Movie InfoChased by a posse to a remote cabin, Jeb (Robert Mitchum) is joined by his fearful wife Thorley (Teresa Wright), awaiting the arrival of the men tracking them, as they try to reason out what has gone wrong in their lives. Jeb can't remember anything about his early childhood except for a horrible incident in which the people around him were killed by a mysterious stranger, whose flashing spurs were all the boy saw. He was raised by Ma Callum (Judith Anderson), alongside her two children, Thorley and Adam, as one of her own. But every time Jeb seemed poised to find peace, or even simple stability in his life, lurking nearby was Grant (Dean Jagger), a one-armed stranger who seemed bent on tormenting Jeb -- Jeb doesn't know who he really is, much less who Grant is, but Grant knows enough about him and is good enough at manipulating human nature to make Jeb a target for jealousy and murder. Making Jeb's life even more complicated is the fact that he and his adopted sister Thorley fell in love with each other, while Adam (John Rodney), his adopted brother, has come to hate him. The machinations around Jeb and Thorley come home to roost in multiple shootings and murder, a deadly chase and a long-planned lynching. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Pursued
Audience Reviews for Pursued
A little on the wacky side of logic but fine direction and an excellent cast put it over.
A veteran of numerous decent films noirs and westerns (even by 1947), Robert Mitchum was the perfect choice of lead for a western utilising such typically noirish devices as flashbacks, a voiceover and moody, high contrast photography, courtesy of James Wong Howe. There's also a strong biblical flavour to the picture, with the Cain vs. Abel sparring of Mitchum and his adoptive brother, and a plotline concerning the sins of a father being visited on his son. Events do get a little repetitive in the middle and I enjoyed the first half better than the second, though there is a lovely late scene, beautifully acted by Teresa Wright, in which Mitchum calls round to court her and she invites him in and treats him like a stranger, even though they grew up together as brother and sister, under that very roof. Teresa even gets to practise her femme fatale chops for a moment or two, which is a sight I thought I'd never see!
Robert Mitchum plays a rancher who has been stalked since childhood by a one armed man with a grudge, without ever knowing why.The themes of twisted psychology, sibling rivalry, jealousy and revenge presented by shadow steeped photography and narrated by Mitchum who is on top form as the hapless anti-hero who is unwillingly forced to kill by circumstances beyond his control all point to the same thing; I don't care how many stetsons or six guns are on show, this IS Film Noir. The intelligent character driven plot is all very Freudian, which makes for a very unusual hybrid of genres. It looks fantastic and has a solid supporting cast, the pick of which is Judith Anderson as the matriarch whose guilty secret lies at the core of the events Mitchum finds himself caught up in. I'd never heard of this one before, and I'm glad I stumbled upon it. If you like Noir, westerns, or classic film in general, it's worth hunting down a copy.
"Pursued" opens with Jeb Rand(Robert Mitchum) at an abandoned ranch in New Mexico around the turn of the century, explaining to Thorley(Teresa Wright) about his nightmares and how he came to be in the care of her mother(Judith Anderson) when he was only an infant. She turns out to be protective of her stepson, going so far as to confront Grant Callum(Dean Jagger) after he takes a shot at him to settle a long-running feud. He agrees to hold off for now, and does not run into Jeb again until he is an adult and the Spanish American War is about to start. Jeb takes little notice, as he and his stepbrother Adam(John Rodney) have more important things to concern themselves with like which one of them will enlist.
"Pursued" definitely has some things going for it like one of Robert Mitchum's better performances and James Wong Howe's exquisite cinematography. Two years after it was made, you can already see the influence of Hitchcock's "Spellbound" at work here in the psychological approach of "Pursued" being more of a why than a whodunnit with Grant Callum being a different kind of villain. However, the drawn out story makes the movie feel longer than it actually is. That's not to mention some narrative inconsistencies like Jeb knowing more than he should and an abrupt ending to a critical scene that spoil an otherwise admirable effort.
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