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Station West (1948)

Passed  -  Action | Mystery | Romance  -  16 October 1948 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 478 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

Dick Powell stars as Haven, a government private investigator assigned to investigate the murders of two cavalrymen. Travelling incognito, Haven arrives in a small frontier outpost, where ... See full summary »

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Title: Station West (1948)

Station West (1948) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Haven
...
'Charlie'
...
Mrs. Caslon
...
Hotel Clerk
Tom Powers ...
Captain Iles
Gordon Oliver ...
Prince
Steve Brodie ...
Stellman
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Mick (as Guinn Williams)
...
Mark Bristow
...
Goddard
Michael Steele ...
Jerry
Olin Howland ...
Cook (as Olin Howlin)
John Berkes ...
Pianist
...
Pete
John Kellogg ...
Ben
Edit

Storyline

Dick Powell stars as Haven, a government private investigator assigned to investigate the murders of two cavalrymen. Travelling incognito, Haven arrives in a small frontier outpost, where saloon singer Charlie controls all illegal activities. After making short work of Charlie's burly henchman, Haven gets a job at her gambling emporium, biding his time and gathering evidence against the gorgeous crime chieftain Cast as a philosophical bartender, Burl Ives is afforded at least one opportunity to sing. Written by R. Alberts

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...but he had to find out the heart way! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Främlingen från Kansas  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Sun Shining Warm
Lyrics by Mort Greene
Music by Leigh Harline
Sung by Burl Ives (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Stranger in Rock Pass.
3 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Station West is directed by Sidney Lanfield and adapted to screenplay by Frank Fenton and Winston Miller from the novel written by Luke Short. It stars Dick Powell, Jane Greer, Agnes Moorehead, Raymond Burr, Tom Powers, Guinn Williams, Gordon Oliver and Burl Ives. Music is by Heinz Roemheld and cinematography by Harry J. Wild.

Powell plays an undercover army agent sent into Rock Pass to find out who robbed and murdered two soldiers who were guarding a gold shipment.

There has always – and always will be – debates about what constitutes film noir, but undoubtedly it is a line of film making that positively thrives on a style that cloaks a number of characterisations. Thus we have the many off-shoots of film noir, such as the Noir Western. Noir Westerns in all actuality don't number more than 20, and even some of those that get put forward are tenuous additions. Where the likes of Pursued, Ramrod and Blood on the Moon are confidently held up as the leading lights of Noir Westerns, it actually pays to look towards a rarer picture like Raton Pass or this here under seen treasure, Station West, for unseen sub-noir rewards.

Station West has it all so as to earn its noir badge. It's got Powell doing a Western version of Phillip Marlowe, complete with swagger, sarcasm and the ability to nonchalantly smile in the face of peril. Then there's Greer, fresh from Out of the Past the previous year, Greer is in full tilt femme fatale mode, marrying up her hard beauty with feminist strength. Both Powell and Greer are wonderful, their respective characters constantly jostling for domination, trading quips and glib asides, the sexual tension consistently palpable.

The town of Rock Pass is in the process of booming, but with that comes corruption, and it is rife, with unlikely sources pulling the crooked strings. Greed and betrayal are words that hover over the intelligent screenplay, even as the script snaps with delightful one liners and sarcastic wit, there's a moody ambiance snuggling on up with the fun side of things, these bed fellows are meant to be. While the man himself, Haven (Powell), has a reputation for not towing the party line, he's clearly in the right place then!

Filmed out of beautiful Sedona in Arizona, Harry Wild's photography is gorgeous for the exterior locations (those rock formations are just visual orgasms), and film noir nirvana for everything else as he brings expressionistic touches to all the key sequences. In the support acting ranks we have Burr as a twitchy lawyer, Moorehead as a stoic wealthy widow, Williams as bad boy muscle, Oliver as the smarm, Powers as the grumpy unhelpful army captain and Ives as a hotel clerk – cum – balladeer who has a morbid hobby on the side. All of them contribute good characterisations.

I can't say that Roemheld's score is particularly memorable, and a big fist-fight between Williams and Powell is ferocious but tainted by the over dramatics that were indicative of the time, but from beginning to sombre end this is a cracker and it deserves to be better known and loved. 9/10


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