The Lusty Men
Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy, Susan Hayward, Arthur Hunnicutt,
The Lusty Men is less a "man's film" than a melancholy and moving critique of masculine values. Ray, in his observation of a complex triangle involving a former rodeo champion (Robert Mitchum), his cowboy protégé (Arthur Kennedy), and the cowboy's wife (Susan Hayward), casts two American prototypes—the itinerant outsider and the homesteader—against one another, with a third, the fifties housewife, caught in between. Typically, Ray finds the loneliness inherent in each position: in Mitchum's time-limited machismo, in Kennedy's go-for-broke ambition, and in Hayward's conflicting desires for passion and peace, both thwarted by the urgencies of a man's world.