Monday, February 08, 2016

Today at Disney California Adventure: 15th Anniversary & Lunar New Year

It was a big day today at the Disneyland Resort!

Today was the 15th Anniversary of the opening of Disney California Adventure...



...and it was also the last day of that park's annual Lunar New Year celebration.


The Chinese New Year processional with Mulan is absolutely terrific. California Adventure does something special with both the Viva Navidad and Lunar New Year celebrations, and I'm really glad I had the time to slip over to the resort for a while today.


Click any photo to enlare it for a closer look.





Over in Disneyland, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning appeared in the traditional "I'm Going to Disneyland!" parade less than 24 hours after winning Super Bowl 50. I'll have photos of that  fun event in a separate post.

Previously: Today at Disney California Adventure: Lunar New Year (February 21, 2015); Today at Disney California Adventure: Lunar New Year (February 1, 2014); Today at Disney California Adventure: Lunar New Year (February 10, 2013); Today at Disneyland: Chinese New Year (January 27, 2012); Today at Disneyland (February 15, 2008).

Tonight's Movie: Domino Kid (1957)

Rory Calhoun stars as the DOMINO KID (1957) in a solid, entertaining Western.

Since the end of his service in the Civil War, Cort Garand (Calhoun), aka the Domino Kid, has been searching for the five men who murdered his father. He's found four of them, but he doesn't know the identity of the fifth.

Hoping to get a fresh lead on the fifth man, Cort returns to his hometown and his sweetheart Barbara (Kristine Miller), who's hoping that Cort is ready to put vengeance behind him and settle down.

Businessman Wade Harrington (Andrew Duggan), who wants both Cort's land and his girl, quickly becomes a thorn in Cort's side.

This is a pleasing Western produced by Calhoun and Victor Orsatti for Columbia Pictures; other Rorvic Productions were FLIGHT TO HONG KONG (1956), THE HIRED GUN (1957), APACHE TERRITORY (1958), and Calhoun's TV series THE TEXAN (1958-60).

Although DOMINO KID was filmed at Iverson Ranch and doesn't have the fine Lone Pine location work of THE HIRED GUN, DOMINO KID is still a nice-looking movie, particularly the long shots of Cort's ranch. The filmmakers also conjure up some solid atmosphere on a limited budget, with effective use of guitar music and a fiery Mexican dance by cantina owner Yvette Duguay.

Calhoun is always the perfect Western hero, handsome and determined, with an intimidating presence when riled. For a Western fan like myself it doesn't get much better than spending 74 minutes watching a Rory Calhoun Western.

I was inspired to pull this film out of my "watch" stack in honor of Calhoun's leading lady, Kristine Miller, whose death was recently announced. My tribute to Miller is here.

DOMINO KID has a fine cast including Eugene Iglesias as Cort's best friend, Robert Burton as the kindly sheriff, James Griffith as one of the murderers, and Thomas Browne Henry as the town doctor; Henry was only on screen for roughly the last 30 seconds of the movie! Familiar Western faces such as Peter Whitney, Frank Sully, Roy Barcroft, Fred Graham, and Denver Pyle are also in the cast.

The movie was directed by Ray Nazarro. The black and white cinematography was by Irving Lippman.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Wild Bill Hickok Rides (1942) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Bruce Cabot, Constance Bennett, and Warren William star in the Warner Bros. Western WILD BILL HICKCOK RIDES (1942), just released on DVD by the Warner Archive.

Saloon owner Belle Andrews (Bennett) and unethical businessman Harry Farrel (William) relocate from Chicago to Powder River, Montana, in the wake of Chicago's great fire.

Farrel has plans to grab control of huge swaths of Montana land by dubious legal means, but the sheriff (Ward Bond) is in his pocket financially and backs Farrel's play.

However, Bill Hickok (Cabot) leads settlers as they fight back against Farrel, and Belle may switch her allegiance from her business partner Farrel to Hickok, with whom she's fallen in love.

WILD BILL HICKOK RIDES is an okay Western, nothing particularly special but reasonably entertaining. The 82-minute film is paced well and has a fair amount of action, including the Chicago fire and a train holdup at the outset and a dam breaking near the end. I don't know if the dam sequence was created for this film or borrowed from another, but the special effects as the water spreads are pretty good.

However, the characters are fairly one note, and as she doesn't have enough screen time, Bennett's deep affection for Cabot at the end seems a little abrupt.

