10 user 3 critic

Southwest Passage (1954)

Approved | | Western | 1 April 1954 (USA)
The U.S. Cavalry is ordered to test the feasability of camels in the deserts of the Southwest.


Ray Nazarro


Harry Essex (idea), Harry Essex (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Rod Cameron ... Edward Fitzpatrick Beale
Joanne Dru ... Lilly
John Ireland ... Clint McDonald
John Dehner ... Matt Carroll
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Tall Tale
Darryl Hickman ... Jeb
Stuart Randall ... Lt. Owens
Mark Hanna Mark Hanna ... Hi Jolly
Douglas Fowley ... Toad Ellis
Morris Ankrum ... Dr. Elias P. Stanton


Edward Beale is in charge of finding a shorter trail across the American desert and to also test the practicality of using camels in the west in this 3-D western. (An actual test once conducted in the Big Bend area of Texas.) Clint MacDoanld, a bank robber one jump ahead of a posse, joins the caravan by posing as a doctor. His sweetheart, Lilly, also comes along and signs on. There is a whole lot of footage of the grueling trek across the desert, but it begins to move when mule-skinner Matt Carroll becomes aware of MacDonald's true profession and he wants the gold from the bank robbery. The Apaches have shied away from attacking the train, because of their fear of the camels, but a camel dies and the jig is up as they lose their fear and here they come. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wagons West! - The Cry That Rocked the Desert Frontier! See more »




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Did You Know?


Joanne Dru and John Ireland were married to each other during the filming of this movie. They also appeared together, in Red River, with John Wayne. See more »


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User Reviews

Joanne Dru Is Lovely in Her Cowboy Hat
14 October 2010 | by TedMichaelMorSee all my reviews

Making the film must have taken great effort with location shooting in Utah. I would like seeing it in 3-D; the colour is vivid, well saturated. Director Ray Nazzaro knew his business; writer Harry Essex was not as skillful. The plot works but the dialogue often sounds silly.

The cast with beautiful Joanne Dru, her husband John Ireland, and Ron Cameron, along with excellent stock actors make watching this movie fun. You realise that actors like John Dehner, Darryl Hickman, and Stuart Randall enriched many films and television programs we enjoy.

I almost forgot about the camels while watching the movie. The hook works, I suppose, but that is not what makes it work. The fine cast, good direction, interesting photography, crisp editing, and great location do.

I enjoyed watching this movie.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Release Date:

1 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Camels West See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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