Monday, July 28, 2014

1943 - THE OUTLAW an incredible piece of crap western

Sorry no pictures of Jane Russell's large bosom which was the main reason Howard Hughes directed The Outlaw.  It was also the main selling point for the film as it turned out.

Howard Hughes was to produce and Howard Hawks signed up to direct this fantasy on the life of Billy the Kid.  Hughes and Hawks had worked together on the original Scarface so this teaming was not entirely unprecedented.  Hawks got the idea to cast unknown actors to play Billy the Kid and the woman he gets involved with Rio McDonald.  Jack Buetel and Jane Russell who had virtually no acting experience were to be coached by Hawks.  After about two weeks of shooting Hughes fired Hawks or Hawks quit the production.  Then things got kind of weird.

Howard Hughes directing?

Hughes assumed the direction of the film and started shooting and reshooting the film.  Hughes became obsessed with Russell's breasts and would have pieces of the film looped so he could watch her breasts over and over in the rushes.  The Outlaw was filmed in 1941 finally released in 1943 where it was suppressed for it's "lewd" content.  Hughes was able to use the publicity from the 1943 release and release it again in 1946 playing up the fact that it had been held up for general release in 1943 because it was a "naughty" mainstream picture.  The picture made a lot of money in 1946.

The Outlaw is a very bad film.  Jane Russell and Jack Buetel simply cannot act.  The story is basically a tease with a lot of "naughty" stuff happening off screen supposedly.  It's impossible to know what Howard Hawk's original plan for the film was because this film is such a stink bomb.  If anything The Outlaw is a very small and narrow window into the mind of Howard Hughes.

116 minutes

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