Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Track of the Cat

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
6.6/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  William A. Wellman
Music director  Roy Webb
Country  United States
6.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, Western
Language  English
Track of the Cat movie poster
Release date  November 27, 1954 (1954-11-27) (United States)
Based on  the novel Track of the Cat  by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Writer  A.I. Bezzerides (screenplay), Walter Van Tilburg Clark (novel)
Screenplay  Walter Van Tilburg Clark, A. I. Bezzerides
Cast  Robert Mitchum (Curt Bridges), Diana Lynn (Gwen Williams), Tab Hunter (Harold Bridges), Teresa Wright (Grace Bridges), Beulah Bondi (Ma Bridges), Philip Tonge (Pa Bridges)
Similar movies  Related William A Wellman movies
Tagline  Human Emotion Stripped Raw!

Track of the cat original trailer

Track of the Cat is a 1954 film directed by William A. Wellman and starring Robert Mitchum and Teresa Wright. The film is based on a 1949 adventure novel of the same name by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. This was Wellman's second adaptation of a Clark novel, the first being The Ox-Bow Incident. Track of the Cat was produced by John Wayne and Robert Fellows for their Wayne/Fellows production company.


Track of the Cat movie scenes

Track of the cat 1954 burial


Track of the Cat wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters37691p37691

The squabbling Bridges family spends a harsh winter on their remote ranch in northern California in the early years of the 20th century. Crude and quarrelsome middle brother Curt (Robert Mitchum) bullies his noble, unselfish eldest brother Arthur (William Hopper), while youngest brother Harold (Tab Hunter) endures Curt’s abuse in browbeaten silence. Their mother (Beulah Bondi) is a bigoted religious zealot and their father (Philip Tonge) is a loquacious, self-pitying drunk. Bitter old maid sister Grace (Teresa Wright) is temporarily gladdened by the arrival of Harold’s fiancé, spirited Gwen (Diana Lynn).

Track of the Cat Track of the Cat Wikipedia

Their ancient Native American hired hand Joe Sam (Carl Switzer) alerts the family to a panther prowling the hills. Many years before his family was wiped out by a panther. Joe Sam’s superstitious dread of the panther irritates domineering Curt. Curt and Arthur split up to track the panther while the family tensely awaits their return.

Track of the Cat Track of the Cat 1954

Gentle Harold tries to avoid conflict with his parents while Gwen tenderly encourages him to assert his claim to an equal share of the ranch. Although Grace tries to support her youngest brother and his fiancé, Ma Bridges spews hateful suspicion at Gwen, but she ignores the family’s histrionics calmly for Harold’s sake.

Track of the Cat Track of the Cat 1954 Toronto Film Society Toronto Film Society

By the end of the story, the major conflicts have been resolved, but not without tragedy and loss. The remaining characters seem hopeful that their ordeal may have created the basis for a happier future.


Track of the Cat Track of the Cat Trailer YouTube
  • Robert Mitchum as Curt Bridges
  • Teresa Wright as Grace Bridges
  • Diana Lynn as Gwen Williams
  • Tab Hunter as Harold Bridges
  • Beulah Bondi as Ma Bridges
  • Philip Tonge as Pa Bridges
  • William Hopper as Arthur Bridges
  • Carl Switzer as Joe Sam
  • Production

    Track of the Cat Track of the Cat 1954

    The outdoor scenes were filmed on Mount Rainier, Washington and Mitchum regarded shooting in the deep snow and cold as the worst filming conditions he had ever experienced.

    Track of the Cat Friday Editors Pick Track of the Cat 1954

    Director William A. Wellman had always intended to film a black & white movie in color. His idea was that if a movie were to be shot in mostly monochromatic shades, with stark blacks and whites and otherwise mostly very subdued colours that were almost shades of grey, he could use bright colors very sparingly for intense dramatic effect. The photography of William Clothier was designed to highlight black and white and downplay colors. Only key elements like the blue matches, the fire, and Mitchum's red coat stand out.

    Critical response

    Track of the Cat Track of the Cat 1954 Starring Robert Mitchum Teresa Wright

    Film critic Bosley Crowther gave the film a mixed review, writing, "But, for the most part, Mr. Wellman's big-screen picture seems a heavy and clumsy travesty of a deep matriarchal melodrama or a Western with Greek overtones. And the business of the brother hunting the panther in the great big CinemaScope outdoors, while the family booze and blather in the ranch-house, has the nature of an entirely different show ... This, in the last analysis, is the trouble with the film: 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."

    More recently film critic Dennis Schwartz wrote positively about the film, "A brilliantly realized ambitious dark, brooding Western set in the 1880s in northern California on an isolated snowbound ranch. It is based on the book by Walter van Tilburg Clark, one of whose other books, The Ox-Bow Incident, had also been filmed by William Wellman (The High and the Mighty). The scorching literate script is by A.I. Bezzerides. It has the haunting feel of a Poe work and the primitive savageness of Indian folklore. Cinematographer William H. Clothier bleached out the primary colors and that gave the images the look of a black and white film. The haunting luminous look created was very effective in charging the film with the sub-textual sexual energy that lingers from the hot melodramatics and also giving it an alluring aura of mystery."


    Track of the Cat Wikipedia
    Track of the Cat IMDb Track of the Cat