The Outlaw (1943)

Rating: ***
Producer: Howard Hughes
Director: Howard Hawks, Howard Hughes
Cast: Jane Russell, Jack Beutel, Walter Huston, Thomas Mitchell

The film that launched Jane Russell's breasts into stardom. Doc Holliday (Walter Huston) comes into town looking for his stolen horse, which happens to be in the custody of Billy The Kid (Jack Beutel). Sheriff Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell) sees this as a perfect opportunity to arrest Billy, but Doc decides to interfere. From here on out, Billy and Doc are on the run from the law, and at each other's throats at the same time. The affairs of men are reduced to those of bickering children, with a strong hint of homosexual subtext. When not fighting over Doc's horse, Jane Russell is the woman who stands between Doc and Billy, adding tension to their strained relationship with her ample charms.

A slick looking production, but the acting is a bit stiff and the dialog is painfully clunky. Thomas Mitchell delivers an excellent performance as Garrett, while the boyishly handsome Jack Beutel offers little more than hunky eye candy. Jane Russell makes her mark on cinematic history with her indignant pout and heaving bosom, which is what the film is best remembered for. Her incredible bust also caused an uproar with film censors, delaying the film's release for two years. It's a long movie and the pacing is challenging, but it's interesting and marginally entertaining throughout.