Par of the Warner Brothers Sports Parade series, this short film chronicles the attempt by a group of men to navigate the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon to Lake Mead. Led by Norman... See full summary »

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(as DeLeon Anthony)
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Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Knox Manning ...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Norman Nevills ...
Himself
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Storyline

Par of the Warner Brothers Sports Parade series, this short film chronicles the attempt by a group of men to navigate the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon to Lake Mead. Led by Norman D. Nevills, 9 men undertake a 19 day trip in three specialty built rowboats through the more than 200 rapids, some of which run at 30 m.p.h. Along the way, they see the remnants of previous expeditions including wrecked boats and even a skeleton. They also visit now abandoned Pueblo Indian cave dwellings. Written by garykmcd

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Approved
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11 May 1946 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound System)

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(Technicolor)

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1.37 : 1
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Vitaphone production reel #1472A See more »

Crazy Credits

Norman Nevills is credited orally by the narrator. See more »

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Excellent white rapids adventure, though likely more "breath-taking" in the forties than now
28 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Occasionally shown on TCM and now available on the DVD for Bette Davis' DECEPTION, this one-reeler acquired by Warner Brothers in 1945 (and given spiffy narration by Knox Manning) makes impressive use of Grand Canyon scenery. The dangers of riding the Colorado River are pretty obvious and not to be viewed by the faint-of-heart. There's even a brief shot of a skeleton to add a grim touch of reality to the fun.

Although today's viewers may pass this off as a forties "home movie", the close-up footage of white water rapids certainly would look great on the big screen; the Oscar voters were impressed. It is interesting to compare this with some of the 1950s CinemaScope portraits of the Colorado, like the Disney featurette GRAND CANYON. Today, this type of adventure would probably be made with greater technical sophistication for the IMAX screen... and a bigger crew, a longer end-credit roll and none of the personal "touch" of a cameraman like Edwin E. Olsen.

Early information from 1946 periodicals suggest that this was planned as a "Technicolor Adventure" (a more fitting umbrella title), but it went into general release as one of the 160+ "Sports Parade" shorts, which Warner Bros.cranked out between 1940 and 1956. These were often less "sport" and more "human interest" and travelogue. Their key advantage over the competition (Paramount Sportlight, RKO Sportscope, Fox Sport Review and Columbia World Of Sports) was the consistent use of Technicolor (though 16mm "blown up" to 35 often looked quite grainy).


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