Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with Republic Pictures; special thanks to Ernie Kirkpatrick. Funding by the AFI/NEA Preservation Grants Program and Martin Scorsese.
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Working from a script by Niven Busch (author of Duel in the Sun who co-scripted The Postman Always Rings Twice) with legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe behind the lens, director Raoul Walsh reimagines the Western for the age of noir with actor Robert Mitchum at its dark, fatalistic heart. As Jeb Rand, an orphan taken in by the matriarch of a ranching family and haunted by barely repressed memories of violence, Mitchum exudes a brooding, rough-hewn sensuality as a man unable to shake free from the grip of his past. Walsh and Howe transform the iconic Western landscape from one of expansive vistas into a claustrophobic web of shadows, shot through with dread, paranoia and Freudian anxieties. Pursued not only set the stage for the darker, eccentric Westerns of the 1950s, such as Johnny Guitar and Forty Guns, it established the versatility of Mitchum’s screen presence for other directors, such as William A. Wellman, looking to push the Western genre into more deeply psychological terrain.
Warner Bros. Producer: Milton Sperling. Screenwriter: Niven Busch. Cinematographer: James Wong Howe. Editor: Christian Nyby. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson, Dean Jagger, Alan Hale.
35mm, b/w, 101 min.