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(aka "Cowpoke" )
USA 1952

The titular Lusty Men are rodeo riders in this modern-day western, assembled with a touch of the offbeat by director Nicholas Ray. Former rodeo star Robert Mitchum, disabled by a series of accidents, hobbles back to his Oklahoma hometown in hopes of replenishing his bank account. Aspiring bronco-buster Arthur Kennedy hires Mitchum to train him for an upcoming rodeo, promising that they'll split the winnings. It doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that Mitchum will soon fall hard for Kennedy's wife Susan Hayward; she can take Mitchum or leave him, but decides to take him so that he'll continue to train Kennedy. After a falling out, Mitchum quits his job and enters the rodeo himself, hoping to win the prize from the arrogant Kennedy. He proves he still has what it takes, but does so at the price of his life. The Lusty Men was co-adapted by one-time cowboy David Dotort from a Life magazine story by Claude Stannish.


Never was a bronc that couldn‘t be rode. Never was a cowboy that couldn’t be throwed." Spinning tales of big money made as a bronco buster, an ex-rodeo star (Robert Mitchum) wanders into the life of ranch hand Wes Merritt (Arthur Kennedy). Wes is won over, despite the protests of his wife (Susan Hayward), who, against her judgment, feels drawn to the stranger, too. Directed by Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause), The Lusty Men finds poetry in the heart-stopping action of the rodeo ring, in the simmering sexuality of Mitchum’s laconic masculinity and Hayward‘s fiery beauty, and in the everyday grit of the postwar West: cramped trailers, pot roast in a cast-iron skillet, men breaking their bones for a paltry payday. “Mitchum is at his best as the seen-it-a1l, done-it-twice ex-champ” (Michael Barson, The Illustrated Who 's Who of Hollywood Directors).



Theatrical Release: October 24th, 1952

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:52:48

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 1.0 (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer (2:32)

DVD Release Date: November 11th, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 24



Wow - what a wait. Nicholas Ray's The Lusty Men has finally made it to disc thank to The Warner Archive. This is one of the best westerns - period. Mitchum is at his very best. It carries a documentary-style presence at times but is steeped in emotion. Absolute masterpiece.

It's dual-layered and progressive in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio and looks very good with a few minor inconsistencies. This is labeled under the Warner's "Archive Collection" marquee and the image is very stable ( a shade of contrast flickering in the beginning) and detail that seems to improve as the film runs. Black levels are strong and contrast surprisingly good for SD. I'm very pleased.

The mono sound is decent, unremarkable but clear and audible and there are no subtitles offered. The only supplement is the film's trailer - looking a bit rougher.

This source looks strong enough for a 1080P release - but after decades of patience for this SD - I won't hold my breath. No point looking a gift-horse in the mouth! Our highest recommendation!  

  - Gary Tooze




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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC


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