The titular Lusty Men are rodeo riders in this modern-day western, assembled with a touch of the offbeat by director Nicholas Ray. Former rodeo star Robert Mitchum, disabled by a series of accidents, hobbles back to his Oklahoma hometown in hopes of replenishing his bank account.
Aspiring bronco-buster Arthur Kennedy hires Mitchum to train him for an upcoming rodeo, promising that they'll split the winnings. It doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that Mitchum will soon fall hard for Kennedy's wife Susan Hayward; she can take Mitchum or leave him, but decides to take him so that he'll continue to train Kennedy.
After a falling out, Mitchum quits his job and enters the rodeo himself, hoping to win the prize from the arrogant Kennedy. He proves he still has what it takes, but does so at the price of his life. The Lusty Men was co-adapted by one-time cowboy David Dotort from a Life magazine story by Claude Stannish.