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The Big Cat (1949)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  April 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 1 critic

1933. A city boy arrives in his late mother's birthplace to discover the locals have been pestered by drought, old fights and a cougar. He turns out to be pivotal in all of these.



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Complete credited cast:
Lon McCallister ...
Peggy Ann Garner ...
Tom Eggers
Gil Hawks
Skip Homeier ...
Jim Hawks, Gil' Son
Sara Haden ...
Mrs. Mary Cooper
Irving Bacon ...
Matt Cooper the Mailman
Gene Reynolds ...
Wid Hawks, Gil' Son


1933. A city boy arrives in his late mother's birthplace to discover the locals have been pestered by drought, old fights and a cougar. He turns out to be pivotal in all of these. Written by Homme A. Piest <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Raubkatze  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gil Hawks: Tom, why don't you own up - that cat's too smart for you. Take a better shot than you're ever gonna be to collect that bounty
[he laughs mockingly]
Tom Eggers: You think so?
[he shoots Gil's hat from his hand]
Gil Hawks: You ever do that again, Tom Eggers and I'm gonna split your back open
Tom Eggers: If I ever do it again, I won't be aiming at your hat
See more »


Remade as Track of the Cat (1954) See more »


The Farmer
Written by Preston Foster
Sung by Irving Bacon
See more »

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User Reviews

A Cat's Tail
22 April 2005 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

**SPOILERS** With the great depression and a disastrous drought all the people in this little area of Southern Utah needed was a deadly mountain lion on the loose killing their cattle to make them forget their troubles.Having a $150.00 reward, a lot of money back in 1933, on it's head everyone in the area were out to get the deadly feline but with no success because the lion was always one step, or paw, ahead of them. Into the mix comes young Danny Turner, Lon McCallister, from Philidelphia looking for a job at the Tom Egger place.

Tom, Preston Foster, sent Danny a letter about three months ago about Danny helping him with his work in the tan bark business but since them Tom's tan bark business went kaput. Since there came on the tan bark market a new and cheaper synthetic tan bark that put poor Tom out of business. Danny shocked at Tom's situation, as well as his own, decides to stay with him and help him gun down the killer mountain lion for the reward money. Money that can give Tom a jump start to fill his orders of tan bark and get him, and Danny, back on his feet again.

Meanwhile Tom had been feuding with his neighbor Gil Hawks, Forrest Tucker, for over twenty years a feud that started over Lucy, Gils's, sister, who Tom wanted to marry. The feud got so out of hand that Lucy soon fled east to get away from both her brother Gil and her lover Tom and to keep from ending up dead by getting caught in the crossfire of these two lunatics.

In Philidelphia Lucy met the man that she married and with whom had Danny but she and Tom secretly carried a torch for each other .Now with both his parents dead and no work to be found Danny could only go west to Utah and Tom for work and for someone who would treat his as if he were his own son.

The fighting in the movie between Tom and Gil is so off-the-wall and outrageous that you wonder how they both survived all that time without ending up dead behind bars or in a loony bin. With guns and axes and chains the two were going at it in what seemed like a crazed daily ritual. The appearance of the killer cat was the only thing that kept the two from really going at it and finishing themselves off for good long before the movie ended.

Danny also got the two Hawks boys Jim & Wid, Skip Homeier & Gene Reynolds, mad at him when pretty Doris Cooper, Peggy-Ann Garner, went wild over the young city boy even before she ever laid eyes on him. This showed how desperate Doris was for a normal young man who wasn't part of the crowd that she had to deal with in that part of of state.

Trying to track down the mountain lion Tom shoots a buck for food and after Danny, who couldn't bring himself to gun down the buck, dragged it back to Tom's place but forgot to take Tom's 30/30 rifle that he used to track down the panther. With the deadly cougar picking up the scent and then trying to eat the hanging buck carcass Tom foolishly tries to shoot the cat with a .22 rifle. A .22 is useless against a large wild animal like a mountain lion and Tom gets killed by it when it ambushes him . Danny feeling guilty about Tom's death, since he left the gun that would have done in the cat back in the woods, goes out on his own and finds it's lions lair. With the unexpected help of a member of the hated Hawk family, their dog Spike, Danny has it out with and finally finishes off the elusive and deadly killer.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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