5.9/10
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Southwest Passage (1954)

Approved | | Western | 1 April 1954 (USA)
The U.S. Cavalry is ordered to test the feasability of camels in the deserts of the Southwest.

Director:

Ray Nazarro

Writers:

Harry Essex (idea), Harry Essex (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rod Cameron ... Edward Fitzpatrick Beale
Joanne Dru ... Lilly
John Ireland ... Clint McDonald
John Dehner ... Matt Carroll
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Tall Tale
Darryl Hickman ... Jeb
Stuart Randall ... Lt. Owens
Mark Hanna Mark Hanna ... Hi Jolly
Douglas Fowley ... Toad Ellis
Morris Ankrum ... Dr. Elias P. Stanton
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Storyline

Edward Beale is in charge of finding a shorter trail across the American desert and to also test the practicality of using camels in the west in this 3-D western. (An actual test once conducted in the Big Bend area of Texas.) Clint MacDoanld, a bank robber one jump ahead of a posse, joins the caravan by posing as a doctor. His sweetheart, Lilly, also comes along and signs on. There is a whole lot of footage of the grueling trek across the desert, but it begins to move when mule-skinner Matt Carroll becomes aware of MacDonald's true profession and he wants the gold from the bank robbery. The Apaches have shied away from attacking the train, because of their fear of the camels, but a camel dies and the jig is up as they lose their fear and here they come. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Thousand Miles of Roaring EXCITEMENT! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Camels West See more »

Filming Locations:

Kanab, Utah, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Pathécolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally shot in 3-D, surviving prints are only in 2-D. See more »

Goofs

The Gila Monster is one of very few venomous lizards in the world. It produces a moderate neuro-toxin, but no-one ever died of a Gila Monster bite per se or needed to have an amputation as suggested here. It is possible that might arise from an associated sepsis. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Camel Caravan!
18 January 2019 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Southwest Passage (AKA: Camels West) is directed by Ray Nazarro and written by Harry Essex and Geoffrey Homes. It stars Rod Cameron, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Dehner and Guin Williams. Music is by Emil Newman and Arthur Lang and the Pathe Color photography is by Sam Leavitt.

A robber and hid girl join a Camel Caravan to escape their pursuers.

Originally filmed in 3-D, one might be surprised to find that as fanciful as the premise to this seems, it's very much grounded in facts. Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822 - 1893) the character played by Cameron is a most fascinating person whose real life work is far more interesting than the film is! Further reading on the subject is recommended.

This is all very routine as a group of various ethnicities and walks of life trek across the desert with camels in tow to test their usage for the U.S. Cavalry. Ireland (posing as a doctor) and Dru (gorgeous but looking like she just wandered in off of a Estée Lauder advertisement) are hiding out. So they are on the bluff which keeps the "will they get caught" factor simmering away. Naturally a rapscallion fellow (Dehner) figures things out and wants a share of the couple's stolen goods.

To further complicate matters and up the peril quota, the water is running low. Add in the fact we are in Apache country and you get the drift of where the picture is heading. Cast make things watchable at least, while the location scenery out of Kanab, Utah, is a treat for the eyes. It all builds to a frantic finale, which is well staged and high on rapid gun fire, but once the "too tidy" resolution is reached it's a Western that quickly fades from memory. 5/10


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