Badlanders, The (1958): Delmer Daves’ Western, Starring Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine

Delmer Daves directed The Badlanders (1958), a western caper film starring Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine.

The Badlanders
Poster of the movie The Badlanders.jpg

Based on the 1949 novel “The Asphalt Jungle” by W. R. Burnett, the story was given an 1898 setting by screenwriter Richard Collins.

It is the second film adaptation of the novel following John Huston’s masterful 1950 The Asphalt Jungle.

In 1898, two men are released from the Arizona Prison. One, mining engineer and geologist Peter Van Hoek, nicknamed the “Dutchman,” tells the warden he was framed for robbery of a gold shipment from the Lisbon Mine. The other, John McBain, killed Bascomb, the man who cheated him out of his land.

The two men head separately to the town of Prescott, where neither is welcome. The marshal, whom Van Hoek accuses of framing him, orders him to leave town.

Meanwhile, at the hotel, the Dutchman meets guest Ada Winton, the lonely mistress of Cyril Lounsberry.

The movie was not popular at the box-office.

Alan Ladd as Peter Van Hoek
Ernest Borgnine as John McBain
Katy Jurado as Anita
Claire Kelly as Ada Winton
Kent Smith as Cyril Lounsberry
Nehemiah Persoff as Vincente
Robert Emhardt as Sample
Anthony Caruso as Comanche


Directed by Delmer Daves
Written by Richard Collins, based on The Asphalt Jungle 1949 novel by W. R. Burnett
Produced by Aaron Rosenberg
Cinematography John Seitz
Edited by William H. Webb, James Baiotto

Production company: Arcola Productions

Distributed by MGM

Release date: September 3, 1958

Running time: 85 minutes
Budget $1,436,000
Box office $2,105,000