Thursday, Nov 2020
Director: Raoul Walsh
Screenwriters: Niven Busch
Length: 101 mins.
Released: 1947 B & W

pursued 1947 movie posterDirected by Raoul Walsh. Also directed: Big Trail (1930 --- John Wayne's first feature film!); Klondike Annie (1936, w/ Mae West!); They Died with Their Boots on (1941-- Erroll Flynn), the Battle of Little Big Horn. ; Along the Great Divide (1951 - Kirk Douglas' first Western); Gun Fury (1953 -- Rock Hudson and Lee Marvin) *NOTE: The copy of this movie reviewed was part of a series of films presented by Martin Scorsese, movies he helped to restore, and the 4 movies by different directors he was most influenced by! There is another Western in the 4, Johnny Guitar. Anyway, MS talks a little about the movie and says that it is said to be the first noir Western. I did not know such a thing existed, but thought they might when I saw The Naked Spur, where you don't know who's going to get the reward money. But in 1947, no one knew if the noir scheme would adopt to the Old West. MS called this movie, "a Shakespearean drama w/ Freudian undertones..." Anyway, these insights were interesting to me, and I was glad to see the man many today call "our greatest living director" was influenced by Westerns. . . As the movie opens, Mitchum is on the run. The rest of the film reveals why as we see his troubled character partly running from his past but mostly trying to come to terms with it. The story definitely has all the noir elements and plot twists and suspicious characters. The B&W cinematography is excellent and highly suitable. The tension in the story is fairly gripping as Mitchum (Jeb) muses: "I always have a feeling something's after me, its a bad feeling I can't understand..." "A person's got to find his own answers," his 'mother' tells him, "we're all of us alone, each in his own way..." Jeb is unsure of much throughout the film except his love for his girl. But is that real?

This is a fine movie, call it a noir, a Western, or more suitably, both. The mystery of the story was capable and strong and Robert Mitchum, who was very good as the tormented protagonist, the type of character that always seems to suit his heavy-lidded, stoned gaze well. Definitely a Must See, though not quite a Classic.

--Jed

Cast:

  • Robert Mitchum
  • Teresa Wright
  • Judith Anderson
  • Dean Jagger
  • Alan Hale Sr. (father of the skipper on Gilligan's Island)
  • Harry Cary Jr.
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