6.5/10
1,443
31 user 15 critic

Track of the Cat (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 27 November 1954 (USA)
A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pursued (1947)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Brought up by a neighboring family in the 1880s, an orphan grows up haunted by nightmares of a childhood trauma in which his own family was killed.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Teresa Wright, Robert Mitchum, Judith Anderson
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The titular river unites a farmer recently released from prison, his young son, and an ambitious saloon singer. In order to survive, each must be purged of anger, and each must learn to understand and care for the others.

Directors: Otto Preminger, Jean Negulesco
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A C-47 transport plane, named the Corsair, makes a forced landing in the frozen wastes of Labrador, and the plane's pilot, Captain Dooley, must keep his men alive in deadly conditions while waiting for rescue.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Lloyd Nolan, Walter Abel
Comedy | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A wealthy heiress returns to a small Arkansas town to furtively reward the townsfolk who helped to save her life when she was a young girl.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jean Simmons, Arthur Hunnicutt
The Tall T (1957)
Romance | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An independent former ranch foreman is kidnapped along with an heiress, who is being held for ransom by trio of ruthless outlaws.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Randolph Scott, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Sullivan
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Rod Steiger, Sara Montiel, Brian Keith
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

In 1907, a nurse arrives in the Belgian Congo to work for a missionary doctor but meets a grumpy animal hunter who secretly plans to search for gold in the dangerous Bakuba tribal region.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Walter Slezak
Park Row (1952)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Globe is a small, but visionary newspaper started by Phineas Mitchell, an editor recently fired by The Star. The two newspapers become enemies, and the Star's ruthless heiress Charity Hackett decides to eliminate the competition.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Gene Evans, Mary Welch, Bela Kovacs
Run for Cover (1955)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mistaken for train robbers, Matt Dow and Davey Bishop are shot at by the sheriff and his posse but they are cleared and hired as lawmen.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek
Second Chance (1953)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Mobster Vic Spalato's girlfriend Claire is in hiding in Mexico and she's willing to testify for a US Senate investigation committee, if she can make it back to the US alive.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jack Palance, Linda Darnell
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A U.S. Marshall and two deputies rescue a cattle rustler from a lynch mob led by a local cattle baron convinced that the rustler also killed his son.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Curt Bridges
...
Grace Bridges
...
Gwen Williams
...
Harold Bridges
...
Ma Bridges
...
Pa Bridges
...
Arthur Bridges
...
Joe Sam (as Carl Switzer)
Edit

Storyline

A family saga: In a stunning mountain valley ranch setting near Aspen, complex and dangerous family dynamics play out against the backdrop of the first big snowstorm of winter and an enormous panther with seemingly mythical qualities which is killing cattle. An arrogant, pitiless son (Robert Mitchum) and a rigid pharisaic mother side against a moral eldest son and and a defeated alcoholic father while the youngest son tries to lay low, hoping against hope to persuade his family to allow him to marry a girl he has brought to visit. The girl however draws venomous condemnation and the two elder brothers set out in the midst of a violent snowstorm on a dangerous mission to kill the deadly panther. Written by Jasha

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Human Emotion Stripped Raw!

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 November 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

William A. Wellman's Track of the Cat  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William A. Wellman later said it had been a mistake not to show the cat at all in the film. See more »

Goofs

They say the story takes place in Aspen Colorado but when they talk about the local area they are speaking of Pyramid lake ,the Fremont expedition and Placerville witch all of them are in California. See more »

Quotes

Pa Bridges: Your stingy little purse of a mouth.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Extra: William Wellman (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Black Pant'er, Whole World
9 June 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

"Track of the Cat" has been in limbo for years for several reasons. One, John Wayne's son, Michael, in charge of Batjac productions, refused to let it be distributed on DVD or otherwise until recently (Michael is now deceased but his widow worked out a deal with Paramount). Two, the film was not all that successful when first released. Only the drawing power of Robert Mitchum and other cast members sold what tickets were purchased by the movie goers of the day. Three, it was basically a pet project for director William A. Wellman who had fallen in love with the book by "The Ox-Bow Incident" writer, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, a few years before and had dreams of putting it on the big screen in glorious black and white color. He wished to experiment with color technique by having his cinematographer (who turned out to be William H. Clothier) use mainly black and white settings including the clothing and furnishings, with a few exceptions such as Robert Mitchum's bright red coat, the brightness of fire, etc. Producer John Wayne was so happy with Wellman's success with such box office hits as "The High and the Mighty" that he let him have his way. The result is a masterful work unlike anything else the viewer is likely to see on the big screen. The new process of Cinemascope captures the white canvas of the countryside covered with new fallen snow wondrously.

The interior shots tend to be cramped and the dialog talky reminding the viewer of a stage play. The exterior scenes are truly magnificent and add much to the texture of the story about a dysfunctional, isolated family, the Bridges (as in bridges to cross), preyed upon by a ferocious black panther, or so the Native American hired hand, Joe Sam (Our Gang's Alfalfa), says. The panther, whatever color the viewer decides it to be, is symbolic of the turmoil and apprehension that has become part of the clan as a result of rivalry for domination within the group. The panther becomes an obsession that brings out the truth and ultimately decides the family's fate.

Robert Mitchum, in a different type role, plays the oldest son, Curt, an egomaniac, selfish to the core, but with the heart of a coward. Still, the family looks to him for leadership. He tells everyone that he is going to put a bullet between the panther's eyes. The second son, Arthur, played with élan by William Hopper of Perry Mason fame, is kindhearted though meek, loving poetry with no desire to be a leader. He wishes to let the panther be. The youngest son, Harold, played by teen idol, Tab Hunter, is young, innocent, and in love with a neighbor, Gwen Williams (Diana Lynn), who is spending time at the Bridges' farm to be close to Harold during the inclement weather. The self-proclaimed matriarch who tries to ramrod the family with threats, guilt trips, and Bible citations, is Ma Bridges (Beulah Bondi). She has so far successfully kept her brood under her control and away from nubile bliss, including the only daughter, Grace (Teresa Wright), now a spinster. Harold threatens to tear Ma's house down by marrying Gwen whom Ma naturally despises with a determination to rid the family of this interloper and intruder. Pa Bridges (Philip Tonge) has become a drunken milquetoast and somewhat of a dirty old man, especially around Gwen, as a result of years of badgering and nagging by Ma. The story involves the two oldest sons hunting the countryside for the panther preying on their cattle. Yet the panther is the catalyst that connects the dots to reveal the truth that leads to a new beginning for the Bridges.

The drama reminds one of an adaptation of a Eugene O'Neill play in some ways, especially the part dealing with the alcoholic father. Unfortunately, the film falters in the dramatic department yet somewhat compensates in the hunt for the panther. Though not a long film, making it at least fifteen minutes shorter with more action and less talk would have benefited the production greatly. The use of the panther as a symbol was inspired. As Joe Sam says toward the end when commenting on the color of the beast, "Black pant'er, whole world."


37 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?