AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Pursued
Director: Raoul Walsh (Dir)
Release Date:   2 Mar 1947
Production Date:   early Aug--mid-Oct 1946
Duration (in mins):   100-101
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Cast:   Teresa Wright (Thor [Callum])  
    Robert Mitchum (Jeb [Rand])  
    Judith Anderson (Mrs. Callum)  
    Dean Jagger (Grant [Callum])  
    Alan Hale (Jake Dingle)  
    John Rodney (Adam [Callum])  
    Harry Carey, Jr. (Prentice)  
    Clifton Young (The sergeant)  
    Ernest Severn (Jeb, at the age of 11)  
    Charles Bates (Adam, at the age of 11)  
    Peggy Miller (Thor, at the age of 10)  
  The Callums: Norman Jolley    
    Lane Chandler    
    Elmer Ellingwood    
  and Jack Montgomery    
    Ian MacDonald (A Callum)  
    Ray Teal (A Callum)  
    Kathy Jeanne Johnson (Thor, age 3)  
    Mickey Little (Jeb, age 4)  
    Scotty Hugenberg (Adam, age 4)  
    Eddie Waller (Storekeeper)  
    Russ Clark (Drill master)  
    Jack Davis (Doctor)  
    Crane Whitley (General)  
    Carl Harbough (Bartender)  
    Lester Dorr (Dealer)  
    Bill Sundholm (Juryman)  
    Paul Scardon (Juryman)  
    Harry Lamont (Ticket taker)  
    Erville Alderson (Undertaker)  
    Sherman Sanders (Square dance caller)  
    Al Kunde (Minister)  
    Ben Corbett (Loafer)  
    Charles Miller (Coachman)  
    Tom Fadden (Preacher)  
    Virginia Brissac (Preacher's wife)  
    Ervin Richardson (Jeb's father)  
    Louise Volding (Jeb's mother)  
    Ian Wolfe (Coronor)  

Summary: In the territory of New Mexico at the turn of the twentieth century, Jeb Rand hides from his pursuers in an abandoned house. He tells Thor Callum, who has brought him food and water, that while hiding there, he has recalled events that may explain what has gone wrong with his life: As a child of four, Jeb is rescued from the same house by Ma Callum, who takes him and her own children, Thor, who is three, and Adam, who is the same age as Jeb, away from the area. As he grows, Jeb is troubled by indistinct and frightening memories of the events before Ma took him in. One day, when Jeb is eleven, his horse is shot out from under him. Jeb believes that Adam is responsible, and the two boys fight about it. When Ma learns what happened, she confronts Grant Callum, her brother-in-law, who, unknown to Jeb is the man who shot his horse. Although Grant has vowed to avenge his brother's murder, he eventually agrees to return to Santa Fe, convinced that Jeb will turn Ma against him by his very nature. When Ma returns home, she advises Jeb to forget the past and love his new family, but despite her wishes, his memories continue to haunt him. Several years later, when the territory declares war against Spain, Grant tries to coerce Jeb into joining the army, in hopes that he will be killed. Later, when a toss of the coin determines that Jeb, not Adam, will fight, Jeb does sign up but returns a hero. Grant then turns Adam against Jeb. Angered by Jeb's lack of interest in the farm, Adam offers to buy him out, but another toss of the coin sends Jeb away with nothing. When Jeb promises Thor that he will return for her, Adam insists that he will never let her marry Jeb. Thor makes it clear that she will marry Jeb without his blessing, however, and Adam rides after Jeb, intending to kill him. Instead, Jeb kills Adam in self-defense but, despite the findings of a jury, Ma and Thor believe he is guilty of murder. Jeb then becomes a partner in Jake Dingle's saloon. At a dance, which Thor attends with the mild-mannered Prentice, Jeb forces her to dance with him. Grant witnesses this and pressures Prentice to avenge the imagined insult to Thor. In the ensuing gunfight, Prentice is killed. Jeb is again acquitted and begins to court Thor. Although she now hates Jeb, Thor agrees to marry him, intending to kill him on their wedding night. She cannot go through with her plans, however, and realizes that she still loves Jeb. Summoned by Grant, the Callums descend on Jeb and Thor's house. After arranging to meet Thor at the old house, Jeb eludes his pursuers. Soon after Jeb finishes his story, the Callums and Ma arrive at his hideout and a shootout ensues. It was a similar fight that killed Jeb's entire family, and he now remembers Grant forcing Ma to "look at your Rand," in punishment for her affair with his father. Outnumbered, Jeb surrenders. Before Grant can hang Jeb, however, Ma shoots him and apologizes to Jeb for believing that they could forget the past. The way is now cleared for Jeb and Thor to live together in peace. 

Production Company: United States Pictures, Inc.  
Production Text: Milton Sperling's Production
Brand Name: A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Raoul Walsh (Dir)
  Maurice Murphy (Dial dir)
  Russ Saunders (Asst dir)
Producer: Milton Sperling (Prod)
Writer: Niven Busch (Orig scr)
Photography: James Wong Howe (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Ted Smith (Art dir)
Film Editor: Christian Nyby (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Jack McConaghy (Set dec)
Costumes: Leah Rhodes (Gowns)
Music: Murray Cutter (Orch arr)
  Leo F. Forbstein (Mus dir)
  Max Steiner (Mus)
Sound: Francis J. Scheid (Sd)
Special Effects: William McGann (Spec eff dir)
  Willard Van Enger (Spec eff)
Make Up: Perc Westmore (Makeup artist)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Hemisphere Films, Inc. 8/3/1947 dd/mm/yyyy LP1108

Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Foster children
  Memory
  Murder
  Revenge
 
Subjects (Minor): Brothers and sisters
  Dances
  Gunfights
  Infidelity
  Luck
  New Mexico
  Romance
  Saloon keepers
  Self-defense
  Trials
  Weddings

Note: According to a studio press release, Fred MacMurray was originally to star in this film. An article in Look reports that screenwriter Niven Busch wrote Pursued as a vehicle for his wife, actress Teresa Wright. The film marked the first time that the couple worked together. The film crew spent four weeks on location near Gallup, NM. The article adds that night scenes were shot with infrared film. Contemporary critics refer to the picture as a "Film Noir" Western or the first "psychological" Western. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   22 Feb 1947.   
Daily Variety   18 Feb 1947.   
Film Daily   21 Feb 47   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   9 Aug 46   p. 19.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Aug 46   p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Feb 47   p. 6.
Independent Film Journal   17 Aug 46   p. 39.
Look   1 Apr 47   pp. 73-74.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   22 Feb 47   p. 3485.
New York Times   8 Mar 47   p. 1.
Variety   19 Feb 47   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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