14 user 4 critic

Santa Fe Passage (1955)

Passed | | Action, Western | 12 December 1955 (UK)
A disgraced Indian scout and his partner are hired to escort a wagonload of guns through Indian territory.


William Witney


Lillie Hayward (screenplay), Heck Allen (based on Esquire Magazine story by) (as Clay Fisher)


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Complete credited cast:
John Payne ... Kirby Randolph
Faith Domergue ... Aurelie St. Clair
Rod Cameron ... Jess Griswold
Slim Pickens ... Sam Beekman
Irene Tedrow ... Ptewaquin
George Keymas ... Chief Satank
Leo Gordon ... Tuss McLawery
Anthony Caruso ... Chavez


Scout and wagon-train guide Kirby Randolph hates all Indians, particularly Kiowa Chief Satank, whose massacre of an entire wagon-train of settlers led by Kirby, has led to his ostracism and neither he nor his pal Sam Beekman can get jobs. Aurelie St. Clair, who owns half of an ammunition shipment for sale in Santa Fe to Mexican insurrectionaries, protests when he partner Jess Griswold hires Kirby and Sam as guides. When Kirby saves them all from a wild horse stampede instigated by Satank, she changes her mind and she and Kirby fall in love, although Kirby does not realize she is half-Indian. Jess, who is also in love with Aurelie and wanting to get rid of Kirby, sends his servant Chavez to Satank offering to deliver Kirby to the Chief in return for safe passage for the wagon train. But, Satank plans to get both Kirby and the wagon train. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ABLAZE with Raging Adventure! AFIRE with Romantic Love! AFLAME with the Fury of Hate-Crazy Savages! See more »


Action | Western


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 December 1955 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ruta a Santa Fe See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Republic Pictures (I) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Trucolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Referenced in Doctor Who: Origins (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Thrilling and colorful Western starred by a tough John Payne , involving a wagon train against Indians
8 August 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

An unfortunate Indian scout called Kirby (John Payne) and his disgraced partner (Slim Pickens) are excluded by colonists or settlemen , that's why some families were slaughtered by the Indians and neither he nor his colleague Sam Beekman can get jobs . Later on , they are hired to escort a wagonload of guns through Indian territory. Aurelie St. Clair (Faith Domergue) , who owns half of an ammunition shipment for sale in Santa Fe to Mexican insurrectionaries, protests when her pal and lover Jess Griswold (Rod Cameron) hires Kirby and Sam as guides . After that , Kirby and Aurelie fall in love, although Kirby does not realize she is half-Indian . Along the way they have to face off the ruthless Kiowa chief Satank (George Keymas) who instigates a spectacular wild horse stampede . The danger trail that only the daring traveled ! Ablaze with Raging Adventure! afire with Romantic Love! aflame with the Fury of Hate-Crazy Savages!

Run-of-the-mill Republic Picture flick with usual elements, such as noisy action, thrills, crossfire, drama, romance and some spectacular action scenes . Along with a love triangle in which implicates Kirby/Payne and Jess/Cameron who is also in love with Aurelie/Domergue . The plot is plain and simple a wagon train results to be chased and ambushed by the Indians , then the survivors trust on an expert scout despite his ostracism status. A blending of functional main actors with great character players of whom John Payne holds the best role as a brave frontiersman . The hothouse plot drives mercilessly forward with action , thrills , attacks , treason and turns . The tale is strong one and the yarn is wonderfully located against a background of Utah . Well directed by Witney who made a lot of low-budget movies , though he followed to work for cinema and was capable of making large-scale movies as ¨Santa Fe Passage¨ revolving around a wagon train against Indians . Stars John Payne, as a valiant scout and wagon-train guide Kirby Randolph , he delivers a peculiar role as a vengeful explorer who hates all Indians, , whose massacre of an entire wagon-train of settlers led by Kirby to hate really the Indians ; Payne being one of the popular actors of the forties and fifties, today a little forgotten. He starred the classy Miracle in 34th street and performed all kinds of genres as Noir: Slighly scarlet, Kansas City confidential, The vanquished, Adventure: Raiders of seven seas, Crosswinds, Tripoli and Western : Santa Fe passage, Rails into Laramie , Silver lode, Tennessee's partner, The Road to Denver. Payne is well accompanied by a good support cast such as : the always sympathetic Slim Pickens here co-starring , Rod Cameron , the habitual baddie Leo Gordon , Irene Tedrow , George Keymas and Anthony Caruso .

It contains colorful and brilliant cinematography in Trucolor by director of photography Bud Thackery . And thrilling and atmospheric musical scrore by Dale Butts .This classic as well as traditional movie was produced by Herbert J Yates from Republic Pictures and professionally directed by William Witney , containing some vigorous scenes . Witney was a good craftsman who directed 140 titles from the 30s . Oklahoma-born William began his long screen career as a studio messenger in silent days joining Republic Pictures shortly after . By 1936 , he was already script supervisor on serials and his own directorial career started the following year . Witney graduated to director at 21, he was Hollywood's youngest , and he teamed with director John English on many of the period's best serials . He realized many of the era's best serials , most of them highlighted by kinetic fight and chase scenes that helped change the face of action movie-making and from 1956 , he transferred these stirring energies to TV Westerns with prolific and enjoyable results . The favorite shooting was the 1939 serial ¨Zorro's fighting legion¨ . As his pictures were mainly serials , after WWII service with US Marines , he moved on to Roy Rogers Westerns , inserting into them a new tough backbone that offended some Rogers purists . In 1954 he made one of the best films ¨The outcast¨ with John Derek , besides his television work which includes some quite exciting episodes of such series as ¨High Chaparral¨, ¨Bonanza¨, ¨Laramie¨, ¨Zorro¨, ¨The Virginian¨ and ¨Wagon train¨ and ¨The Bonnie Parker story¨about the famous gun-moll , and specially his greatest hit : ¨Master of the world¨ . The motion picture will appeal to Western/adventure buffs ; it's an agreeable popcorn story plenty of breathtaking scenes , thrills , colorful exteriors and many other things . It's a wonderful popcorn story for kids , teens and old people . Rating : Decent Western 6/10

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