Toronto Film Society presented Pursued (1947) on Monday, March 24, 1975 in a double bill with Out of the Past as part of the Season 27 Monday Evening Film Buff Series, Programme 5.
Production Company: United States Pictures, for Warner Brothers. Director: Raoul Walsh. Producer: Milton Sperling. Screenplay: Niven Busch. Photography: James Wong Howe. Music: Max Steiner. Musical Direction: Leo F. Forbstein. Art Direction: Ted Smith, Jack McConaghy. Costumes: Leah Rhodes. Editor: Christian Nyby.
Cast: Robert Mitchum (Jeb Rand), Teresa Wright (Thorley Callum), Judith Anderson (Mrs. Medora Callum), Dean Jagger (Grant Callum), Alan Hale (Jake Dingle), John Rodney (Adam Callum), Harry Carey Jr. (McComber), Clifton Young (The Sergeant), Ernest Severn (Jeb, 8 years), Charles Bates (Adam, 10 years), Peggy Miller (Thorley, 8 years), Tom d’Andrea (Young), Elmer Ellingwood, Jack Montgomery, Norman Jolley, Lane Chandler, Ian McDonald, Ian Wolfe, Tom Fadden, Virginia Brissac.
Raoul Walsh (b. March 11, 1887) began working in films in 1909, and for D.W. Griffith in 1912; then directed his own films for fifty years–1914 to 1964. Walsh’s career encompassed all genres, most notably gangster pictures (The Roaring Twenties, High Sierra, White Heat), Westerns (The Big Trail, They Died With Their Boots On, The Tall Men) and turn-of-the-century Americana (The Bowery, Gentleman Jim, The Strawberry Blonde). The current critical re-evaluation of his work, placing his name among the great originals of American cinema, only confirms what audiences have known and enjoyed for half a century–Raoul Walsh has created some of the most cinematically unpretentious yet thoroughly adventuresome films ever made. In light of this prevailing straightforwardness, Pursued is unlike any other film Walsh had directed, one of the first ‘psychological’ Westerns (scripted by Niven Busch, whose novel was the basis for 1946’s Duel In The Sun) filmed in the midst of the late-war and post-war American film interest in psychiatry (Spellbound, Lady In the Dark) and filled with dream images, tensions, flashbacks and motivations.
Notes by Jaan Salk