Track of the Cat

Director: William A. Wellman
Year Released: 1954
Rating: 2.0

After a panther attacks a family's herd, defiant (and deeply racist) Robert Mitchum goes after it - back home, the family squabbles. Very 'unlike' the majority of Wellman's pictures with its 'deliberate' pacing and pensive nature - the shots of Mt. Rainier are lovely - though the Mitchum plot line is basically Moby Dick (he's hunting the evil in himself! the picture reminds us), the portrait of an Indian tracker is crude (but well-intentioned) and the 'deliberate' pacing doesn't lead to any kind of enlightened conclusion. There are some curious psychosexual goings-on with the Tab Hunter character, who only makes out with his girlfriend twice in the picture - each time immediately following the death of a brother - while the most impressive character arc is courtesy of the Mother (stoic Beulah Bondi), who actually comes to her senses. As for Mitchum's Ahab, well, it's obvious he's done for when he literally sets the poems of Keats on fire (I take it he's more a Tennyson man)....