Leaves You Restless
Following the murder of his secret service father in the outlaw town of Mission Mitch Baker (Scott Brady - Johnny Guitar) wants revenge and despite advice from his father's boss to let his agents handle things Mitch is heading to Mission alone. Keeping who he is to himself he soon feels the scorn of Rev. Simmons (Rhys Williams - Master of Lassie) who not only disapproves of him gunning down two outlaws who were causing trouble but is determined to protect sexy orphan Angelita (Anne Bancroft - The Last Frontier) from him believing he is nothing more than a gunfighter. With Mitch's action being monitored by a young outlaw who wants to be part of the Newton gang it is only time before he will come face to face with Ed Newton (Jim Davis). The question is will those who care for Mitch manner to talk him out of murder or will his hot headedness lead to disaster?
Here is how I see "The Restless Breed" Steve Fisher created a moody screenplay about a young man whose determination to get justice for his father's murder leads him into a dark place. Mitch is not uneducated; he has the smarts about him to spot a trap but that hell bent side could ruin him and even if he has to go against those who care for him he will. Sounds okay doesn't it, a mean and moody western with a conflicted central character that refuses to listen to reason.
But the truth is that "The Restless Breed" is just an ordinary western which despite a good screenplay is spoiled by a budget and a director forced to use tricks to try and make it work. Take the look, once in a while we will be presented with a poorly lit scene of people riding across country and I half expect this is to disguise either the use of stand-ins for actors or the use of stock footage. These scenes which are clearly shot outside then make way for what appears to be a set constructed on a soundstage with pretty much every scene being shot on one level so that we never see a sky. And when we do see sky through a window it is obviously a painted backdrop which understandably looks horribly static.
But it is not just the lack of location which spoils "The Restless Breed" because I lost track at the number of times Scott Brady took his top for no real reason other than, well I honestly don't know what the reason is. To me that's a cheap trick which doesn't work and there are many more which just keep on distracting from what could have been a half decent western.
Aside from that well whilst Scott Brady tries to bring out Mitch's conflicted side it never feels fully developed, one minute seemingly fine the next knocking back booze as he refuses to heed other's advice. Other than Brady there are some usual western faces such as Jay C. Flippen and Rhys Williams although it is Anne Bancroft who steals the movie because as Angelita she is sexy especially when she dances. And to be honest that is about it because the action is nothing spectacular and Jim Davis is criminally under used as bad guy Ed Newton.
What this all boils down to is that "The Restless Breed" is nothing special and in truth has some serious flaws which make it only barely average but it does have Anne Bancroft in a small but scene stealing role.