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By 1947, Robert Mitchum was well on his way to stardom, just a few short years after "Bob" Mitchum was playing small roles in Hopalong Cassidy movies. This may not be one of his best acting performances, but he already had great presence and was to remain one of the most watchable actors in film. Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson and--as Mitchum's nemesis--Dean Jagger are all top-notch.
James Wong Howe's black and white photography is very effective, especially the scenes of Mitchum riding across the rugged New Mexico terrain. The film is often bleak and foreboding, a reflection of the main protagonist's tortured soul.
Except for a few lines here and there, I found the picture quality of the DVD to be excellent.
If you like westerns that are full of action, with clearly defined heroes and villains, "Pursued" may not be for you. If, on the other hand, you would like to own a more cerebral, expertly crafted piece of cinema than the average "shoot-em-up", this film has much to offer.
Ma Callum carries him to her home and throws her in a bed with his two new step-siblings, Thor (later played by Teresa Wright) and Adam (later John Rooney.) Ma Callum hurriedly bundles her charges together and they flee into the dark night - she too has inner demons to run from.
And so the stage is set for what has been called the first psychological western. You can safely throw in film noir and melodrama, as well. The psychological elements are a little too pronounced. Jeb suffers from nightmares - a pair of spurred boots moving about in the dark, flashes of light (gunfire?) Ma Callum could probably explain it all to him, but her only words of advice are "What you don't remember doesn't matter. Don't try to remember." The noir elements occur throughout, one of the most obvious is Forbidden Love - Jeb must have liked it when Ma Callum bounced him on that bed the first time; Jeb and Thor fall in love as adults. And then there are the claustrophobic deep shadows and dark corners in the Callum home and the sheer cliff walls of New Mexico. Veering back to the psychological aspects, brother Adam is jealous of Jeb and Thor's love, for more than one reason.
Add one-armed Grant Callum (Dean Jagger) as Jeb's nemesis and you've got a heady stew of melodrama.
This sounds like a recipe for a treacly mess, but it's not.Read more ›
The photography too, gives visual expression to the haunted lives therein. Nevertheless, it is the wonderful Dame Judith Anderson and Teresa Wright who run away with the acting accolades. Every moment they are on, we cannot stop watching them.
In short, well written, beautifully directed work a pleasure to view.
Mitchum and Theresa Wright are very good as the possibly doomed couple. Wright seems to me to always have had a "nice girl next door" air about her that, I think, obscured what an excellent actress she was. Not just in Best Years of Our Lives, but look at her in The Little Foxes (where in her first movie she holds up very well with Bette Davis), The Men and Shadow of a Doubt. She knew how to deliver a line. Dean Jagger was almost as ubiquitous a character actor in the late Forties and Fifties as Thomas Mitchell had been in the Thirties and Forties. Jagger usually, it seemed to me, mostly played decent good guys or well intentioned weakings, and with deliberate speech. It was good to see him play so effectively a decisive-spoken out-and-out bad guy.
The DVD transfer is very good, but no extras
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a classic but a well made film. Mitchum grows up in a more or less adopted home (too many plot spoilers here!). Trouble from his family's past haunts him. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Common Sense
An underappreciated gem! The plot is a little murky, but the film is beautifully filmed, and the stars are exceptional. Love, love, love Teresa Wright!Published 1 month ago by Eugene M. Downs Jr.
I remembered this movie from nearly 60 years ago. It lingered in my thoughts over the years and finally in this web age we live in, I was able to match the synopsis on Amazon with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by David M. Mirro
Good Noir Western --- Let's face it, how many noir westerns are there ? .... If you like Noirs, Westerns & Mitchum this is a definite flick to see. Read morePublished 7 months ago by g
Robert Mitchum - One of the best.
I have always liked this actor, he makes acting look so easy and natural. Read more
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