The film does have a large cast of talented actors, including Howard Da Silva, Walter Catlett, Russell Simpson, Trevor Bardette, and J. Farrell MacDonald. Belle's chorus girls include Faye Emerson, in an early role, and Julie Bishop; Emerson and Bishop don't have significant speaking roles but are onscreen a fair amount of time.

Betty Brewer, who was about 16 when she filmed her role as Cabot and Simpson's ward, plays a girl who seems to be younger than the actress's actual age, and I must admit I found her "down home" frontier gal a bit tiresome as the movie went on.

WILD BILL HICKOK RIDES was directed by Ray Enright and filmed in black and white by Ted McCord. Location shooting took place at Iverson Ranch in Southern California.

Howard Jackson was credited with the musical score. Late in the film a brief strain of Max Steiner's score for DODGE CITY (1939) wanders onto the soundtrack; DODGE CITY was made by the same studio, hence its availability for "borrowing."

The DVD print is nice, with good sound quality. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.

Tonight's Movie: Air Patrol (1962)

AIR PATROL (1962) is my kind of movie, an L.A. police procedural showcasing early '60s Los Angeles in beautiful black and white CinemaScope.

Fox Cinema Archives is unfortunately known for sometimes putting out films in incorrect aspect ratios or suboptimal prints, but they have a winner with the AIR PATROL DVD, which looks terrific.

Even better, AIR PATROL stars personable Robert Dix, the lookalike son of Richard Dix, who had passed away in 1949. Robert spent part of the '50s at MGM, appearing in small roles in films such as FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), and he worked in TV and movies until his final screen appearance in LIVE AND LET DIE (1973). (IMDb says that Richard Dix was the favorite actor of Roger Moore's mother, which naturally causes me to wonder if there's a connection with Robert appearing in a Moore Bond film. Anyone know?) Robert Dix wrote a memoir published in 2014, OUT OF HOLLYWOOD.

The "by the book," cut-and-dry AIR PATROL makes no pretense at being great art and will not be to every viewer's taste, but those who share my enjoyment of Jack Webb procedurals or films like the Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries will probably like this one too.

Dour Willard Parker plays Lt. Vern Taylor, who's investigating a major art heist in which the culprit escaped by helicopter.

He's assisted by Sgt. Bob Castle (Dix), who's usually assigned to Air Patrol due to his military experience flying choppers. Bob really wants to work robbery detail, however, so he's happy to be included on the team searching for the missing painting. He uses his skills as a pilot to investigate chopper services at outlying airports and later to tail the suspect when he makes off with ransom money for the painting.

Possible suspects include the painting's owner, Arthur Murcott (John Holland), who heavily invested his savings in the painting and might be looking to score insurance money; Murcott's secretary Mona (Merry Anders), who is initially rude to the inquisitive police; and aging actor Millard Nolan (Douglass Dumbrille), who had intended to buy the painting until his wealthy estranged wife cut off his line of credit.

Merry Anders is someone I've enjoyed for years thanks to her multiple appearances on my favorite TV show, MAVERICK, and Dumbrille has a nice late-career role as the art-collecting actor. The cast also includes Russ Bender, George Eldredge, Ivan Bonar, Jack Younger, and Stacey Winters.

There's some great location work, with the exchange of money for the painting taking place in the box seats section of the Hollywood Bowl.

Later, the villain gets off the Hollywood Freeway and drives for an extended period through the watery L.A. riverbed, before he finally runs out of room, trapped by the Sepulveda Dam! It's an imaginative set piece which gives the movie a little "something extra."

AIR PATROL was directed by Maury Dexter and filmed by John M. Nickolaus Jr. It runs 70 minutes; the IMDb running time, currently listed at 62 minutes, is incorrect.

I rented AIR PATROL from ClassicFlix.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Tonight's Movie: The Affairs of Annabel (1938) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Lucille Ball plays movie star Annabel Allison in THE AFFAIRS OF ANNABEL (1938), just released by the Warner Archive.

THE AFFAIRS OF ANNABEL is part of a two-film set, with the second title being ANNABEL TAKES A TOUR (1938). These RKO "B" films were released two months apart in September and November of 1938.

Annabel is a high-strung actress who perennially finds herself in scrapes thanks to crazy schemes dreamed up by studio publicity man Lanny Morgan (Jack Oakie). As the movie begins, Annabel has just unhappily spent a month in prison as part of a publicity stunt for her new "prison" movie.

