6.7/10
3,204
52 user 22 critic

Night Passage (1957)

Approved | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 26 August 1957 (Sweden)
A fired railroad man is re-hired and trusted to carry a ten thousand dollar payroll in secret, even though he is suspected of being connected to outlaws.

Director:

James Neilson

Writers:

Borden Chase (screenplay), Norman A. Fox (based on a story by)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Grant McLaine
Audie Murphy ... The Utica Kid
Dan Duryea ... Whitey Harbin
Dianne Foster ... Charlotte Drew - Charlie
Elaine Stewart ... Verna Kimball
Brandon De Wilde ... Joey Adams (as Brandon deWilde)
Jay C. Flippen ... Ben Kimball
Herbert Anderson ... Will Renner
Robert J. Wilke ... Concho
Hugh Beaumont ... Jeff Kurth
Jack Elam ... Shotgun
Tommy Cook ... Howdy Sladen
Paul Fix ... Mr. Feeney
Olive Carey ... Miss Vittles
James Flavin ... Tim Riley
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Storyline

The workers on the railroad haven't been paid in several months, that's because Whitey and his gang, including fast-shooting, dangerous, but likeable Utica Kid, keep holding up the train for its payroll. Grant McLaine, a former railroad employee who was fired in disgrace, is recruited to take the payroll through undercover. A young boy and a shoebox figure into the plot when Whitey's gang tries to hold up the train, and Grant and the Kid meet again to settle an old score. Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This was the night when the naked fury of the McLaines flamed out with consuming vengeance across a terrorized land! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 August 1957 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Uhr ist abgelaufen See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filmed in Silverton, Colorado (called Junction City in the movie) using the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, not the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad as usually stated. The DRGW still ran the Narrow gauge operations at the time this movie was filmed. The Durango and Silerton is a Heritage Railroad that runs on the old rail grade using original equipment. See more »

Goofs

When the gang returns to their hideout after robbing the train, Latigo holds up the bottle of whiskey he took from the train. The card players all come to the bar for a glass. When the bottle is carried to the table it is still full. See more »

Quotes

Grant McLaine: You like eggs?
Joey Adams: No!
Grant McLaine: That's too bad. You got an omelet comin' up.
See more »


Soundtracks

You Can't Get Far Without a Railroad
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Performed by James Stewart (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

Workmanlike western with a good cast that gets better in the second half
16 May 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The workers on the railroad are threatening to stop work and slow down the progress across the country because they haven't been getting paid. Every time the payroll is brought in it is stolen by Whitey Harbin and his gang. Thinking that nobody would suspect him, the bosses ask ex-employee Grant McLaine to carry the money on the next train. However when the train gets robbed anyway, Grant loses the money and is forced to set out after Whitey to rescue a boy, the boss' wife and the money – bringing him into a fight with the infamous Utica Kid.

I was drawn to this film by the names in the cast list, which was a good thing because it were these names that made the film better than they were by virtue of their performances. The actual plot is quite plodding in the first half but gets better in the second half. Even with this stronger half though it is still not a great western that could possibly compare to Stewart's better films. The musical numbers, dances and gentle set up of the first half almost had be losing interest and it is only the twists and gun fights of the final 30 minutes that make it memorable and worth seeing. Even then it is not without other flaws – characters are a problem. If you are able to understand the Utica Kid as a person then you are doing better than I did – in fact the film even lost it's first choice director because he was unable to understand the character's personality or motivation. The rest of the characters are pretty much as you'd expect – loyal girls, evil villains, cute kids etc, although they are made better by the delivery.

Stewart is always watchable and he carries the film well here. He is not a great singer but he does OK with the songs given him but his greater input is in delivering a tough character who is not all pure goodness but has a bit of a past to him. Murphy is cool and slick but he isn't a great actor and he isn't able to make the slightly irrational Utica Kid work as a person. Duryea overacts to good effect but gets forgotten by the film near the end, while support is OK from Stewart, Foster, De Wilde and Jack Elam.

Overall this is nothing special but it is still quite enjoyable. The number of well known names in the cast prevent me from calling it a B-movie but essentially that's what it could have been if not for the stars. The plot is deadly slow for the first half but has a good, fast-paced final 30 minutes that make up for it. The actors (in particular James Stewart) lift the film and make it feel better and it is fun if pretty unmemorable.


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