling
Martha Hyer ... Caroline Tyler
Frank Fenton ... Mr. Prentiss
Edit

Storyline

Former big city newsman Larry Wilder is tired of fighting the powers that be and just wants to enjoy his new life as a small-town newspaper editor. He thinks his bucolic new home will provide him with an easy and unconflicted life. But when a young Latino farmworker is goaded into a fight by racist rich boys, Wilder finds himself the only white citizen of the town willing to stand up for the boy's rights. He joins with Sunny Garcia, a staffer for a small weekly newspaper for the Hispanic workers, in trying to see justice done and possibly to save a life. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Terror on the loose - as men lose their reason in the grip of mob rule ! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Outrage See more »

Filming Locations:

Grass Valley, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Identified by critic Thom Andersen as an example of "film gris", a suggested sub-category of film noir incorporating a left-wing narrative. See more »

Quotes

Cadwallader: See that white line over there? If I was the sheriff, which I ain't, since I never was lazy enough to work for the county, I'd hike right along it, to the river.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Histoire(s) du cinéma: Seul le cinéma (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Little Closer Look
20 June 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Plot-- A normal American farming town is split racially apart as a Latino boy is blamed for a number of offenses against town whites. In the process, the town newspaper only makes the situation worse as the new publisher shies away from digging out facts that might relieve the situation.

There were a number of social-conscience movies made in the late-40's and early-50's; that is, before the Cold War and McCarthy froze them out. This is one of them, more obscure, however, than most. Though the 83-minutes contains elements of first-rate expose, it fails to rank among the best of that period, e.g. The Well (1951), Lost Boundaries (1949), No Way Out (1950). Now, I'm not saying it's not a good or worthwhile movie of its kind. On the contrary, it is. However, I don't think it' as memorable as the best of the period, and that's surprising given the film's outstanding writer (Mainwaring) and director (Losey).

What I think the results lack most noticeably is an intense core. Usually this is supplied by a cast principal. Here, however, the concept of publisher Wilder (Carey) is much too laid-back to supply the needed intensity. His flaw in the face of community conflict is not greed or power, but apathetic retreat after a lifetime of hard-driving journalism. Apathy is a good point to make since it allows the racial rivalry to worsen. Given the overall lack of an intense core, however, the concept comes at a price. At the same time, it's hard to see how Carey's Wilder could ever have been intense. Then too, there's Gail Russell's educated Hispanic, who could be a forceful voice for her community. But she's more a pretty presence than a factor. I'm not sure whether her retreat lies with the writer, director, or actress, or a combination thereof. However, coupling her with the laid-back Wilder creates a soft center that fails to catalyze the more incendiary elements and weakens the film as a whole. Even the angry mob provides more spectacle than either needed fear or tension.

On the positive side is a fine performance by Maurice Jara as Lopo, the hapless victim of circumstances. His anguish really comes across during the breakdown scene as the posse closes in. And I certainly agree with the reviewer who singles out Lee Patrick's sharp performance as the ethically challenged reporter Jan Dawson. It's really she who shows a seedy side of journalism by sacrificing facts for increased circulation. And catch perennial villain John Hoyt cast against type as a wealthy liberal (Ferguson) who does what he can to dampen animosities. Note too how his upper-class standing finesses class issues that might otherwise become a factor.

There are a number of topical touches that make the movie still relevant to today's audiences. Note how one of the cops roughs up Lopo with apparent impunity, though the script turns suddenly cautious by having another cop reprimand him. Note too, how whites and Latinos mix amicably at the dance, until hot-headed teens start defending their honor. The suggestion here is that it is possible for racial groups to get along socially, despite adversities. And speaking of teens, bobby-sox idol Johnny Sands is featured as hot-headed Joe Ferguson, ever ready to make a bad situation worse. Still, I can hear even now the girls of the time swooning over him.

The movie gets a big leg up by filming on location, especially in seedy surroundings that reflect rural hard work. I don't know where they went for those miles and miles of rolling rock mounds, but they're like frozen ocean waves. Plus, they aptly symbolize the desolate situation Lopo finds himself in. Given the movie's many outstanding features, I'm just sorry they don't get the cohesive impact needed to lift results into the front rank of social protest films. Nonetheless, the production is still well worth catching up with despite the relative obscurity.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed