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Track of the Cat (Special Collector's Editon)

4.0 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Snowbound womenfolk wait as three brothers from a farm family go after a killer cat.

Amazon.com

You never see the title character in William Wellman's Track of the Cat--a black panther terrorizing the land and herd of a frontier family--which is just one of the many bold strokes of this ambitious movie. The intruder claims not merely cattle but also one family member, so middle son (and unquestioned alpha male) Robert Mitchum goes out in the dead of winter to bag the cat. Meanwhile, the tensions inside the ranch house are distilled from Greek tragedy with a large dollop of Freud: harridan mother Beulah Bondi (good performance) wants her sons to remain unmarried, despite the fact that youngest boy Tab Hunter has fallen for a forward lass played by Diana Lynn. Teresa Wright--almost unrecognizable as the spinster sister--speaks for sanity and modern thinking. Track is the second film Wellman made from a novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark; the first was The Ox-Bow Incident, that equally serious and offbeat Western about lynch violence. For this one, Wellman admitted that one of his motivations was a long-held desire to make a color film that was essentially black-and-white; the snowy backdrops of the exteriors (shot spectacularly around Washington State's Mount Rainier) offered that chance. It's a very exactingly directed movie, both indoors and out, and qualifies as an experiment in mise-en-scene; but experiments in mise-en-scene have rarely translated into box-office success, and Track of the Cat was no exception. One problem: despite Mitchum's robust presence, his solitary journey (which could be covered in interior monologue in a novel) is rather inscrutable. The spiky script is by A.I. Bezzerides, who would do Kiss Me, Deadly a year later. By the way, Wellman later regretted not showing the cat--but he was right the first time. It's an eerie touch in a movie that gets under your skin. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • "A New Kind of Western: The Writing of Walter Van Tilburg Clark" featurette
  • "Remembering William Wellman" featurette
  • "Black Diamond" featurette
  • "Tracking the Cat" featurette
  • Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Batjac Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Diana Lynn, Tab Hunter, Beulah Bondi
  • Directors: William A. Wellman
  • Writers: A.I. Bezzerides, Walter Van Tilburg Clark
  • Producers: John Wayne, Robert Fellows
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BDH6E4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Track of the Cat (Special Collector's Editon)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terence Allen VINE VOICE on November 14, 2005
Format: DVD
Robert Mitchum helped to introduce the psychological western in the landmark film Pursued. In Track of the Cat, he continued to chart new territory for what was already a well-worn genre in 1954.

Track of The Cat, set on Mount Ranier, features Mitchum as the forceful head of a very disfunctional family in the waning days of the 1800's. Mitchum is the middle child, but runs roughshod over his gentle older brother, played by William Hopper (Paul Drake of TV's Perry Mason), and his younger, unconfidant brother, played by 50's heartthrob Tab Hunter. The rest of the family is a spinsterish sister, played by Teresa Wright, (who was in Pursued with Mitchum), and overbearing mother and alcoholic father, played by Beulah Bondi and Philip Tonge.
When a mountain lion begins to attach their cattle, Mitchum and Hooper start out on a lion hunt. Back home, Hunter is trying to navigate an uneasy visit by his girfriend, who is welcomed by half the family and disliked by the other half. Much drama and tragedy ensues.

The predominant use of black and white by director William Wellman is very effective, but it would have been wasted without such a great cast. Everyone is excellent, particularly Mitchum, Bondi, and Tonge, who played comic relief with great effect.

This is a great film long overdue on DVD.
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My Uncle Ken (a trapper) who lives in the outback of South Dakota asked me to find this film for him. The only place I could find it was here. I received it in 2 days and immediately sent it to Ken who was not only surprised that I could find it, but that he got it so fast. With the heavy snows this winter, he tends his traps in the days and snuggles down in the evenings. He loved the movie--same as he remembered from 55 years ago at the movie house! On his first two days warming by the fire he watched it 3X in a row! Yes there are people who still live like this....hey, he's got electricity, running water, an indoor toilet (in addition to the old "pit" in out back), and a DVD player---What else could anyone want? LOL! 5
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Absolutely everyone in this movie was sensational. Everyone! Even the scary "so called" Indian Joe Sam. But Tab Hunter really held his own against the more seasoned and less handsome star - Robert Mitchum. I have watched this movie over and over for years, but when I saw it on DVD - on AMAZON, it was well worth buying this copy. The commentary is excellent and Tab so funny and charming disucssing his feelings about the director and his costars. I really enjoyed the lady who discussed how training the horse who played "Kentuck" as well as other horses trained in Hollywood. She was really good too. I keep hearing people say - "But we didn't get to see the cat!" And hearing Mr. Wellman's son say his dad sort of regretted not showing us the "black panther" was a mistake, I have to disagree. When the cat kills "Arthur" in the movie - having his reaction to knowing he was about to die and seeing the fear in his eyes and not seeing the cat was perfect! I like not seeing the cat, it makes me wonder really how big was this cat really. I like the old saying - less is more - it really gives us an impression the way the old films did. They gave us more imagination. This is lost in today's movie making. I sure would suggest you buy this movie, it's well worth it and Tab Hunter is great in everything he does.
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Good movie.

SPOILER (maybe)...SPOILER: you don't actually see any animals killed. I am posting this tidbit so buyers will know their children can watch it. There is an theme of alcohol drinking in excess that is part of the film.

Quick review (no spoilers)..Three brothers live together. A big cat has been attacking their cattle. While this is going on the family dynamic is a mess with a lot of tension in the house. Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright and YES Tab Hunter all do a good job.

A very interesting film and an enjoyable take.
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first saw movie when I was around thirteen, made an impression on me even then. Very dark, little or no light moments.
How true might such be to real life? One wonders and I suppose in getting us to ponder life the director has achieved his aim.
Was the movie entertaining, not altogether yet Tab Hunter was perfectly adequate in his role and revealed a physique both athletic and easy on the eye. Mitchum's role was tough, he was tough, everything the author could have been looking for. The cast was splendid, dear old Dad, a drunkard but a pleasant drunk, he may have been the only one able to laugh at life, after all he kept a steady supply of booze on hand, that can help.
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I guess you gotta like oddball movies, or at least the way they are filmed. This one is filmed like in a strange sepia tone during parts of it but it is neat for that. You never see the cat but the characters are strange enough.
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I really don't like the character Robert Mitchum plays in this movie. It is not a great movie, just okay. I bought it because it is the only movie I know of that shows someone actually using a match safe. (and it was a beautiful one)
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Director William A. Wellman's flawed but fascinating psychological drama — highlighted by a great Robert Mitchum performance and William H. Clothier's striking "black-and-white" color photography. "Track of the Cat" (1954) is experimental filmmaking in a mainstream context. Not for all tastes, but worthy of its belated cult following.
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