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Best of the Badmen (1951)

Approved | | Western | 1951 (UK)
The outlaws of the Clanton and Younger gangs are the heroes of this fictionalized biography.

Director:

William D. Russell

Writers:

Robert Hardy Andrews (screenplay), John Twist (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Ryan ... Jeff Clanton
Claire Trevor ... Lily
Jack Buetel ... Bob Younger
Robert Preston ... Matthew Fowler
Walter Brennan ... 'Doc' Butcher
Bruce Cabot ... Cole Younger
John Archer ... Curley Ringo
Lawrence Tierney ... Jesse James
Barton MacLane ... Joad
Tom Tyler ... Frank James
Robert J. Wilke ... Jim Younger (as Bob Wilke)
John Cliff ... John Younger
Lee MacGregor Lee MacGregor ... Lieutenant
Emmett Lynn ... Oscar
Carleton Young ... Wilson
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Storyline

After the Civil War, Union Major Clanton captures survivors of Quantrill's Raiders, and gets them clemency at the cost of shooting a mob member. Convicted of murder by a kangaroo court, Clanton escapes and joins the former raiders in a gang devoted to robbing everything protected by the corrupt detective agency of his enemy Fowler; culminating in a personal showdown. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Here they come!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1951 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Rächer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the Alhambra Hotel and Bar was previously used by MGM in the 1946 award winning film The Harvey Girls starring Judy Garland and John Hodiak. Although her voice was dubbed, Angela Landsbury's character Em performed many a song and dance in the Alhambra. The Alhambra hotel name can still be found today in the U.S. and around the world. See more »

Goofs

When Clanton meets with Mrs. Fowler in her hotel room, he puts her gun in his waste band and then puts his hands on his hips. The camera angle changes and his arms are suddenly straight down at his side. See more »

Quotes

Jeff Clanton: Horse thief! You'll get life!
Doc Butcher: Major, I collect bridles for souvenirs. And on the end of one, I was plumb surprised to find a horse!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: "This story tells a forgotten chapter in the violent history of the West. Months after the tragic war between the States had ended there was still no peace on the Western Frontier." See more »

Connections

Follows Return of the Bad Men (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Doing a good deed gets him good and punished
16 March 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

What happens to Robert Ryan in Best Of The Badmen comes under the heading of no good deed goes unpunished. Ryan is a Union Army major who persuades the last of Quantrill's Raiders to give up and accept an amnesty. Those are his orders, but he also was waiting on his discharge. When both come around the same time it causes trouble when he shoots a man who was trying to prevent these outlaws from taking the oath of allegiance to the USA as prescribed in Lincoln's amnesty policy. Ryan gets arrested and tried and convicted and sentenced to hang.

Villain of the piece is Robert Preston who is a carpetbagger looking to set up a quasi dictatorship in the area. The script isn't too clear about just where this is all supposed to be. There were carpetbag governments in Texas, but not in Kansas or Missouri or in what was the Indian nations or Oklahoma. Be that as it may Preston is an unscrupulous nasty customer. He's so bad he has a wife who left him to sing in saloons. Claire Trevor also helps Ryan escape.

What else is Ryan to do but throw in with the same men he freed who are now real outlaws. An impressive cast was assembled by RKO that included Lawrence Tierney, Bruce Cabot, Jack Beutel, Robert Wilkie, Tom Tyler, John Archer, and Walter Brennan. Barton MacLane is his usual nasty rasping self as Preston's chief henchmen.

This really great cast puts over this western which is not terribly accurate.


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