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JACQUES TOURNEUR DIRECTS DANA ANDREWS IN 'CANYON PASSAGE'

Title: CANYON PASSAGE Year: 1946 Rates: ****1/2
Over a decade before CURSE OF THE DEMON and THE FEARMAKERS, Jacques Tourneur directed Dana Andrews in a well-dressed, comfortably-paced North Western, CANYON PASSAGE, taking place mostly within a small, makeshift town built from — and tucked within the shade of — the surrounding forest, a knee-jerk away from an uneasy peace with brooding Indians...

Dana on book
Yet the suspense relies more on how two particular characters develop than the horse-clopping action taking most of the third act: In almost every Western with Dana Andrews there's an edgy gallows kangaroo court involved, and here it's the least important aspect although would-be victim Brian Donlevy, as extremely unlucky, altogether-cursed gambler, George, sharpens Dana's workaholic, mule running/cargo moving entrepreneur, Logan, since he has to keep covering his old pal from gambling debts and other vices: including a possible murder. This is really a tale on how far a friendship can bend...

Riding into the Portland Oregon rain
And there's only a hint of romance between Andrews... engaged to a Stepford Prairie Girl played by British import Patricia Roc... and future MY FOOLISH HEART co-star Susan Hayward as a beautiful tomboy — both share a cool friendship almost too perfect to hinder with complications: Actually, she already belongs to the flaky loser/dreamer, Donlevy... kind of... though it's obvious where her heart really is...

Meanwhile, interesting side-characters include another frequent Dana co-star, musician Hoagy Carmichael (NIGHT SONG, BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES), as a mandolin-playing expository moral conscious, and Lloyd Bridges (later in Tourneur's Western WICHITA) spitefully ruling the kangaroo court: But the true antagonist's played with gusto by Ward Bond (Dana's SWAMP WATER foe), who causes all sorts of bruised-up and/or deadly havoc, especially in a sublimely choreographed saloon fight scene, where director Tourneur's otherwise rich, artistic lens flows with testosterone-fueled bravado.
From the Spanish import Blu Ray YEAR of PASSAGE: 1946
The Classy Font fits the classy Western directed by Jacques Tourneur Canyon Passage Jacques Tourneur
Considered by some a Noir Western, Canyon Passage's font makes clear it's more a Renaissance Western type
The opening takes place in the big city of Frisco, where Dana gets his mission, his girl (friend), and beaten up a bit
Dana Andrews and Ward Bond about to square-off in Canyon Passage
A nice buy in this Spanish Import of CANYON PASSAGE that's wonderfully Region Free
Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward in Canyon Passage
Dana Andrews in Canyon Passage Dana Andrews Canyon Passage
Victor Cutler loves Dana's girl in this and likes his girl in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES
Lights out with Peter Whitney (later in The Iron Curtain) with Dana Andrews in Canyon Passage
British Melodrama import Patricia Roc in her only American film with Dana Andrews
Dana fighting his Swamp Water villain turned Canyon Passage villain in a bar fight. No booze wold, only punch.
Susan Hayward in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews & Hoagy Carmichael Triad of Best Years of our Lives, Night Song, Canyon Passge
Hoagy Carmichael in CANYON PASSAGE
Hoagy Carmichael in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE with Ward Bond
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE with Ward Bond
Brian Donlevy in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE with Lloyd Bridges
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE with Susan Hayward
Susan Hayward in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE
Three Spanish Imports for Dana Andrews classics of Noir, Horror and Western
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE
Dana Andrews in CANYON PASSAGE with Susan Hayward
Final shot of CANYON PASSAGE
Hoagy Carmichael in CANYON PASSAGE
Brian Donlevy in CANYON PASSAGE
Brian Donlevy in CANYON PASSAGE with Rose Hobart
Antique Universal logo for CANYON PASSAGE

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