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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Pursued (1947)

Set in New Mexico at the turn of the century, a man (Robert Mitchum) who was taken in as a child by a widow (Judith Anderson) and raised as her own son has a blocked memory of a traumatic incident. The widow knows what triggered the loss of memory but she thinks it best for all concerned if it was left alone. But the past has long fingers. Directed by the veteran Raoul Walsh, this fusion of western and film noir is a very interesting experiment but I'm not all that sure that it's a successful coupling. All I kept thinking while watching the movie was that if these people just communicated and stopped dancing around the truth, they could just move on with their lives. None of the characters are particularly likable and in poor Teresa Wright's case, she can't summon up the passion necessary for her vengeance seeking romantic. On the plus side, James Wong Howe's striking B&W images of the New Mexico landscape coupled with his deft shading and lighting provide an impressive visual terrain. Max Steiner gets the blame for the intrusive score. With Dean Jagger, Alan Hale, John Rodney and Harry Carey Jr.

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