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Track of the Cat

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Year: 1954
Studio: Warner Bros.
Director: William Wellman
Cast (in credits order):
Robert Mitchum ... Curt Bridges
Teresa Wright ... Grace
Diana Lynn ... Gwenn
Tab Hunter ... Harold
Beulah Bondi ... Ma Bridges
William Hopper ... Arthur

Plot synopsis:The arrogant Curt runs the family homestead on a Nevada mountain ranch unchecked. A snowstorm strands everyone, including the youngest brother's new girlfriend, whom Curt fancies for himself. The family drama is interrupted when eldest brother Arthur is killed by a cougar and Curt decides to track the killer cat.

Verdict: Mitchum (here reteamed with his director from The Story of G.I. Joe) plays one of his few unlikeable characters as the controlling brother Curt. Despite that, we still feel for him when he meets a most unpleasant end.

Behind the Scenes: Director Wellman essentially filmed a black-and-white film in color, where red is the only color in the washed-out palette. The bitter cold of the location in Mount Rainier, Washington, led to Mitchum considering this as his least favorite film. Teresa Wright, his dewy love interest in Pursued here plays his spinster sister. Beulah Bondi, best known as Jimmy Stewart's doting mother in It's a Wonderful Life, in this film more closely resembles the suspicious version of Mrs. Bailey seen in that film's nightmare sequence. And William Hopper you may recognize as Perry Mason's investigator, Paul Drake.