6.4/10
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23 user 13 critic

The Lawless Breed (1952)

Approved | | 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.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
Rock Hudson ... John Wesley Hardin
Julie Adams ... Rosie McCoy (as Julia Adams)
Mary Castle ... Jane Brown
John McIntire ... J.G. Hardin / John Clements
Hugh O'Brian ... Ike Hanley
Dennis Weaver ... Jim Clements
Forrest Lewis Forrest Lewis ... Zeke Jenkins
Lee Van Cleef ... Dirk Hanley
Tom Fadden ... Chick Noonan - Undertaker
Race Gentry ... Young John Hardin
Richard Garland ... Joe Clements
Glenn Strange ... Ben Hanley
William Pullen 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He cut a swath of daring across the great southwest! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Man with a Gun See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,300,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

 
A forgotten classic
19 February 2000 | by shell-26See all my reviews

It was made to a formula and revolves around most of the cliches in the Western handbook but it was hard not to enjoy this film.

It is based on the life of the famous Texan John Wesley Hardin. His youth was shaped by the Civil War and by his preacher father. When his father forbids him to practise shooting young Wes reckons its about time to leave home and seek his fortune. Almost immediately he kills a local gunslinger and plunges into the life of a rootin tootin cowboy, gambler and outlaw.

It has a classic opening a dignified man walking out of the prison gates, shaking hands with the warden and sniffing the air of freedom. It has an equally recognisable ending, back at the ranch to see how his wife and family have managed during the long years of incarceration.

The final scenes of the film are lovely, it won't spoil the film to say he learned from his experiences and lived a long and happy life.

There is nothing new in this film. Although it claims to be an autobiography, it is one of countless 1950's Westerns with a theme of a young man seeking adventure and finding redemption. The real strength of the movie is its star Rock Hudson, barrel chested and manly, who shoots, rides, kisses, gambles and drinks as well as any of his contemporaries. One of the baddies is a young Lee Van Cleef who easily steals scenes from his fellow wrong-doers.

It won't change your life, the way "Shane" might have done but it won't hurt you to watch it, and to remember Rock Hudson in the way he should be remembered.


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