The Outlaw (1943)

“How’d you like to tussle with Russell?” Howard Hughes’ offbeat The Outlaw is notable for bringing sex to the Western genre. The whole controversial production seems to have gone forward for one reason: To showcase actress Jane Russell’s magnificent breasts. The film’s slogan was “What are the two biggest reasons for Jane Russell’s success?” During filming, Hughes once allegedly remarked, “We’re not getting enough production from Jane’s breasts.” Completed in 1941, the film was actually held up for a couple of years because of censorship issues. For the record, Russell (in her film debut) portrays “Rio McDonald.” Oh yeah, The Outlaw also stars Jack Buetel (“Billy the Kid”), Walter Huston (“Doc Holliday”) and Thomas Mitchell (“Pat Garrett”). The film’s prologue proclaimed, “The Outlaw is a story of the untamed West. Frontier days when the reckless fire of guns and passions blazed an era of death, destruction and lawlessness. Days then the fiery desert sun beat down avengingly on the many who dared defy justice and outrage decency.” Useless Trivia: Howard Hawks (Sergeant York) served as an uncredited co-director on the film.

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