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Kansas Pacific (1953)

Approved | | Western | 22 February 1953 (USA)
With the Civil War about to begin, Southern saboteurs attack frontier railroad construction.



(adapted from his play) (as Dan Ullman)

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Complete credited cast:
Capt. John Nelson
Barbara Bruce
Cal Bruce
Harry Shannon ...
Tom Fadden ...
Gus Gustavson
Bill Quantrill
Max Janus
Robert Keys ...
Lt. Stanton (as Bob Keys)
Joe Farley
Henchman Stone
Sherman Johnson


Just before the Civil War (but after the South has seceded), Southern saboteurs try to prevent railroad construction from crossing Kansas to the frontier; army captain Nelson is sent out to oppose them. As the tracks push westward, Nelson must contend with increasingly violent sabotage, while trying to romance the foreman's pretty daughter Barbara. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Built by bullets, dynamite, and blood-stained spikes!




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 February 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kansas Pazifik  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Although shot in the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.78:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see it as the director and cinematographer intended. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame would never have been seen by a theater audience. See more »


Though this is supposed to be late 1860 according to the newspaper in the opening scene, after two of Quantrill's men bust out of jail, Quantrill says they will let the Kansas Pacific build the rails but destroy the locomotives using artillery. When asked if he was going to steal cannons from the Union Army, he replied he was going to requisition them from the Confederate Army. The Confederate Army was just being established in Virginia and the Southern States in March of 1861. There was no Confederate artillery anywhere near Kansas at this time. See more »


Cal Bruce: Someday, I'm going to take a ten pound sledge to that pipe... and I hope it's in your mouth when I do.
Smokestack: I've been waiting for you to try that for twenty-two years, you miserable Irish polecat.
Cal Bruce: You're fired!
Smokestack: Ha!
SmokestackBarbara Bruce: You can't fire me, I quit two hours ago!
See more »


Featured in The Sierra Number 3 Locomotive: A Star Is Reborn (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

All the odds were against building that railroad.
12 April 2003 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In this well made western, the builders of the railroad have a problem: the civil war will start at any moment, and the sympathizers of the south will do everything they can to sabotage it. After many incidents they go to Washington to ask for the army to help them, but as the war had not started, they send only one man:Sterling Hayden, and he sure knows how to deal with it. Very entertaining, worth seeing for anybody who likes westerns

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