It’s a weepie then, but not in your face and the ending is rather nice. In accordance with films of this era she has a large comfy house and a black servant, husband and wife of course have separate beds. A curious choice for action director Rudolph Mate. Margaret Sullavan seems rather neglected now but was one of the great stars of her day, we like her a lot here, as per the label.
THE LUSTY MEN. Nick Ray’s 1952 drama about rodeos (produced by Jerry Wald, with authentic rodeo locations) has not been seen for a long time, I thought this was a Fox film, but its RKO Radio. It may be one of Ray’s best films, with certainly among the best work of the three leads: Robert Mitchum is Jeff McCloud a rootless, broke rodeo star, Susan Hayward and Arthur Kennedy are the married couple who want a ranch. He teaches Kennedy how to become a rodeo champion, to the disquiet of
Mitchum tries to be a ranch hand (to be close to Louise - Hayward) and passes on his rodeo fever on to Kennedy, whose success alienates his wife as he now hangs around with the rodeo crowd. Kennedy initially took up rodeo riding to make enough money for their ranch, but now has money to spend, drink, with hangers-on and the attention of bar-room floozies. The film creates an exciting atmosphere with wild horses, bucking broncos and leisure time spent carousing in the bars where a day's prize money could be lost in drinking and gambling, then there is the inevitable tragic ending ... It really is a nice companion piece to THE MISFITS, and both Hayward and Mitchum do some of their best work here. Perhaps it might have benefited from being in colour.
Plus a rom-com treat: