Ablaze in breathtaking Technicolor, the first of Tourneur’s remarkable Westerns is a complex, morally ambiguous portrait of an Oregon mining community where the friendship between an enterprising merchant (Dana Andrews) and an avaricious gambler (Brian Donlevy) is tested by romantic rivalry, gold, and greed. An unusually rich, philosophical frontier tale, Canyon Passage conjures a dreamily idyllic vision of the Old West punctuated by sudden, shocking bursts of violence—Tourneurian flashes of a world ruled by chaos and chance. The result is what Martin Scorsese has called “one of the most mysterious and exquisite examples of the Western genre ever made.”

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