A boy haunted by nightmares about the night his entire family was murdered is brought up by a neighboring family in the 1880s. He falls for his lovely adoptive sister but his nasty adoptive brother and mysterious uncle want him dead.
After his family is murdered in the 1880s, orphan Jeb Rand (Robert Mitchum) 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 (Dame Judith Anderson) 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 (Teresa Wright), his relationship with her brother Adam (John Rodney) 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 (Dean Jagger), 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 ...Written by
This movie was screened on May 31, 2013 at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, especially to showcase the acting of 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 World War II, this movie dramatizes a veteran's return home - after the Spanish-American War - almost fifty 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 »
A person's gotta find his own answers. We're alone... each of us. Each in a different way.
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The Girl I Left Behind Me
Irish folk song
Played by band during army recruitment See more »
Startlingly Good Noir Western.
Pursued (1947), a noir Western directed by the great Raoul Walsh and stars Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright and Judith Anderson.
The plot is simple enough: Set in New Mexico (and shot there too) around the turn of the century and told in flashback, the film tells the story of Jeb Rand (Robert Mitchum) whose family was murdered when he was a small boy. The sight of this haunts him, which manifests itself in bad dreams, into adulthood, as he is brought up by Mrs. Callum (Judith Anderson) and her two children, including Thor (Teresa Wright), whom he falls in love with. When the killers (led by the effectively cool Dean Jagger) discover that he exists and the only Rand left, they vow to kill him too. But Rand also has other problems to sort out, especially his jealous half-brother Adam Callum (John Rodney).
The photography, by the esteemed James Wong Howe is breathtaking, all harsh black-and-white vistas; the editing too, by Christian Nyby (who would later go on to take credit for directing the classic science fiction film The Thing from Another World! ) is above average, and the music by Max Steiner is up to the same high standard of the of his other classic scores. The direction is brilliantly handled by Walsh and the screenplay by Niven Busch throws up more than a few surprises. Robert Mitchum is his usual laconic self (which is no bad thing!), Judith Anderson as always is excellent, Teresa Wright is good as Mitchum's half-sister and love and Dean Jagger, Alan Hale and Harry Carey Jr. all turn in memorable performances. The film itself has been influential, being homage in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West and Martin Scorsese has talked about his great admiration for it. This was also, tragically, the last movie "The Doors" singer Jim Morrison watched before he did on July 3, 1971. Pursued is an extremely good Western noir that deserves to be much more well known than it is and I strongly urge fans of either Westerns or noir's to see it.
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