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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Raoul Walsh
Produced by Milton Sperling
Screenplay by Niven Busch
Starring Teresa Wright
Robert Mitchum
Judith Anderson
Dean Jagger
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography James Wong Howe
Edited by Christian Nyby
United States Pictures
Warner Bros.
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • March 2, 1947 (1947-03-02)
Running time
101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget £610,000[1]
Box office $2.9 million (US rentals)[2]

Pursued is a 1947 film that combines western film noir and psychological melodrama. The picture was directed by Raoul Walsh and features Teresa Wright, Robert Mitchum, Judith Anderson and Dean Jagger.[3]


Set in New Mexico around the turn of the 20th century and told in flashback, the film tells the story of Jeb (Mitchum), whose entire family was slaughtered when he was a child. In the aftermath of the massacre, Jeb is found by Mrs. Callum, a widow, who raises him in her family. Traumatized by the killings, Jeb does not recall anything of that night, except for vague images that he sees in a frequent nightmare. Mrs. Callum raises him as her own son, together with her daughter Thorley and her son Adam. Years later, Jeb is shot at while riding a colt, but the shooter misses him; although Mrs. Callum blames the incident on deer hunters, she knows that it was an attempted murder by her brother-in-law Grant, who, for vague reasons, is determined to kill Jeb.



It was shot on location in Gallup, New Mexico.[3]


Critical response[edit]

Film critic Bosley Crowther wrote a mixed review, "... the strange and angry actions which occur through the tortuous wanderings of this drama seem decidedly bewildering and absurd. What's so significant about a fellow—even though he may be a foster-child—finding life slightly oppressive on a primitive New Mexican ranch? ... As we say, without the revelation which comes rather patly at the end, the urgency of these weighty questions is hard to grasp as the picture drones along. And it is likewise hard to work up any sympathy for the hero, who seems bored by all his woes. That may be because Robert Mitchum, who plays the latter, is a very rigid gent and gives off no more animation than a Frigidaire turned to 'Defrost.'"[4]

Variety magazine, on the other hand, praised the film. The Variety staff wrote, "Pursued is potent frontier days western film fare. Standout in picture is suspense generated by the original script and Raoul Walsh's direction. It builds the western gunman's death walk to high moments of thrill and action. Strong casting also is a decided factor in selling the action wares. Production makes use of natural outdoor backgrounds supplied by New Mexico scenery, lending air of authenticity that is fully captured by the camera."[5]


According to the documentary Jim Morrison – the last 24 hours, Morrison took Pamela Courson to this movie on July 2, 1971 in Paris just hours before he died.


  1. ^ "How to Make A Movie For £610,000". The Mail. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 18 October 1947. p. 10 Supplement: Sunday Magazine. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1947". Variety: 63. 7 January 1948. Retrieved 30 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Pursued at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  4. ^ Crowther, Bosley (March 8, 1947). "' Pursued,' a Western Drama by Niven Busch, With Robert Mitchum and Teresa Wright in Leads, Opens at Strand". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Variety Staff (December 31, 1946). "Review: 'Pursued'". Variety. Retrieved July 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]