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Track of the Cat

Track of the Cat (1954)

My Rating

Movie Info

In this experimental 1954 Western, director William Wellman uses black-and-white backgrounds with occasional splatches of color on certain characters' bodies and clothes. On a snowbound ranch in northern California, the Bridges family is trapped by winter weather and its own internal conflicts. It is run by a stern matriarch, Ma Bridges (Beulah Bondi), who lords it over her weak, alcoholic husband (Philip Tonge) and her bitter, unmarried daughter, Grace (Teresa Wright). The three sons squabble

Jun 6, 2006

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All Critics (6) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (1) | Rotten (2) | DVD (5)

It has no psychological pattern, no dramatic point. There's a lot of pretty snow scenery in it and a lot of talk about deep emotional things. But it gets lost in following some sort of pretense.

September 30, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's one of those overlooked great films that somehow slips under the radar, in this case probably because it's unique as a Western.

December 23, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Mitchum hunts a cougar... and that's about it.

February 12, 2005 Full Review Source: StaciWilson.com
StaciWilson.com

Audience Reviews for Track of the Cat

At first, Joe Sam(Carl Switzwer), an elderly Indian, is the only one to hear it. After he wakes up the Bridges brothers, Curt(Robwert Mitchum), Harold(Tab Hunter) and Arthur(William Hopper), they also hear what might be a big cat threatening the family's cattle and is maybe even the mythical black panther that Joe Sam has alluded to on occasion over the years. At the very least, Curt and Arthur go out into the snow to see what they can find which gives their mother(Beulah Bondi) plenty of time to harangue Harold on his upcoming engagement to Gwen(Diana Lynn), the paid companion to Grace(Teresa Wright), who like her brothers is also unmarried.

First, "Track of the Cat" is something of an odd duck in trying to turn its typical western premise of man versus nature on its head. And I would agree with anybody who says that this movie is meant mostly to be allegorical about the closing of the frontier in favor of settling down into a life of domesticity. But ignoring the hunt in favor of the household squabbles is a mistake, as anything Robert Mitchum does in general, much less in the stark white landscape, is much more interesting than anything going on inside the house where the primary lesson is to always find plenty of places to hide your booze.
February 26, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

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