This week’s mystery movie was the 1954 Warner Bros. film Track of the Cat, with Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright, Diana Lynn, Tab Hunter, Beulah Bondi, Philip Tonge, William Hopper and Carl Switzer.
Music by Roy Webb.
Photography by William A. Clothier.
Production manager Nate H. Edwards. Assistant director Andrew V. McLaglen.
Art direction by Al Ybarra. Edited by Fred MacDowell. Sound by Earl Crain Sr. Script supervisor Sam Freedle.
Orchestrations by Maurice de Packh. Set decoration by Ralph Hurst. Properties by Joseph La Bella. Costumes by Gwen Wakeling. Hairstyles by Margaret Donovan. Makeup by Gordon and George Bau.
In Cinemascope and WarnerColor.
Directed by William A. Wellman.
More information on Track of the Cat is available from the AFI catalog.
Track of the Cat is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Video.
Someone in the early 1950s must have asked: “What if we took a routine ‘kitchen sink’ drama and transferred it from a New York apartment to a turn of the 20th century kitchen in California?”
The result is Track of the Cat. I had to be especially tricky in posting images because most of the cast is instantly recognizable. So I began with Carl Switzer in heavy makeup as Joe Sam.
I chose it by going through the trades and looking for a film that good reviews.
I’m going to guess that Bosley Crowther gave it a lukewarm review. Will he call it “old hat?” We’ll see!
Yes! It’s Bosley himself (Dec. 2, 1954) and he gave it a lukewarm review:
A passel of bitter, twister people, snowbound on a California ranch and wrangling about whether the youngest son of the family is going to be permitted to marry a deeply resented neighbor girl, is set as the center of interest in William Wellman’s Track of the Cat, a sort of Eugene O’Neill-ized Western drama that came yesterday to the paramount….
…it has no psychological pattern, no dramatic point. There’s a lot of pretty snow scenery in it and a lot of talk about deep emotional things. But it gets lost in following some sort of pretense. The cat goes this way and O’Neill goes that.
For Monday, we have a mystery guest.
Update: This is Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer as Joe Sam.
Update: This is Philip Tonge.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery guest).
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have a mysterious fellow and an intrusive coffeepot. Is this a visual cue for “waking up and smelling the coffee?” And no, I cannot imagine why they photographed the scene this way. But I’m grateful!
Update: This is the unmistakable crewcut of Tab Hunter and the arm of Beulah Bondi.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Tuesday’s mystery drunk).
For “Aha Thursday,” we have a mystery fellow.
Update: This is William Hopper – in a beard!
We also have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Teresa Wright with Robert Mitchum in in the background.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Wednesday’s mystery guest).
For Friday, we have a mystery woman. She does not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Beulah Bondi and Switzer.
We also have this mystery woman.
Update: This is Diana Lynn.
And finally, we have this colorful mystery fellow.
Update: And Robert Mitchum.
Brain Trust roll call: Jenny M. (Thursday’s mystery guests), Mike Hawks (mystery movie and all mystery guests), Gary (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mysterious crewcut and Thursday’s mystery woman, plus Friday’s mystery cowboy), Mary Mallory (mystery movie and all mystery guests) and Thom and Megan (mystery movie and all mystery guests).