The Lawless (1950)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The Lawless was director Joseph Losey's second feature-length film. The story concerns a group of Mexican-American migrant workers who are subjected to all sorts of abuse and intolerance by their California bosses. A violent clash between whites and Latinos at a dance results in a torrent of bigotry. Seemingly the only Californian willing to champion the workers' cause is crusading newspaperman Larry Wilder, and soon he too is the victim of senseless mob violence. The story boils to a manhunt for a fugitive fruit-picker who has been accused of fomenting the aforementioned riot. Director Losey, producers William Pine and William Thomas and screenwriter Geoffrey Homes (aka Daniel Mainwaring) are to be commended for tackling a controversial issue in an honest, no-nonsense fashion; even so, the film ends in standard Hollywood-liberal fashion with a white man coming to the rescue.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Maverick Entertainment Group

Cast

Macdonald Carey
as Larry Wilder
Gail Russell
as Sunny Garcia
John Sands
as Joe Ferguson
Lee Patrick
as Jan Dawson
Johnny Sands
as Joe Ferguson
John Hoyt
as Ed Ferguson
Lalo Rios
as Paul Rodriguez
Maurice Jara
as Lopo Chavez
Walter Reed
as Jim Wilson
Herbert Anderson
as Jonas Creel
Argentina Brunetti
as Mrs. Rodriguez
William Edmunds
as Mr. Jensen
Gloria Winters
as Mildred Jensen
John Davis
as Harry Pawling
Martha Hyer
as Caroline Tyler
Frank Fenton
as Mr. Prentis
Paul Harvey
as Chief of Police Blake
Felipe Turich
as Mr. Rodriguez
Ian MacDonald
as Sgt. Al Peters
Noel Reyburn
as Fred Jackson
Tab Hunter
as Frank O'Brien
Russ Conway
as Eldredge
James Bush
as Anderson
Julia Faye
as Mrs. Jensen
Howard Negley
as Pete Cassell
Gordon Nelson
as Cadwallader
Frank Ferguson
as Carl Green
Ray Hyke
as Motorcycle Officer
Pedro de Cordoba
as Mr. Garcia
John Murphy
as Mayor
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Critic Reviews for The Lawless

All Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

A realistic B-film liberal melodrama about the discrimination of Mexican-American farm workers in California.

Full Review… | April 1, 2016
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The protean Losey's second feature is a modest little fighter that takes a risky subject--race and class conflict in a quiet, SoCal town--and almost goes somewhere with it. Olive Films did a first-rate job with their standard-definition transfer.

Full Review… | May 29, 2012
Slant Magazine

This early, socially-conscious film by Joseph Losey, before he was blacklisted, deals with racial discrimination in a powerful way.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

Audience Reviews for The Lawless

Tightly paced social problem programmer is well directed by Losey. Carey was never the strongest of leading men and perhaps the film would have been better served by an actor with more gravitas in the lead but he turns in an acceptable performance. Gail Russell is fine in the limited screen time she has but her role isn't really noteworthy. The person who is underutilized is Lee Patrick as an out of town reporter, whenever she's on screen the other actors recede into the background so sharp is her presence, the mark of a truly outstanding supporting performer. The story is sadly relevant however even today, how people can be swayed by mob rule and unreasoning prejudice.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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