When he sustains a rodeo injury, star rider Jeff McCloud returns to his hometown after many years of absence. He signs on as a hired hand with a local ranch, where he befriends fellow ranch hand Wes and his wife Louise. Wes has big dreams of owning his own little farm, and rodeo winnings could help finance it. Wes convinces Jeff to coach him in the rodeo ways, but Louise has her doubts. She doesn’t want her man to end up a broken down rodeo bum like Jeff McCloud. Despite Louise’s concern, the threesome hit the road in their Woody, chucking a secure present for an unknown future. Will they find success or sorrow? This picture features plenty of rodeo action and thrills.
Thomas McWilliams <[email protected]>
User Reviews: Don’t let the illfitted lurid title mislead you, this is a really good movie played serious, the kind of conventional in its arc but altogether engrossing drama old Hollywood used to make in its golden age. It may have little to offer in the way of lust but quite a lot of rodeo excitement. Robert Mitchum is worn-out bronco rider Jeff McCloud, once a rodeo legend and now a peniless drifter who drunk and gambled away the small fortune he made by falling out of horses’ backs. He becomes attached to a man working as a cowhand in a nearby ranch and his lovely wife and soon convinces the man to make him as his rodeo mentor. What at first seems like quick easy money will soon prove to involve a whole lot more, from broken bones to broken marriages. This is a three-character drama that bounces off inside the triangle formed by washed-up, has-been bronco rider McCloud, the ambitious and reckless up-and-comer played by Arthur Kennedy and his wife (Susan Hayward) who desperately wants her husband off the rodeo business while he can still walk in one piece, all this seasoned for good measure with footage of bronco riding, bulldogging and what have you. Ray’s direction is good, the rodeo setting provides an exotic backdrop of western Americana which should appeal to lovers of open vistas and wild landscapes and the performances are ace all around. Mitchum is at the top of his game playing the kind of character he could play with eyes closed. It was red-haired Susan Hayward who was the big revelation for me though. This was the first time I saw her in a movie but she enchants like few.