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Canyon Crossroads (1955)

Approved | | Western | 1955 (USA)
A mining engineer, who is shunned by his peers for his unorthodox beliefs concerning the whereabouts of large uranium deposits, joins forces with a girl and her father to search for the ... See full summary »

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(screenplay) (as Leonard Heideman), (story) (as Leonard Heideman) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Larry Kendall
...
Katherine Rand
Stephen Elliott ...
Larson
...
Dr. Andrew Rand
...
Joe Rivers
Charles Wagenheim ...
Pete Barnwell
...
Charlie Rivers
Tommy Cook ...
Mickey Rivers
William Pullen ...
Harry--AEC Clerk
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Storyline

A mining engineer, who is shunned by his peers for his unorthodox beliefs concerning the whereabouts of large uranium deposits, joins forces with a girl and her father to search for the mineral. When the father is hurt in an accident, daughter and engineer continue the project, aided by a Native American guide. Unbeknownst to the group, a reputable citizen of the town, really of low moral value, is shadowing themi, his intention, to jump their claim. Written by Buxx Banner <buxx572@aol.com>

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Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dödens dal  »

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(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Recalls a Distant Memory
13 September 2015 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

The movie amounts to a modern day western. A little background might help since the subject matter now seems pretty obscure. I grew up in Colorado about the time of the short-lived uranium boom of the early 1950's. Gold and silver mining had dried up for various reasons, so my gold miner dad took quickly to uranium prospecting, as did a lot of amateur 'weekend' prospectors. All that was needed was a Geiger counter and preferably some knowledge of mineral formations. Dad would sometimes take me along, and it was an adventure over on Colorado's craggy 'western slope' (not far from the movie's Moab, Utah). Because of the spreading Cold War, the government was paying top dollar for uranium for nuclear weapons. And though not mentioned in the movie, they also paid top dollar for 'strategic minerals' like vanadium and manganese, used in metal hardening like in fighter planes. I don't remember our finding anything and Dad soon went back to gold mining which he knew best. Anyway, knowing now about the long-term effects of even brief radio-activity exposure, I'm just as glad we didn't find anything.

The movie's the only one I've seen dealing with this subject, which makes it definitely offbeat. The plot plays like an old-time matinée western, where a slick bad guy (Elliot) tries to hijack a uranium deposit from Basehart, his reluctant girlfriend Kirk, and her dad. The action centerpiece is the helicopter vs. man-on-the-ground battle. It's a white-knuckler and one of the first, I believe, to make that movie use of a whirlybird. Another highlight is the dramatic terrain around Moab, which the film blends in nicely. Of course, Basehart was one of the best actors of the time and manages to make his washed-up mining engineer believable. However, sharp-featured Phyllis Kirk really does look uncomfortable, while it may indeed have been a difficult shoot for a woman

Anyway, the action-adventure is well worth a look-see. And though the boomlet's time may have long passed, it remains symptomatic of our post-war period.


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