A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an ... See full summary »
A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an enormous panther with seemingly mythical qualities which is killing cattle. An arrogant, pitiless son (Robert Mitchum) and a rigid pharisaic mother side against a moral eldest son and and a defeated alcoholic father while the youngest son tries to lay low, hoping against hope to persuade his family to allow him to marry a girl he has brought to visit. The girl however draws venomous condemnation and the two elder brothers set out in the midst of a violent snowstorm on a dangerous mission to kill the deadly panther. Written by
A lot of people were disappointed by "track of the cat" .Some expected a western ,hadn't Wellmann made a masterpiece of this kind with "the ox-bow incident"?And more were disappointed by Mitchum's part.
I do think that "track of the cat" is an underrated work;almost unique,it's very hard to compare it with another film.Roughly,it's the story a family under the thumb of a tough guy ,Curt(Mitchum) and his holier-than-thou mother(Bondi).Two members of this family are different:Curd's sister(Wright) who remained a spinster and tries to rebel against the others .She tries to make her younger brother,Harold,marry a girl ,Gwen ,who knows better :Harold is a shy sexually repressed young man who's looked upon as a sissy by Curd.
What's really bewildering is that,after half an hour,Mitchum and the rest of the family go separate ways.He 's on the trail of a wildcat he absolutely wants to kill.While he's away,Gwen tries to urge Harold to leave home ,the unity of the family begins to fragment at the edges.
More than the splendid landscapes where Mitchum dressed in red wanders and lights his fire with the pages of a book of Keats poems(in an almost contemporary work ,Bunuel's "la mort en ce jardin" ,they light a fire with pages of the good book after all!),Arthur's funeral is the highlight of the movie :filmed in "subjective camera" (seen ,so to speak ,thru the dead's eyes) ,it shows the living in front of the gaping hole.Editing is often wonderful and succeeds in connecting the two apparently separate stories.The mystery touch is increased by the old Indian's presence ,who seems to know all the secrets of those hostile mountains.
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