When two US cavalrymen transporting a gold shipment get killed, US Army Intelligence investigator John Haven goes undercover to a mining and logging town to find the killers.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Mary Caslon
...
Hotel Clerk
Tom Powers ...
Capt. George Iles
Gordon Oliver ...
Prince
...
Second Lt. Stellman
...
Mick
...
Mark Bristow
...
Jim Goddard
Olin Howland ...
Cook (as Olin Howlin)
John Berkes ...
Sam - Pianist
Michael Steele ...
Jerry
...
Pete
John Kellogg ...
Ben
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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

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

16 October 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Peor que el hombre  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the gold-carrying stage crosses the river, the outlaws charge from hiding. The first outlaw's horse collides with the "off lead" horse and falls down dumping his rider who scrambles upright. See more »

Quotes

John Haven: [to barman] Whiskey... like you pour it for yourself.
Girl: Don't you know it's no fun to drink alone?
John Haven: Not until after the first one.
See more »

Soundtracks

A Man Can't Grow Old
(uncredited)
Sung by Burl Ives
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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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