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Legion of the Lawless (1940)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 5 January 1940 (USA)
In the 13th film of the 17 B-westerns made by George O'Brien in 1937-1940 for RKO, (who would remake "Legion of the Lawless" two years later as "Pirates of the Prairie" with Tim Holt), ... See full summary »


David Howard


Doris Schroeder (screen play), Berne Giler (story)




Complete credited cast:
George O'Brien ... Jeff Toland
Virginia Vale ... Ellen Ives
Herbert Heywood Herbert Heywood ... Doctor Denton
Norman Willis ... Les Harper
Hugh Sothern ... Henry Ives
William 'Billy' Benedict ... Eddie (as William Benedict)
Eddy Waller ... Lafe Barton
Delmar Watson ... Lafe Barton Jr.
Bud Osborne ... Holmes
Monte Montague ... Borden
Slim Whitaker ... Henchman Ben
Mary Field ... Mrs. Barton


In the 13th film of the 17 B-westerns made by George O'Brien in 1937-1940 for RKO, (who would remake "Legion of the Lawless" two years later as "Pirates of the Prairie" with Tim Holt), O'Brien, as lawyer Jeff Toland hangs out his shingle in Ivestown, but is ordered out by a vigilante group headed by Les Harper. The vigilantes are merely a cloak under which the band of outlaws headed by Harper operate to terrorize and control the town. When it is learned that the new railroad survey takes the tracks through East Ivestown instead of Ivestown, the gang plans to drive out the homesteaders and ranchers long the right-of-way and file on the land themselves. Jeff leads the fight for the intended victims against the gang. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

male female relationship | See All (1) »


GEORGE O'BRIEN in a SAGA of the Wickedest town in the West! See more »


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Legião dos Malditos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Remade as Pirates of the Prairie (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

The Closing of the West
5 June 2013 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

This is a typically excellent George O'Brien western from RKO -- he made just shy of twenty of them from 1937 through 1940. Although a B picture, you'd never guess it, thanks in no small part to DP Harry Wild's camera-work -- his two-shots are like portraits, there are some nice Dutch angles and he manages to fit some nice traveling shots into the budget.

The story, about how lawyer O'Brien comes to town and takes on the vigilantes has some serious things to say, but they are reserved for the subtext. The story is so good it was remade a couple of years later as PIRATES OF THE PRAIRIE with Tim Holt.

If you think that B westerns are brainless shoot-em-ups shot on six-day schedules, this one can make a good corrective to the image.

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