Track of the Cat, an adaptation of a 1949 novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, is a 1954 western directed by William A. Wellman. On a small ranch in California, Curt Bridges (Robert Mitchum) is the tyrannical leader of his family, which includes his religious mother (Beulah Bondi), alcoholic father (Philip Tonge), unmarried sister Grace (Teresa Wright), and younger brothers Art (William Hopper) and Hal (Tab Hunter). Although Hal wants to marry his long-time girlfriend Gwen Williams (Diana Lynn), he meets resistance from both Curt and his mother, who are not willing to give him a share of the money made by the ranch. In the midst of this family drama, a black panther begins killing their livestock, causing Curt and Art to set out on a dangerous mission to kill the beast. When their journey leads to tragic results, the relationship between the members of the Bridges family continues to degenerate.