Canyon Passage

Soon to be released in DVD is this Technicolor Western from 1946 – and it was a leading lady from England who had made her name in the famous Gainsborough Films, namely Patricia Roc.

In 1946, Patricia Roc was the first contract player to be sent to Hollywood under J Arthur Rank’s loan-out arrangements with Universal Studios. In Canyon Passage, a Western directed by Jacques Tourneur, she again loses the hero (Dana Andrews) to the bigger star (Susan Hayward). During her Hollywood stay, Patricia Roc was pursued and romanced by Ronald Reagan.

Box office star of the 40s and 50s: Patricia Roc had a passionate affair with Ronald Reagan, according to her biography

Box office star of the 40s and 50s: Patricia Roc had a passionate affair with Ronald Reagan, according to her biography.

Canyon Passage DJ

Directed by Jacques Tourneu

Canyon Passage (1946) is a very good Western but a picture that seems to have been been overlooked over the years. The New  DVD from Universal is a terrific example of how to present three-strip Technicolor on our hi-definition Television

Patricia Roc and Jacques Tourneur

Director Jacques Tourneur’s first Western, and his first time working in Technicolor, Canyon Passage is a big, beautiful, complex tale of the Oregon territory in 1856. Dana Andrews runs a freight business and winds up in a love triangle with Susan Hayward and Brian Donlevy — while dealing with both Indians and a positively evil Ward Bond.canyon-passage-1946

Canyon Passage Bond Andrews

In the film we are  treated to incredible vistas of the Oregon locations (Crater Lake is one of them), gets top-notch performances from the entire cast and offers up a great fistfight between Andrews and Bond.  Ward Bond deserves special mention: he’s a real baddie in this one, a sharp contrast to roles that came later like Wagon Master (1950) and The Searchers (1956).

canyon-passage-1946-b

The Oregon wilderness – see above – of the 1850s gets stunning treatment in CANYON PASSAGE

The look of the film immediately draws the viewer in.

Of course, the story takes a few twists and turns as it weaves its way through some breathtaking scenery, with Ward Bond as the film’s chief villain, a man called Honey Bragg, who has the Indians on his heels when he murders an Indian girl. But Donlevy is no Mr. Goody either, since it turns out he’s stealing gold from the miners. We know he’s going to get his comeuppance to provide a happy ending for Andrews and Hayward.

Seldom has a film been such a pleasure to watch because of the colour photography. Dana Andrews is his usual solid, reliable self and Susan Hayward photographs beautifully in Technicolor.

Not quite as fast-moving as it ought to be, but worth watching anyway.

Sometimes “Canyon Passage” doesn’t seem like a western — more like a frontier-homesteader film, but it still had the adventure and drama that makes a fine film.  There is something mysteriously appealing about this film, which was released in 1946.

canyon-passage-1946-a

Ward Bond was not known for playing villains, and this performance was truly scary and sinister. Lloyd Bridges plays the friendly good guy that characterised his roles, and Dana Andrews is perfectly cast as the leader.

Saviour: Patricia Roc as a screen starlet with Reagan

 Patricia Roc as and a seemingly besotted Ronald Reagan.

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

Screen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

Screen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon PassageScreen cap from Canyon Passage

 

.

posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.
Name
Email
Website
Your comment

*