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The Lawless (1950)

Macdonald Carey , Gail Russell , Joseph Losey  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Macdonald Carey, Gail Russell, Johnny Sands, Lee Patrick, John Hoyt
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Writers: Daniel Mainwaring
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007KW5NG2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

This Intriguing study of Mexican-American fruit-pickers, subjected to all sorts of abuse and racial discrimination in a California small town was the second feature-film by legendary director Joseph Losey (The Servant). Macdonald Carey plays a crusading newspaperman who seemingly is the only person willing to champion the oppressed workers' cause and tries to stop a lynch mob's manhunt of a Latino fugitive accused of fomenting a riot. The director, producers and writers of this film are to be commended for tackling a controversial issue in an honest, no-nonsense fashion. Joseph Losey was later blacklisted in the United States and moved to Europe where he made the remainder of his films, mostly in the United Kingdom.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "B" movie with superb performances June 16, 2012
Format:DVD
THE LAWLESS is finally getting the attention it deserves.
The film in the pantheon of Joseph Losey is a fast moving emotional story of racial bigotry.
MacDonald Carey and Gail Russell play reporters on different sides of a story of a Mexican
field worker who is accused of many things including rape of a white girl.
From the Paramount "B" unit of Pine-Thomas, this is their finest hour indeed.
Carey is his usual sturdy self as the reporter of the large newspaper, The Union while Gail Russell is the reporter for the Hispanic small town paper.
Miss Russell gives the finest performance of her career at Paramount just as she is about to be dropped from their star roster because of her problems with alcohol. As Sunny Garcia, she gives a beautifully nuanced performance. Russell, always beautiful and many times very effective really presents a new acting ability in this film.
It is a blessed release of a long forgotten and very important movie. Don't miss it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How Deep Is Your Decency?... September 14, 2012
Format:DVD
In Hollywood, there has always been a tendency to play it safe and produce films based on tried-and-true formulas designed strictly as mainstream entertainment. Yet in every decade there have been a few brave directors who defied convention and dared to create substantive motion pictures dealing with important social issues. Many of these bold productions are pretty much forgotten, but modern audiences now have a chance to see, thanks to DVD, a number of memorable movies from the past that explored how fear and ignorance can quickly lead to violence and hatred. Two of the most notable examples are THE WELL, directed by Leo Popkin & Russell Rouse, and this film, THE LAWLESS, directed by Joseph Losey. While neither could honestly be called a cinematic masterpiece, both are worth viewing for their consciousness-raising content.
THE LAWLESS deals with the friction in a small California community between self-righteous townspeople and Mexican-American farm workers (referred to as "fruit tramps" by the locals). Macdonald Carey plays a newly-arrived newspaper editor who becomes interested in the case of a young Hispanic man wanted by the police on a number of questionable charges. The trouble reaches a boiling point when the youth is captured and the "decent" townsfolk assemble in a mob determined to carry out their own ideas of justice. All things considered, the film takes a fairly bold stand on the rights of the accused, and the subject matter is pretty strong stuff for 1950. Unfortunately, the movie's power is somewhat muted by a rather uninspired performance by Carey and a script that lacks a sharp dramatic edge. One never gets a sense that the editor has any deep convictions, so it's hard to know how he truly feels about the farm workers.
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