The Lusty Men

Sunday, July 13, 2014
So last night I was paging through the channel guide, looking for something to watch on television. TNT was running The Librarian series which, while I like it, I've seen just a few times. (Can you hear the sarcasm?) History was running back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes of Pawn Stars. Hallmark Movie Channel is doing Christmas in July, so it wasn't showing my favorite old mystery series. You get the picture.

Since I love old movies, I checked out TCM and saw next up was a movie called The Lusty Men from 1952. Cheesy title, right? But I like a lot of the movies made in the forties and fifties, so I clicked on the Info button to get the description. Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward? Definitely worth a shot, especially since there was nothing else.

I loved it! It was hard to believe I'd never heard of this movie before. It's about an aging rodeo star who takes a newcomer under his wing. The newcomer thinks it will be easy to earn enough money to buy a house--the house the Robert Mitchum character had grown up in, by the way--by competing in rodeos. The newcomer has a very attractive wife and there's definitely an attraction between the wife and the rodeo star. But this is the fifties, so it's very toned down compared to what you'd get today.

I particularly loved that a lot of the sequences took place at the Tucson Rodeo. I wasn't sure whether it was the real rodeo or a movie set at first, but when I saw the sign for Fiesta de los Vaqueros, I knew it had to be footage of the real thing. The rodeo arena is quite a bit different today, but still it looked familiar. I verified this on IMDB. It turns out they used several real rodeos to shoot the film.

I won't spoil the plot. I do recommend that you watch this movie the next time it shows up. I wish they made more movies like this today. There wasn't one single explosion.

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