In her next film, THE MAID AND THE MAN, Annabel will be playing the titular maid, so naturally Lanny decides to get Annabel a domestic service job in an "ordinary" American household, which will later be revealed for publicity when the new picture comes out. Unfortunately, Annabel's employers, Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher (Granville Bates and Elisabeth Risdon), have their home taken over by two crooks (Anthony Warde and Eddie Marr), leading to all manner of unexpected complications.

THE AFFAIRS OF ANNABEL is by no means a great movie, but it's got the elegant RKO "look" which made their "B" films so classy, and it's also got a solid cast. I found it an amusing 68 minutes.

Ball looks gorgeous as the movie star, and though I find a little of Oakie goes a long way, his screen time is balanced enough with other cast members that he's tolerable. In fact, he has quite a funny scene with Leona Roberts (Mrs. Meade of GWTW) as an out-of-work actress posing as his mother; in between their "scene," staged for Annabel's benefit, they haggle in whispers over her pay.

The presence of Ruth Donnelly in a comedy always makes it worth watching, and indeed, she probably has the best moments, constantly second-guessing her studio head boss (Bradley Page) while she also cracks wise in reaction to the crazies around her. Plus she gets to sit at a desk in a great RKO Art Deco office -- with a large photo of Richard Dix over her shoulder!

Movie fans may recognize British actor John Sutton (A YANK IN THE R.A.F.) in an early role, as the customer at a roadside stand. Kane Richmond (STAGE STRUCK) is a detective at the end of the movie.

The cast also includes James Burke, Fritz Feld, Thurston Hall, Lee Van Atta, and Charles Coleman, who has a funny scene where loses his high-class "butler" tones.

Fans of RKO B's might enjoy noting that Annabel's studio, Wonder Pictures, was also the studio in CRASHING HOLLYWOOD (1938), released by RKO earlier that year. CRASHING HOLLYWOOD was directed by Lew Landers, who did uncredited work on THE AFFAIRS OF ANNABEL; the credited director was Benjamin Stoloff.

The movie was filmed in attractive black and white by Russell Metty. Bert Granet and Paul Yawitz wrote the screenplay, based on a story by Charles Hoffman.

The print in the new Warner Archive "double feature" set is excellent. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD set. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.

Tonight's Movie: Fun and Fancy Free (1947)

I've been regularly attending movies in the Disney Screen series at my local Cinemark Theatre since last August. I'm thrilled that this week they pulled a really old film out of the Disney vault, FUN AND FANCY FREE (1947).

This was my very first time to see FUN AND FANCY FREE, which is one of Disney's '40s "package" movies along the lines of THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949).

The two stories are connected by Jiminy Cricket (voiced by Cliff Edwards). The first half of the film is the story of BONGO, a circus bear, narrated and sung by Dinah Shore. The second section of the film is MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK, with narration and on screen appearances by Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, and Mortimer Snerd.

I think my very favorite part of the movie might have been the opening credits! I enjoyed the movie also, but I really appreciated the bright color title designs, looking very much like the bright-hued Fox musicals of the era such as the same year's CARNIVAL IN COSTA RICA (1947).

As the movie begins, Jiminy Cricket slips into a house which happens to have a BONGO LP with Dinah Shore, which he puts on the record player in a particularly wonderful animated moment. At that point Dinah (aka Mrs. George Montgomery!) takes over telling Bongo's story.

Bongo is a circus performer who spends much of his time locked in a train car, where he dreams of living free in the wilderness. One day he gets his chance and escapes. Living in the wild is a challenge at first, but eventually Bongo adjusts and even finds love.

I knew nothing about BONGO going in and found it enjoyable. Some of the animation of the trees and animals seems to have been inspired by Disney's Silly Symphony FLOWERS AND TREES (1932), which was chosen to precede today's film. (More on that below.) The animals also include chipmunks who somewhat resemble Chip and Dale.

I especially enjoyed Dinah singing "Lazy Countryside."  The only negative was that I didn't get the bits about how bears show their affection ("Say It With a Slap"), which seemed odd.

