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In 1856, backwoods businessman Logan Stuart escorts Lucy Overmire, his friend's fiancée, back home to remote Jacksonville, Oregon; in the course of the hard journey, Lucy is attracted to Logan, whose heart seems to belong to another. Once arrived in Jacksonville, a welter of subplots involve villains, fair ladies, romantic triangles, gambling fever, murder, a cabin-raising, and vigilantism...culminating with an Indian uprising that threatens all the settlers. No canyon in sight. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 19, 1946 with Susan Hayward reprising her film role. See more »
At the beginning of the film, after Logan deposits his gold, he is shown crossing the street in the rain. In the long shot he gets one foot on the sidewalk, but in the next closer shot he is still a few feet from the sidewalk and then steps onto it again. See more »
In place of the glittering black-&-white Art Deco glass globe ("A Universal Picture") with rotating stars that opened Universal films from 1939-46, this early Universal Technicolor film opens with a still card, a colored globe with letters superimposed: "A Universal Picture". See more »
"Canyon Passage" though advertised as a western, plays more like a pioneer frontier drama with most of the characters looking like miners or loggers rather than the traditional Hollywood cowboys. To its credit and that of Director Jacques Tourneur, the set pieces look authentic and you believe that you are in the Oregon wilderness of the 1850s.
Logan Stewart (Dana Andrews) runs a freight business out of the small settlement of Jacksonville. The story opens with Stewart escorting Lucy Overmire (Susan Hayward), the fiancé of his friend local banker George Camrose (Brian Donlevy), back from San Fransico. Therin you have the eternal triangle even though Stewart is to marry Caroline Marsh (Paricia Roc) who is living with the family of Ben Dance (Andy Devine).
Camrose however, has a gambling problem. He is running up a large amount of IOUs with gambler Jack Lestrade (Onslow Stevens). Stewart bales him out with the promise that he will quit gambling. Town bully Bragg (Ward Bond) has it in for Stewart. They brawl in the local saloon.
Camrose meanwhile, has continued to gamble. To cover his losses, he is stealing gold from the deposits left on deposit with him. One of the miners returns unexpectedly and Camrose murders him to keep his secret. When Stewart leaves town, Lastrade sets Bragg after him without success. In the forest, Bragg murders a young Indian maiden which starts an Indian war and....................................
Dana Andrews to me, never made a convincing western hero. His fight with Bond is totally unbelievable as the slightly built Andrews bests the hulking Bond. Bond by the way, turns in an excellent performance as the brutal and lustful Bragg. Susan Hayward is beautiful with her res hair afire in glorious Technicolor. Donlevy, also excellent, plays Camrose not as a villain but as a man caught by the evils of his addiction to gambling.
Others in the cast include Lloyd Bridges as Johnny Steele a robust young minor and Hoagy Carmichael as wandering minstrel Hi Linnet (who among others sings his classic "Ole Buttermilk Sky". Andy Devine's two sons Ted and Danny play his sons in the film. Director Tourneur had worked with the legendary producer, Val Lewton earlier in the 40s.
A beautifully photographed film with authentic looking set pieces.
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