The Capture (film)

The Capture is a 1950 drama film directed by John Sturges, starring Lew Ayres, Teresa Wright, Victor Jory and Jacqueline White.[2] Some film historians have categorized it as a noir.[3]

The Capture
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Sturges
Produced byNiven Busch
Screenplay byNiven Busch
Story byNiven Busch
StarringLew Ayres
Teresa Wright
Victor Jory
Jacqueline White
Music byDaniele Amfitheatrof
CinematographyEdward Cronjager
Edited byGeorge Amy
Niven Busch Productions
Showtime Properties
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • April 8, 1950 (1950-04-08)[1]
  • US (US)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States

The story, told in flashback deals with an ex-oil worker driven by guilt at causing the death of an innocent man to find out the truth about a robbery.


Lin Vanner (Lew Ayres), is manager of an oil company. The payroll has been stolen in a hold-up. His fiance urges him to pursue the suspect in hope that he will gain recognition. Deducing the road the robber may have taken over the border with Mexico, he goes along to intercept him. He shoots a man who shouts back at him and does not raise his hands when challenged by Lin.

Too late Lin learns that the man could not raise one arm because it was injured and this was the reason for his shouting rather than complying with the demand he raise his hands; he was not guilty of the robbery. Troubled at his action and abandoned by his fiance, Lin takes it on himself to tell the dead man's wife, Ellen (Teresa Wright) - but on arrival he is mistaken for an applicant for a helper to keep the dead man's farm going until his widow's son is old enough to take over.

Lin believes that this opportunity has been given to him to make amends for his mistake and he gives up his position to labor as a man-of-all-work on the farm.

With Father Gomez (Victor Jory) by his side, the story that he's being pursued by the police for another killing is told in a flashback.



Critical response

When the film was released, the staff at Variety gave the film a generally favorable review, writing. They wrote, "The Capture is an offbeat drama, with psychological overtones, that plays off against the raw and rugged background of Mexican locales. Picture kicks off with a wallop ... Ayres and Teresa Wright are very capable in the lead characters, adding to the general realism given the story because of the locales used. One of the interesting touches to the film is the incidental native music hauntingly spotted with the appearance of a blind guitar player."[4]

See also



  1. "The Capture: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2014.
  2. The Capture at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  3. Selby 1984, film noir #60, p. 135.
  4. Variety. Staff film review, 1950. Accessed: July 18. 2013.


  1. American Film Institute. AFI Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States, Volume 1. The Capture, p. 378. University of California Press, 1971. ISBN 0-520-21521-4.
  2. Howard Reid, John Howard. Movie Westerns:Hollywood Films the Wild, Wild West. The Capture, p. 45., 2005. ISBN 1-4116-6610-0.
  3. Selby, Spencer. Dark City: The Film Noir. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 1984. ISBN 0-89950-103-6.
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