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
"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
"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
"Portrayed with Ray's usual sympathy for outsiders, the central threesome are decent, flawed romantics ."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"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 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 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
More reviews for The Lusty Men on Rotten Tomatoes