Movie Review: Canyon Passage (1946)

“Every Exciting Character! Every dangerous moment …”

2 Stars
Canyon Passage (1946)

Canyon Passage (1946)


Director:Jacques Tourneur

Cast: Dana Andrews, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward

Synopsis: A cowboy’s loyalty to his gambling addicted friend is tested by his interest in two women.


Canyon Passage, which is directed by Frenchman Jacques Tourneur, takes a long time to get going, but once it does it proves worthwhile.   Dana Andrews (Laura, The Best Years of Our Lives) plays a restless entrepreneur during the gold rush era who escorts the fiancé (Susan Hayward – Where Love Has Gone, The Revengers) of his best friend (Brian Donlevy- The Quatermass Xperiment, Waco) home.   There’s obviously an attraction between these two, but Andrews declines to take things any further.   Donlevy is a banker with a gambling problem – something that only gradually becomes apparent – and as his addiction worsens he becomes implicated in the murder of a prospector.

It’s a handsomely mounted production with some nice location shooting and an intelligent – if a little too talky – script.   Donlevy’s is by far the most interesting character, simply because he is flawed, whereas Andrews is a typical 40s hero, afraid of nothing and capable of taking down a man twice his size in a fist-fight.   Donlevy’s character has a satisfyingly jaundiced view of life and mankind, and seems almost resigned to his fate.   Definitely worth a watch.

(Reviewed 5th January 2012)


Canyon Passage premiere 1946



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