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Track of the Cat (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 19 November 1954 (USA)
Around the turn of the 20th century, during a harsh northern California winter, members of a ranching family are squabbling among themselves while the two oldest sons go hunting for a panther that is killing their livestock.

Director:

William A. Wellman

Writers:

A.I. Bezzerides (screenplay), Walter Van Tilburg Clark (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Mitchum ... Curt Bridges
Teresa Wright ... Grace Bridges
Diana Lynn ... Gwen Williams
Tab Hunter ... Harold Bridges
Beulah Bondi ... Ma Bridges
Philip Tonge ... Pa Bridges
William Hopper ... Arthur Bridges
Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer ... Joe Sam (as Carl Switzer)
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Storyline

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 Jasha

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Human Emotion Stripped Raw!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's Track of the Cat See more »

Filming Locations:

White Mountains, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William A. Wellman had always intended to direct what he described as a black and white movie in color. See more »

Goofs

They say the story takes place in Aspen Colorado but when they talk about the local area they are speaking of Pyramid lake ,the Fremont expedition and Placerville witch all of them are in California. See more »

Quotes

Pa Bridges: Your stingy little purse of a mouth.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Extra: William Wellman (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

The day of the hunter.
19 February 2004 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

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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