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Pursued (1947)

 -  Drama | Romance | Thriller  -  2 March 1947 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,763 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 31 critic

Brought up by a neighboring family in the 1880s, an orphan grows up haunted by nightmares of a childhood trauma in which his own family was killed.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jeb
...
Mrs. Callum
...
Grant
...
Jake Dingle
John Rodney ...
Adam
...
Prentice
Clifton Young ...
Ernest Severn ...
Charles Bates ...
Adam, age 11
Peggy Miller ...
Norman Jolley ...
A Callum
Lane Chandler ...
A Callum
Elmer Ellingwood ...
A Callum
Jack Montgomery ...
A Callum
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Storyline

After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand is raised by the Callum family on their nearby horse ranch. He remains haunted by this childhood trauma in a recurring nightmare of flashing spurs and confinement inside a trap door as his family is slaughtered. Widow Callum does her best to make Jeb feel loved as he is growing up, but the young man stubbornly maintains a sense of his own identity. While he has great affection for his foster-sister Thor, his relationship with her brother Adam is tenuous at best, especially when Jeb blames him for shooting a colt that he was riding. Although Mrs. Callum blames the incident on deer hunters, she is aware that the it was actually the attempted murder of the youngster by her brother-in-law Grant, a shadowy figure who, for vague reasons, is determined to harm Jeb. Jeb loses a coin flip with Adam, and becomes the designated family volunteer to fight in the Spanish-American War. Jeb returns a hero, but does not find happiness. ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robert Mitchum fights for the love of three people who want to see him dead...his family.


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 March 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vallée de la peur  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film Jim Morrison (lead singer of The Doors) watched on the night he died (July 3, 1971). See more »

Goofs

Although some of the outdoor vistas are breathtaking, the standard establishing shot of the ranch is shot indoors with a quite obvious painted canvas backdrop. See more »

Quotes

Jeb: [to Thor] There was a black dog riding my back and yours.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Grass (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Streets of Laredo
(uncredited)
Traditional ballad
Sung by Robert Mitchum
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nothing is as it seems
11 February 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Before tonight, I'd never seen this underrated western. It is a complex morality play as well as being a film noir. The film begins with a young boy (Jeb Rand) being rescued from a house destroyed.

He becomes part of the family, sort of headed by Ma Callum (wonderfully maternal by the skilled Judith Anderson). He is well loved by this woman, and should have grown up a normal hard working individual if she'd had her way, much like his stepbrother Adam (John Rodney). To all outward appearances, he did. He universally accepts his fate when he loses a coin toss. As the loser, he goes to a war he has neither interest in or understanding of. He comes back a hero. The ranch has been very profitable and the girl he left behind loves him and wants to marry him.

Again, everything seems good.

The tranquility is only on the surface, held together by the love of the mother matriarch. The natural son is insanely jealous of the adopted son. We never really find out why, nor does it matter. All the courtesy and soft-spoken talk is all veneer. Everyone has twisted emotions except Jeb (Robert Michum), who has problems, which he never denies, nor does he easily relate his problems.

After two very ugly killings, Thor (Teresa Wright) hatches a plot. She consents to being courted and married.

There is revenge in her heart. She is not the naive girl who wants the three of them to live together guided her mother's love and powerful moral upbringing. Thor is consumed by a Gothic kind of hatred. The hatred is so deeply ingrained that the mother, herself filled with a disappointed and mourning hatred, cannot stand to watch what the Thor has planned: she wants to kill Michum just as he thinks he has everything.

Michum persists, but not stupidly. He confronts her hatred. Incredible as it may seem, he forces her to back away from killing him and to let her love surface in its place, which he knows is there.

That is the complex characterization of the first half of the movie. The second part has to do with the Callum gang (headed by Grant – played by an amazingly sinister Dean Jagger) that tries to kill Michum on his wedding night at the old Rand ranch.

The rest of the movie is all gun shooting and melodrama, which I won't reveal more about.

The photography is astonishing with its shadows and light, which is like choreography. Wright is like a salad with ingredients that don't look they should go together but do. She is an underrated actress who must convey complex emotions, which not only contradict one another, but also are sometimes also false. It is to her credit that she does this easily. She is as Michum says, quite beautiful from a small distance. Close ups reveal how consumed she is in her depravity. If you don't believe this, watch her in the pride the Yankees. Close ups or shots taken from a distance show the same thing: a radiant vibrant woman transparently in love. This movie shows quite different side.

I can't quite bring myself to give this a 10, because the plot suffers the same way all morality plays do. Let us say it is an interesting eight with subtleties that make it very engaging.

An interesting 8 (out of 10).


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Feels more like film noir than a western scheelj1
The Londonderry Air scene is SO exquisitely beautiful Aran54
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