After finding a vital pass through the Canadian Rockies for the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, Tom Andrews tells his boss Cornelius Van Horne that he is resigning to marry the girl he loves, Cecille Gautier. From Cecille, Tom learns that fur trader Dirk Rourke fears the coming of the railroad because it threatens his hold on the Indians and other trappers. Tom and Rorke have a bitter fight over Cecille, and Tom asks her to wait for him, as he has to go back and finish his job with the railroad. Aided by Dynamite Dawson, Tom finds evidence of Rourke's work against the railroad construction and almost loses his life when Rourke fires into some crates of dynamite Tom is unloading. The construction camp's doctor, Edith Cabot, gives her own blood in a transfusion to save Tom's life. Cecille, realizing that her father is working with Rourke against the railroad,rides off to warn Tom. Rourke intercepts her and tells her that Tom is in love with the lady doctor, but she bullwhips ...Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
At about 25 minutes into the movie, Nancy Olson's character lifts her left arm and we can see the armpit of her white top is discolored. We didn't often see the evidence of "ladies" perspiration on their clothing in that era of filmmaking. See more »
At the end of the film when the Indians come into the camp they speak in their own language, which needs to be translated by the pastor. Yet when the pastor (who the leader of railroad gang is speaking to the Indians through) explains the railroad's decision to the Indians he speaks English back to Indians; leaving us to wonder how the Indians now understand English. See more »
Dr. Edith Cabot:
My father was killed, Mr. Andrews, because he tried to use a gun against a man instead of reasoning with him. If he hadn't worn a gun, he'd still be alive.
I'm sorry about your father. I've learned, though, that in this country if I draw faster, I keep living.
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Historically inaccurate, but enjoyable.
As has been pointed out, this is a highly imaginative account of the building of the Canadian Pacific. Perhaps the Scott character is based on Major Albert Bowman Rogers who, Wikipedia tells us, was tasked with finding a route through the Selkirk Mountains. The CPR promised him a cheque for $5,000 and that the pass would be named in his honour. Rogers became obsessed with finding such a pass and discovered it in April 1881.
I saw it some years ago on British TV and have just watched it again courtesy of a slightly fuzzy copy on YouTube. Just about the only scenes I recalled were Scott's miraculous escape from the dynamite explosion (not completely impossible, I understand), the bandage on Scott's head that shifted in the same scene, and Dynamite Dawson's escape from the Indians.
The blood transfusion scene (in a moving train that was remarkably stable) was perhaps a bit ahead of its time. By the late 19th century, blood transfusion was still regarded as a risky and dubious procedure, and was largely shunned by the medical establishment.
Scott, in his early fifties, again has two far young women vying for his affections, but he was still a good-looking guy.
I enjoy these American "building-a-railroad" films, and this was good entertainment.
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