Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Teresa Wright, Robert Mitchum, Judith Anderson, Dean Jagger, Alan Hale
Director: Raoul Walsh
Genres: Westerns, Classics, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Robert Mitchum plays a jaded Civil War hero who's pursued into the barren frontier wilderness by inner demons from his childhood pas t and real killers in the present. His passion for Teresa Wright, who plays his stepsiste... more »
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peterfromkanata | Kanata, Ontario Canada | 06/01/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Looking at the other reviews for "Pursued", I don't think I have to repeat the plot summary for this dark, thoughtful 1947 western, directed by Raoul Walsh. While it may seem a bit dated in 2004, "Pursued" must have been considered very adult, compared to most westerns made in the 40s.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."
One of the top five westerns.
Don Chriscoe | Flagstaff, Arizona USA | 04/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A strange breed of western in that it has a mixed genre: western plus film noir. The psycological elements dominant. The main character, played by Robert Mitchum, experiences a recurring nightmare. Most of the film centers on coming to grips with the meaning behind that nightmare.Excellent photography by James Wong Howe. The musical score by Max Steiner further enhances this film."
I'm supposed to be your sister...
Steven Hellerstedt | 05/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jeb Rand (Robert Mitchum) can't understand why everybody hates him, or why so many people want to kill him, and he can't remember much of anything before Ma Callum (Judith Anderson) dragged him out of an orphan cellar and adopted him as one of her own. It's no wonder PURSUED is told as a flashback, this one is all about memory and remembering.
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. Like everyone else in this one, Grant Callum has a herd of inner demons goading him on, and Jagger is at his oily best. Judith Anderson is superb as the strong frontier woman. Robert Mitchum is, well, the term sloe-eyed comes to mind. Since his character is focused on remembering the past I'll assume it was a conscious decision on his part to play Jeb Rand in such a subdued manner.
Sometimes it's unfair to judge old movies by today's standard. In 1947 PURSUED may have seemed the cutting edge of bold filmmaking. Today it seems a little contrived and predictable. But the location photography in and around Gallup, New Mexico by James Wong Howe is still impressive, and the direction of Raoul Walsh keep this one from going under."
Noir with Cowboy Boots
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 07/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Western noir, and it's pretty good. Angular, shadowy black and white photography (by James Wong Howe), the story told in flashbacks and flashbacks within flashbacks with the resigned narration of Robert Mitchum, a relentless villian, a hidden family mystery that might contain hints of incest...plus gunfights and New Mexico scenery.
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"