|THE LAWLESS (director: Joseph Losey; screenwriter: Daniel Mainwaring; cinematographer: Roy Hunt; editor: Howard Smith; music: Mahlon Merrick; cast: Macdonald Carey (Larry Wilder), Gail Russell (Sunny Garcia), Lalo Rios (Paul Rodriguez), Maurice Jara (Lopo Chavez), John Sands (Joe Ferguson), Lee Patrick (Jim Dawson), John Hoyt (Ed Ferguson); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: R; producers: William H. Pine, William C. Thomas; Maverick Entertainment Group (Paramount); 1950)|
|"A realistic B-film liberal
melodrama about the discrimination of
Mexican-American farm workers in California."
by Dennis Schwartz
realistic B-film liberal melodrama about the
discrimination of Mexican-American farm workers in
California is directed with passion by Joseph Losey
("Steaming"/"Mr. Klein"/"King and Country").
Writer Daniel Mainwaring tells us of so-called
‘fruit tramps,’ migrants who live on the edge of
poverty harvesting California’s various crops. They
are hated by the local whites and subjected to
physical abuse by intolerant white farmers.
conscious drama, set in Santa Marta, California, is
well-acted, fast-paced, and well-intentioned.
The film works as a good example of a Hollywood film
exploring real issues like racial intolerance and
racial violence. It's most exciting scenes are of mob
violence and a manhunt. The film helped get Losey
blacklisted as a Communist for exposing prejudice in
Macdonald Carey plays the crusading editor of a small-town California newspaper who takes up the fight for justice for the minority victims, along with a reporter (Gail Russell) from the Spanish weekly newspaper La Luz, after a traffic incident grows out-of-control between whites and Mexican-Americans. Lalo Rios is fine as the Mexican-American fruit worker, who is the middle of the jam.
REVIEWED ON 3/28/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