When the BONGO record concludes, Jiminy Cricket goes across the street to another house; this time the house is live action, rather than animated!  Jiminy finds Edgar Bergen hosting a little party for Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, and Luana Patten, who starred in several Disney films of the '40s, including SONG OF THE SOUTH (1946) and SO DEAR TO MY HEART (1948). Incidentally, Bergen's own little girl, Candice, had just been born the previous year.

Bergen tells the animated story of MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK, and as we watch Mickey Mouse (voiced by Walt Disney!), Donald Duck, and Goofy explore the giant's house, the story is punctuated periodically with comments by Bergen and company on the soundtrack as they react to the cartoon we're watching.

There were some very clever bits in MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK; my favorite moment was Goofy bouncing around on a plate of jello as he tries to grab his hat.

The movie has some interesting moments mixing the live action and animation, with Jiminy Cricket helping himself to "real" food and the giant lifting the roof off Bergen's house at the end. I wondered if that scene might have led to some small children having nightmares!

FUN AND FANCY FREE was released in a three-film Blu-ray/DVD combination set along with THE ADVENTURES OF ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD (1949) and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON (1941). The FUN AND FANCY FREE DVD in the set includes a 15-minute featurette on the making of the movie.

I have previously reviewed the ICHABOD AND MR. TOAD Blu-ray. I also reviewed the Disney Treasures release of THE RELUCTANT DRAGON. The Blu-ray/DVD three-film set is a great value for Disney fans, and I highly recommend it.

Prior to the Blu-ray/DVD set, FUN AND FANCY FREE was released by Disney in a Gold Edition DVD and on VHS. It can also currently be rented for streaming from Amazon Instant Video.

FUN AND FANCY FREE was preceded today by the Silly Symphony FLOWERS AND TREES (1932), which won the first Oscar for Short Subject Cartoon. It's available in the Silly Symphonies Walt Disney Treasures DVD set. I was very fortunate to see this cartoon with the music performed by a live orchestra at last summer's D23 Expo.

I'm happy to say that my Disney Screen theater currently has the series scheduled through April, which is wonderful news! Here's hoping it continues past that time and that the series will showcase even more of Disney's older and less well-known films.

Previous Disney Screen reviews: OLIVER & COMPANY (1988), EIGHT BELOW (2006), THE LOVE BUG (1968), THE ROCKETEER (1991), ROBIN HOOD (1973), POLLYANNA (1960), and POCAHONTAS (1995).

As a postscript, this is a great place to call attention to a recent post by Jacqueline at Another Old Movie Blog on two more of Disney's "package" films, MAKE MINE MUSIC (1946) and MELODY TIME (1948). A few years ago she also wrote briefly on FUN AND FANCY FREE, calling it "a sweet film."

Friday, February 05, 2016

Tonight's Movie: The Younger Brothers (1949) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

THE YOUNGER BROTHERS (1949) is a colorful Warner Bros. Western recently released by the Warner Archive.

"Outlaw" movies are my least favorite Western subgenre, but I found THE YOUNGER BROTHERS enjoyable as such films go.

Cole (Wayne Morris), Jim (Bruce Bennett), and Bob (James Brown) Younger have served time in prison and are hoping for a pardon from the state of Minnesota, after which they plan to return to their home state of Missouri with their kid brother Johnny (Robert Hutton) and Jim's sweetheart Mary (Geraldine Brooks).

A nasty Pinkerton agent, Ryckman (Fred Clark), hates the Youngers, as they cost him his job. He's a relentless Javert-like character, who doesn't care if the Youngers plan to be honest farmers; Ryckman is determined to put them all back in jail -- or worse -- no matter what it takes. To that end he plots along with Kate Shepherd (Janis Paige), ringleader of an outlaw gang.

It's a given that the screenplay by Edna Anhalt probably contains little, if anything, to do with the Youngers' true history! In this case I particularly appreciated that, as outlaw movies go, this one was happily un-tragic.

The film wasn't especially exciting, but it was a well-paced 78 minutes and I enjoyed spending time with the congenial cast, filmed in Technicolor. It's a lesser Western but fans of the cast and the genre will probably enjoy giving it a look, as I did.

I particularly liked Bennett and Brooks as devoted sweethearts and would have been happy if they'd had even more screen time. Morris as Cole is the wild man of the bunch; he's well matched with Paige's fiery Kate, although since she plays a genuinely bad woman one can probably guess how her story turns out. Brown tended to blend into the background, but Hutton registered well as the brave youngest brother.

