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
Did You Know?
Film was screened on May 31, 2013 at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, especially to showcase the acting of star Robert Mitchum
and the way director Raoul Walsh
displayed the influence of Orson Welles
with the movie's "crushing angles and looming close-ups." Made after WWII, the movie dramatizes a veteran's return home--after the Spanish-American War--almost 50 years earlier. See more
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
One day I rode up in the butte country...
[Approaching the burned out shell of a cabin
Came straight to this place just like I'd known the way. There was something in my life that ruined that house. That house was myself.
[Entering the charred remains
I'd seen it a million times before... the fireplace... the trap door...
[Walking outside again
Out back there was some cattle bones. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe, and then as I walked around the side, I came upon some unmarked ...
Referenced in Lost: Outlaws
Lyrics by Frederick Weatherly set to traditional "Londonderry Air"
Sung by Robert Mitchum
and John Rodney See more