Out of the Past: The Films of Robert Mitchum

Blood on the Moon

Robert WiseUSA88 minutes1948ColourEnglish

Feb 16
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    Try and look past the weird title: this is one wonderful western, and one which, "after Pursued, [marks the] genre's second and even more visually evocative move into the dark world of film noir" (Lee Server). In a portrayal that his co-star Walter Brennan hailed as "the goddamndest realest cowboy I've ever seen!," Mitchum sports beard, lanky hair, and grubby clothes as drifter Jim Garry, who becomes caught up in the conflict between a cattle rancher and the homesteaders encroaching on his territory. The taciturn loner is soon pressed into a conspiracy to force the cattleman to sell his herd cheaply, even as he finds himself falling for the man's daughter (Barbara Bel Geddes), a spitfire Garry first encounters when she takes a shot at him. The film's stylish, shadowy look comes courtesy of Out of the Past cinematographer Nicolas Musuraca, confirming Blood on the Moon's noir lineage.