The Lusty Men
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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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A somewhat slow starter, once underway it is kept playing with growing interest under Nicholas Ray's firm direction."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A masterpiece by Nicholas Ray -- perhaps the most melancholy and reflective of his films."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Functions as mini-ethnography, laying bare the alluring and dangerous world of bronc- and braman-riding, while spinning an artful melodrama about aging, fame, and failure"
‑ Leo Goldsmith, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
"The first few brief sequences in Nicholas Ray's rip-roaring rodeo flick tell us visually almost everything that we need to know about the director's interest in this story."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"The story isn't much (the security of family life versus the rootlessness and danger of working as a rodeo rider), but the situation is rich in emotional resonances which Ray conjures into life convincingly."
‑ , Time Out
"Ray's last b/w film captures the life of rodeo players with vivid details, lyrical images, and melnacholy mood, centering on a romantic triangle, well played by Arthur Kennedy, Susan Hayward, and especially Robert Mitchum as the aging champ."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Ray takes a thin story and enriches it with depth, complexity, and interesting characters."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The punch of the film is in its details of rodeo life as it is, and for this R. K. O. and Producer Jerry Wald have a dynamic film."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Ray's direction is superb, and all three leads give bravura performances."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"[Ray] was happiest with personal stories where a confrontation between characters leads to a conclusion, however sombre. The confrontation here is complex."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for The Lusty Men on Rotten Tomatoes