Alan Hale (Sr.) has some very nice scenes as the sheriff. The cast also includes Tom Tyler, Monte Blue, and Ian Wolfe.

THE YOUNGER BROTHERS was directed by Edwin L. Marin, who also directed the last Western reviewed here, Randolph Scott's CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949). THE YOUNGER BROTHERS was filmed in Technicolor by William E. Snyder.

The Warner Archive DVD is a nice print with William Lava's energetic musical score sounding great. The disc includes the trailer.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.

Tonight's Movie: Chain of Evidence (1957) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

CHAIN OF EVIDENCE (1957) is the fourth of five titles in the Warner Archive's Bill Elliott Detective Mysteries Collection.

In this entry Lt. Andy Doyle (Elliott) and Sgt. Mike Duncan (Don Haggerty) investigate the disappearance of Steve Nordstrom (James "Jimmy" Lydon), who was just paroled from a low-security prison.

Steve was hit over the head and has amnesia; he then has the misfortune to go to work for Mr. Ramsey (Hugh Sanders), who is killed by the lover (Ross Elliott) of Mr. Ramsey's wife (Tina Carver). Mrs. Ramsey and her boyfriend make sure that the prime suspect is Steve, the amnesiac employee. Andy and Mike manage to sort it all out in 64 minutes!

This may be the least compelling film in the series to date, but there's still quite a bit of fun stuff in it, including the always-terrifying Timothy Carey as the man who hits Steve in the head. Southern Californians will also enjoy the vintage stock shots and the geographical references.

The acting's not always great, but it moves like lightning. I'm going to be sorry when I've finished this set, as I've really enjoyed it. Elliott is perfectly cast as the straightforward detective. I would guess that anyone who likes Jack Webb TV procedurals such as DRAGNET or ADAM-12 would enjoy this movie collection.

Dabbs Greer, best known as Reverend Alden from LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, plays a psychiatrist who helps Steve. Meg Randall, Claudia Barrett, and John Close are also in the cast.

CHAIN OF EVIDENCE was directed by Paul Landres. It was written by Elwood Ullman, who also worked on SUDDEN DANGER (1955) and the last film in the series, FOOTSTEPS IN THE NIGHT (1957).

Previously reviewed films in this set: DIAL RED O (1955), SUDDEN DANGER (1955), and CALLING HOMICIDE (1956).

CHAIN OF EVIDENCE is a great-looking print showcasing the no-frills black and white cinematography of Harry Neumann. There are no extras.

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Actress Kristine Miller Has Died at 90

Lovely actress Kristine Miller, who played a key role in the classic film noir TOO LATE FOR TEARS (1949), has passed on at the age of 90.


A relative has confirmed that the actress died late last year.


In TOO LATE FOR TEARS Miller played the suspicious sister of murder victim Arthur Kennedy, who works with a mysterious stranger in town (Don DeFore) to pin the murder on her sister-in-law (Lizabeth Scott).


Miller had appeared in two previous films with Lizabeth Scott, DESERT FURY (1947) and I WALK ALONE (1948). Both those movies also starred Burt Lancaster, the star of another film in which Miller appeared, SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948).


Miller also played the murder victim in the engrossing SHADOW ON THE WALL (1950) with Zachary Scott and Ann Sothern.


Additional film credits included JUNGLE PATROL (1948) with Arthur Franz, FLIGHT NURSE (1953) with Joan Leslie, HELL'S OUTPOST (1954) with Leslie and Rod Cameron, and DOMINO KID (1957) opposite Rory Calhoun (seen below). (February 8th Update: I have now reviewed DOMINO KID.)


Miller also guest-starred on many TV series before retiring from the screen in 1961.

A detailed obituary appeared in the Monterey County Herald, and there was also a nice story in The Hollywood Reporter.

A memorial service will take place in Carmel, California, this Saturday, February 13th.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Canadian Pacific (1949)

NOTE: This post on CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949) is my contribution to the O Canada Blogathon being sponsored by Kristina of Speakeasy and Ruth of Silver Screenings from February 1-5, 2016. Please take the time to click on the blogathon link and enjoy the many interesting contributions by a large number of classic film bloggers!

Randolph Scott stars as a surveyor battling to establish a railroad across Canada in CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949).

CANADIAN PACIFIC echoes DeMille's UNION PACIFIC (1939) of a decade earlier, telling the story of the establishment of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The Canadian Pacific was needed to connect British Columbia in the far west with the other Canadian provinces.

