Directed by: Phil Karlson
Starring: Lon McCallister, Peggy Ann Garner, Preston Foster
I guess in 1949, frontier westerns were still pretty popular and they could just pound them out over the course of a month. Either that, or this was a really high budget film with a really boring premise. I prefer to believe in the former.
A city kid comes to the hills to meet the father he never knew, who has a failing tree ranch so he’s become obsessed with killing a cougar for the reward money someone put up. At first the kid has problems (because he’s worthless at everything), but then the cougar kills his dad and he goes mad with revenge and finally takes down the cat. At the end, he decides to live on his dad’s failing ranch because the only girl in the small community apparently wants to jump him like no tomorrow. I can’t blame him, really.
The Big Cat isn’t that bad of a film, really, it’s just incredibly predictable. Very much a cookie-cutter semi-modern western sorta thing. Which, again, is mostly just because they made ten billion of these things from the 40’s to 60’s, and once you’ve seen a couple of them, you’ve basically seen it all. Nice scenery, though.