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Canyon Passage

Canyon Passage

Regular price $12.45 AUD
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Canyon Passage, In 1856, backwoods businessman Logan Stuart escorts Lucy Overmire, his friend’s fiancée, back home to remote Jacksonville, Oregon; in the course of the hard journey, Lucy is attracted to Logan, whose heart seems to belong to another. Once arrived in Jacksonville, a welter of subplots involve villains, fair ladies, romantic triangles, gambling fever, murder, a cabin-raising, and vigilantism…culminating with an Indian uprising that threatens all the settlers. No canyon in sight.

STARS: Dana Andrews, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward

92 min | Western | 1946 | Color


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Visually breathtaking and a great musical score.
I don't know what it is about this movie, but it left a strange, hypnotic effect on me since I first saw it as a kid in Boston. It has stayed with me all thru the years. Not only the breathtaking scenery of Oregon but the haunting quality of Hoagy Carmiachel's songs, like "Oh Buttermilk Sky". It really stays with you. Dana Andrews is perfect as Logan, (and what a perfect name for his character). Susan Haywood always glamorous and a great actor. Ward Bond, a villain, scary and unlikable the way he mistreats his dog in this film, by keeping it chained to a tree and throwing objects at it. What boy who loves dogs would not feel disturbed and hate him for that? The cabin building scene, with Andy Devine, does has a flaw. Look for it.

Incredible subtle attention to detail and truth
Much of the movie is shot in the Oregon woods. The Native Americans are all played by Native Americans, and the injustice to them plainly presented. The architecture is all authentically built. The pistols are stuck in belts, not in the rarely-used-then holsters. The characters are complex, and the dialog, while sparse, contains lines of Shakespearean depth. The lead character's strengths are at the same time tragic flaws.
This can be watched as a simple and popular movie, but it aspires successfully to more than entertainment, to truth. It celebrates the frontier, while at the same time fully exposing its contradictions. The frontier becomes a metaphor for the limits of rationality itself, and a space for an exploration of the mode and meaning of the deepest human values.

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