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Educated but hot-headed Mitch Baker travels to the border town of Mission intent on avenging the death of his secret service father at the hand of contraband gang leader Newton. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Revenge is for the weak, the cruel and the thoughtless.
The Restless Breed is directed by Allan Dwan and written by Steve Fisher. It stars Scott Brady, Anne Bancroft, Jay C. Flippen, Rhys Williams, Leo Gordon and Jim Davis. Music is by Edward L. Alperson Junior and cinematography by John W. Boyle.
1865 and Mitch Baker travels to Mission in Texas to find out who murdered his father who was working for the Secret Service. His father was investigating the operations of "Newton's Raiders", a gang of gun runners fronted by Ed Newton (Davis) who are supplying arms to Emperor Maximillian in Mexico. Mitch has no intention of upholding the law, he has only one thing on his mind; revenge!
"Yer a wild eyed hooligan looking for a cheap revenge, not to satisfy the ghost of your father, but your own hurt - warped - disturbed ego".
Another of Allan Dwan's vastly under valued Westerns, it's also the last of his genre offerings. Production value is not high end, the Pathe Color is poor, the sets sometimes wobble and it features one of the most frustratingly awful music compositions laid down for a 1957 Oater, but Dwan could quite often craft a silk purse out of a sow's ear. So it be the case here.
The Haunted Room.
It's a standard revenge tale at its core as angry young Mitch Baker arrives in town and promptly sets about dismantling all the scumbags who cross his path. He's quick on the draw, he bristles with machismo and he's catching the eye of the ladies. Giving this simplest of formula extra weight is a religious angle, and no it's not eye rollingly preachy. Mitch finds lodgings with Reverend Simmons (Williams great) and his adopted brood of half-breed children, the eldest of which is a sexually awakened Angelita (Bancroft).
Mitch is quickly seen as some sort of Religio Revenger, the younger members of the Simmons gathering thinking he's an Archangel. Thus Mitch, his revenge fuelled objective at the forefront of his mind, finds a number of other emotions battling to take control of his soul. The arrival of Marshal Evans (Flippen under used but a welcome and telling addition late in the play) cranks up the story considerably and Dwan builds it skillfully in readiness for the big showdown, where we are not sure exactly how it will pan out.
Along the way there's plenty of action, with Dwan not concerned with over-kill sequences, plenty of sexual tension, and there's devilish nods towards the perils of temptation. No masterpiece here, but for Western lovers this has so much to recommend. Sadly it's under seen and the only existing print available doesn't do it any favours. 7/10
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