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The Badlanders

Overview

Peter Van Hook (Alan Ladd), alias The Dutchman, is nearing the end of a stretch in Yuma Territorial Prison for a gold robbery that he didn't commit. Released early with the unwitting -- and unwilling -- help of fellow inmate John McBain (Ernest Borgnine), he sets about getting even with the men and the mining company whose original owner got him into trouble, in a plan of double- and triple-crosses for which he needs the reluctant help of McBain. The latter wants nothing more than to go back to the life of a ...
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Overview

Peter Van Hook (Alan Ladd), alias The Dutchman, is nearing the end of a stretch in Yuma Territorial Prison for a gold robbery that he didn't commit. Released early with the unwitting -- and unwilling -- help of fellow inmate John McBain (Ernest Borgnine), he sets about getting even with the men and the mining company whose original owner got him into trouble, in a plan of double- and triple-crosses for which he needs the reluctant help of McBain. The latter wants nothing more than to go back to the life of a rancher -- and then he discovers something equally important in life, when he steps in to help a victimized Mexican woman (Katy Jurado). Suddenly, McBain is very interested in the Dutchman's scheme, and with the help of explosives expert Vincente (Nehemiah Persoff), they pull off what looks like an absolutely perfect robbery of a gold mine -- even the evidence that a crime was committed ends up being covered up. But Cyirl Lounsberry (Kent Smith), the financier who's supposed to fence the gold, has other ideas, and a crooked lawman (Adam Williams) to back him up.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Delmer Daves' The Badlanders walks a fine line between the traditional and the modern western, with some surprising -- and appealing -- twists along the way. It was based on W. R. Burnett's The Asphalt Jungle, which had been filmed in a form very close to the original book at MGM eight years earlier by John Huston. Transposing the story to a western setting works well -- this is one of the better noir-ish westerns this side of Raoul Walsh's Pursued -- though there are liberties taken with the plot and the characters, and the movie has more than its share of ironic twists for an oater, not to mention a serious social conscience. For starters, none of the characters behaves in the manner that one expects, in terms of usual genre entries -- Ernest Borgnine's McBain is less educated than Alan Ladd's Dutchman, but proves every bit as sensitive and perceptive. The story arc also follows an odd path, weaving between the two principal characters in ways that don't always make it immediately clear that they're going to be interacting again. And accident and bad planning enter into the proceedings here even more than they do in typical film noir. And the result is an immensely satisfying western, with more than enough action intermingled with the serious psychology to please modern audiences.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/20/2009
  • UPC: 883316211359
  • Original Release: 1958
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Archives
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Time: 1:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 18,032

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Ladd Peter Van Hook
Ernest Borgnine John McBain
Katy Jurado Anita
Claire Kelly Ada Winton
Nehemiah Persoff Vincente
Kent Smith Cyril Lounsberry
Robert Emhardt Sample
Anthony Caruso Comanche
Adam Williams Leslie
Ford Rainey Warden
John Day Lee
Paul R. Baxley Jr. Jeff
Roberto Contreras Pepe
Karl Swenson Marshal
Barbara Baxley
Technical Credits
Delmer Daves Director
James Balotto Editor
Daniel B. Cathcart Art Director
Richard Collins Screenwriter
Henry W. Grace Set Decoration/Design
William Horning Art Director
Jack Mills Set Decoration/Design
Aaron Rosenberg Producer
John F. Seitz Cinematographer
William J. Tuttle Makeup
William H. Webb Editor
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