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Bad Men of Missouri
1941 Jump to Synopsis and Details
Bad Men of Missouri #1
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Smile, pardner, when you say that the old border desperadoes lacked chivalry. For if one is to believe "Bad Men of Missouri," now at the Strand, those notorious Younger brothers were just high-spirited Robin Hoods all. Yessir, they had regular routes where they passed out their ill-gotten greenbacks to oppressed settlers. Fine, upstanding men they were—and, of course, if it hadn't been for a corrupt Sheriff and a land-grabbing scoundrel there never would have been that gun battle on the porch of the Younger farm, knighthood wouldn't have flowered in post-bellum Missouri and Warners couldn't have made a picture about them.

For a piece of prime hokum the Warners have done themselves proud in committing the Youngers to celluloid history. It has everything—the fight atop the racing stage coach, the train robbery, the endless bank holidays caused by sudden pistol fire, a cattle stampede and a jail break in which they turn the tables on their captors. The film has been paced as if the director didn't have much time. It comes a-blazing from the first scenes and rushes by in a cloud of dust. There is always at least one hot pursuit going on and sometimes two or three—either by a quorum of irate citizens on horseback or the Sheriff and his foul henchmen.

Here is a picture the small fry will like. Love scenes go by in a blur of speed. Jane Wyman, apparently, is a very pretty girl, but she has what must be one of the shortest romantic roles in the history of horse opera. Dennis Morgan, Wayne Morris and Arthur Kennedy swing through the picture as if their lives depended on it, and Walter Catlett, as the dumb messenger who's always being robbed, turns up for the comic relief. The small boys were shooting from the hip as they left the gallery the other day. That's the kind of picture "Bad Men of Missouri" is.

Review Summary from NY Times

Rather than play famous outlaw Cole Younger in this film, Warner Bros. contract star Humphrey Bogart chose suspension. Ronald Reagan was considered, and so were James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, and George Raft, but, happily, the role eventually went to the more age-appropriate Dennis Morgan, a former band singer. Like MGM's Billy the Kid, also from 1941, Bad Men of Missouri emerged as a complete whitewash of the title outlaws. Returning from fighting on the Confederate side in the Civil War, the Younger brothers -- Cole (Morgan), Bob (Wayne Morris), and Jim (Arthur Kennedy) -- find their money no longer viable currency and their homestead about to be usurped by carpetbagger William Merrick (Victor Jory). Standing up to Merrick and his chief henchman, Greg Bilson (Howard DaSilva), old Hank Younger (Russell Simpson) is shot dead, and, in frustration, the sons take up train and bank robbing, eventually joining the even more notorious James brothers, Jesse (Alan Baxter) and Frank. Of course, the celluloid Youngers steal only from the rich to give to the displaced poor. When they are finally caught in Minnesota, the citizenry of Missouri, viewing the Youngers as local heroes, take up a petition for their immediate release. Despite the many historical inaccuracies, Bad Men of Missouri makes for exciting, fast-paced Western entertainment; quite the opposite, in fact, of MGM's staid, overly glamorous depiction of Billy the Kid. Filmed at Sonora, CA, and cast with veterans such as Erville Alderson, Sam McDaniel (who replaced Willie Best in the role of the Younger's devoted servant), and a very funny Walter Catlett, the film premiered in Harrisonville, MO, the birthplace of the Younger brothers and the town where the elder Younger had once been elected mayor. Jane Wyman appears as the nominal heroine, the upstanding girlfriend of Jim Younger, and the film marked the screen debut of Faye Emerson as Cole Younger's ill-fated fiancée.


Dennis Morgan as Cole Younger

Jane Wyman as Mary Hathaway

Wayne Morris as Bob Younger

Arthur Kennedy as Jim Younger

Victor Jory as William Merrick

Alan Baxter as Jesse James

Walter Catlett as Mr. Pettibone

Howard Da Silva as Greg Bilson (as Howard da Silva)

Faye Emerson as Martha Adams

Russell Simpson as Henry 'Hank' Younger

Virginia Brissac as Mrs. Hathaway

Erville Alderson as Mr. Adams

Hugh Sothern as Fred Robinson

Sam McDaniel as Wash - Youngers' Handyman

Dorothy Vaughan as Mrs. Dalton

William Gould as Sheriff Brennan

Robert Winkler as Willie Younger as a Young Boy

Ann E. Todd as Amy Younger as a Young Girl (as Ann Todd)

Roscoe Ates as Lafe

Eddie Acuff as Peg Leg - a Soldier

Arthur Aylesworth as Dr. Taylor

Leah Baird as Miss Brooks

Trevor Bardette as Bandaged Soldier

John Beck as Preacher

Henry Blair as Tod Dalton as a Young Boy

Wade Boteler as Sedalia Sheriff

Sonny Bupp as Grat Dalton - as Young Boy

Jack Carr as Carpetbagger #1 in Montage

Glen Cavender as Tod - a Townsman

Spencer Charters as Clem - Harrisonville Jailer

Ben Corbett as Ambush Henchman

Dix Davis as Bob Dalton - as Young Boy

Joel Friedkin as Sedalia Postmaster

Eddie Graham as Man in Russellville Bank

Creighton Hale as Bank Representative

Neal Hart as Townsman with Sedalia Sheriff

Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian as Carpetbagger #4 in Montage

Herbert Heywood as Willard

Stuart Holmes as Train Conductor

Milton Kibbee as Pop - Rancher Helped by the Youngers

Vera Lewis as Mrs. Jordan

Arthur Loft as Marshal Capturing the Youngers

Hank Mann as Man Robbed on Trail

Frank Mayo as Henchman

Tom McGuire as Tax-Paying Rancher

Art Miles as Carpetbagger #3 in Montage

Frank Mills as Barfly

Howard M. Mitchell as Jim - Stagecoach Stationmaster

Jack Mower as Ambush Henchman

Bud Osborne as Buck - Stagecoach Driver

Paul Panzer as Mr. Peters

Duncan Renaldo as Dan - Henchman with Bilson

Edwin Stanley as Prison Doctor

Tom Tyler as Deputy Sheriff Dave

Eddy Waller as Wagon Train Leader

Frank Wilcox as Funeral Minaister

Tom Wilson as Carpetbagger #2 in Montage

Jack Wise as Tax Collector


Directed by
Ray Enright

Writing credits
Robert E. Kent (story)
Charles Grayson (screenplay)
Lester Cole, Hal Long, Allen Rivkin, Harold Shumate, Charles L. Tedford, Barry Trivers (contributing writers)

Produced by
Harlan Thompson - associate producer
Jack L. Warner - executive producer

Original Music by
Howard Jackson

Cinematography by
Arthur L. Todd (director of photography)

Film Editing by
Clarence Kolster

Art Direction by
Ted Smith

Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)

Makeup Department
Perc Westmore - makeup artist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arthur Lueker - assistant director

Sound Department
Stanley Jones - sound

Other crew
Robert Foulk - dialogue director
Mrs. Pearl May Kearns - technical advisor

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