“Go ahead, lieutenant — prove yourself a hero!”
A prison security lieutenant (Barry Sullivan) chases a fugitive (Vittorio Gassman) through the bayous of Louisiana.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Deep South
- Joseph H. Lewis Films
While there isn’t much to the narrative of this fugitive thriller by Joseph H. Lewis — law enforcement official chases desperate fugitive, stupidly lets him get away, then vows to catch him again at any cost — there’s plenty of atmosphere, and Sullivan and Gassman make sympathetic protagonists. Less impressive is the cast of supporting characters — including William Conrad as Sullivan’s beady-eyed partner, Mary Zavian as Gassman’s swarthy backwoods wife, Jonathan Cott as a bigoted deputy, and Polly Bergen as Sullivan’s loyal wife — who come across as walking embodiments of cliches. In addition, for every creative noir quip in the film (and there are plenty), the next one is a clunker. Ultimately, Cry of the Hunted remains an atmospheric thriller yet not quite a great one, and will likely be of most interest to fans of Lewis’s work.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
No. This is one of Joseph Lewis’s lesser films, and not essential viewing.