As the movie begins, Tom Andrews (Scott) treks through the Canadian wilderness, mapping out the prospective route for the new railroad.

Mission completed, Tom turns down the offer by railroad head Cornelius Van Horne (Robert Barrat) to help spearhead the railway construction, and he instead heads home to his sweetheart Cecille (Nancy Olson), who's been patiently waiting for the past year for Tom's return.

Evil fur trader Dick Rourke (Victor Jory) rallies locals against the train, telling them it will mean the way of their end of life; facing conflict with Rourke and Cecille's father (John Parrish), Tom decides to return to work for the railroad. He asks Cecille to wait another year for him but, despondent, she breaks off their relationship.

Rourke stirs up Indians to sabotage the railroad, leading to all manner of struggles and delays in the railroad's completion. Tom is critically injured when Rourke causes a dynamite explosion, but he's saved by a pretty doctor (Jane Wyatt).

Tom briefly romances the doctor, but her unreasonable pacifist ideals cause considerable conflict with Tom; she even argues against fighting when an Indian enters her railroad car in the climactic battle, intent on killing anyone he can, including her!

Meanwhile Cecille has come to realize the violent plans of Rourke, her father, and others, and slips off, regardless of personal risk, to warn Tom of impending danger; she then joins Tom and the crew as they fight to survive an Indian attack.

CANADIAN PACIFIC was written by Jack DeWitt and Kenneth Gamet, based on a story by DeWitt. As Scott's late '40s/early '50s Westerns go, it's fairly middle of the road; it's not one of Scott's best, but it's engaging enough for fans to find it enjoyable. The storytelling is surprisingly bland at times, given the subject matter, but that's offset by extensive Canadian location shooting and a fiery performance by newcomer Nancy Olson.

To its credit much of the movie was filmed outdoors, shot in Alberta and British Columbia, which gives it a pleasing "fresh air," outdoorsy feel; it's especially nice that it was actually shot in Canada, which was shown on screen in comparatively few films of its era.

The downside is that the movie was shot by cinematographer Fred Jackman Jr. in Cinecolor; while I'm rather a fan of Cinecolor's unusual color palette, it does not show off the majestic Canadian locations to best effect. It's a shame it couldn't have been shot in Technicolor, but according to a post last year at Greenbriar Picture Shows, this was a relatively low budget production by Nat Holt, who had a distribution agreement with 20th Century-Fox. Indeed, it sounds as though if the movie hadn't been shot in relatively inexpensive Cinecolor, it might have been in black and white, so in that light I'm grateful for the Cinecolor!

This was the first major role for 20-year-old Nancy Olson, whose previous screen credit was a scene at the end of PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948). She's so much younger than Randolph Scott that I'd perhaps rather not think about it (grin), yet that potential awkwardness is completely offset by Olson's warm, wild enthusiasm as the resourceful frontier girl. She's completely head over heels for Tom, barely able to keep her hands off him when he returns home, and so she also sells the audience.

Olson's Cecille repeatedly risks danger and being turned out on her own in order to help Tom; Tom, who finally seems to see her completely clearly toward the end of the film, praises her as "a brave woman."

Cecille is tough, standing up to all the men in her life at various times, but she's also loving, loyal, and willing to help Tom despite past disagreement. Her warmth stands in marked contrast to Wyatt's rigid, unforgiving doctor. One can infer a certain amount of bravery in the doctor's character, having become a physician at a time when not many women did, then taking her skills to the untamed West, but hers is a very uptight persona. Indeed, perhaps that "my way or the highway" spine is what got her through medical school, but it doesn't lend her any flexibility when it comes to assessing how Tom should deal with the significant, violent challenges he faces.

Scott's character is by turns genial and determined, as enjoyable to watch as usual. Besides Olson and the location work, the movie owes most of its appeal to his charisma.

The supporting cast includes J. Carrol Naish, Walter Sande, Don Haggerty, John Hamilton, Grandon Rhodes, and Chief Yowlachie.

CANADIAN PACIFIC was directed by frequent Scott collaborator Edwin L. Marin. It runs 95 minutes.

CANADIAN PACIFIC is not currently on DVD, but 50 Westerns From the 50s reports it's due on Blu-ray and DVD from Kino Lorber later in 2016. It's also shown from time to time on Turner Classic Movies.

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