Raoul WalshUSA101 minutes1947B&WEnglish
Imperative: a beautifully restored 35mm print of Raoul Walsh's intense psychological western, which launched the trend of Freudian and neurotic westerns that prevailed in the ensuing decade. In a star-making performance, Mitchum plays Jeb Rand, a young rancher who is haunted by memories of his family's slaughter when he was a boy. This being as much a film noir as a western, the past returns with a vengeance when Jeb learns that, despite having grown up in an adoptive household, he is still being pursued to fulfill the vendetta that killed his kin. Told in flashback and shot with a surfeit of inky, high-contrast style by master cinematographer James Wong Howe, this Greek tragedy on the mesa also features Teresa Wright as Jeb's loving "half-sister" and Judith Anderson looming over all as his adoptive mother. "Superb … Walsh's intelligent handling of Oedipal themes [gives] the definitive lie to his self-cultured image as merely an adventuresome Hollywood primitive" (Time Out London).
35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by The Film Foundation and the AFI/NEA Film Preservation Grants Program.