Racial tolerance gets a working over in The Lawless, but the producers don’t soapbox the message, using it, instead, as a peg on which to produce a hard-hitting drama, equipped with action and fast pace.
Joseph Losey has a compact story to tell and he does it in a swift 81 minutes. Performances all stack up as topnotch, with several being standout. Plot concerns itself with so-called ‘fruit tramps’ who make a skimpy living harvesting California’s various crops. They are scorned by the whites and subjected to physical abuse by bullies.
Macdonald Carey strides easily through his assignment as the editor who takes up the cudgels for justice after first trying to steer a middle course. Gail Russell does a fine piece of work. Lalo Rios wallops home his role as the fruit worker.