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Dynamite Pass
Alternate Title: Dynamite Trail
Director: Lew Landers (Dir)
Release Date:   15 Jun 1950
Production Date:   13 Sep--late Sep 1949
Duration (in mins):   60-61
Duration (in feet):   5,453
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Cast:   Tim Holt (Ross Taylor)  
    Lynne Roberts (Mary Madden)  
    Regis Toomey (Dan Madden)  
    Robert Shayne (Jay Wingate)  
    Don Harvey (Mizzouri)  
    Cleo Moore (Lulu)  
    John Dehner (Anson Thurber)  
    Don Haggerty (Sheriff)  
    Ross Elliott (Stryker)  
    Denver Pyle (Whip)  
    Richard Martin (Chito Rafferty)  

Summary: As soon as out-of-work cowboys Ross Taylor and Chito Rafferty ride into Mesa City, New Mexico, they become embroiled in a saloon fight between Mary Madden and the brutish Mizzouri, whom Mary believes slipped her alcoholic husband Dan a "mickey." Although Ross bests Mizzouri in the saloon, the thug later shoots at Dan as he is being brought to the town hotel, wounding him. Ross and Chito pursue Mizzouri on horseback, but soon lose him out on the mesa. Anxious to help the pretty Mary, Chito and Ross return to Mesa City. There they learn that Dan is trying to build a toll-free road between Mesa City and the neighboring town of Clifton, but is being attacked by greedy rancher Anson Thurber and his gang, who currently operate the only road in the area. Determined to complete the road, Mary offers to take over the job from her despondent husband, who wants to quit. Dan, however, refuses to allow Mary to do his work for him and hires Chito and Ross to escort his wagon, which is filled with surveying equipment, to Clifton. While crossing Thurber's land, Dan's wagon is stopped by a gun-wielding Thurber, who demands a fifty-dollar toll. When Thurber then tries to look inside the wagon, where Dan is hiding, Ross suddenly shoots the lock off the toll gate, then rides off with the wagon. After hiding the wagon among some rocks, Mary sends Ross to Clifton to get help from their boss, Jay Wingate. Alerted by Ross, Jay, who operates Clifton's general store, rounds up a posse and, with Ross, saves Mary, Chito and Dan from Thurber and his gang. Later, Dan accepts Jay's offer to house the wagon in his locked barn, unaware that the store owner is in cahoots with Thurber and has been raising money for the road under false pretenses. Wingate and Thurber plan to steal Dan's wagon so that they can force him out of town and kill him on the road. While Dan, Mary, Ross and Chito attend a town dance, Thurber's men, led by Mizzouri, enter Wingate's barn looking for the wagon. They are soon interrupted by Chito, however, who hears them while kissing a girl outside the barn. Although Chito prevents them from stealing the wagon, Thurber's men get away with Dan's surveying equipment. When the sheriff refuses to arrest Thurber for lack of evidence, Chito and Ross arrest Mizzouri themselves, but the thug manages to escape. At the dance, meanwhile, Dan once again quits in frustration, but changes his mind when a townsmen suggests that a vigilante group be formed to finish the road. Ross then returns to the dance to question Wingate, whose barn key he found in Mizzouri's pocket. Wingate refuses to be implicated and insinuates that Ross was too busy flirting with Mary to prevent the theft. Infuriated, Ross slugs Wingate in front of the sheriff and is arrested. Ross and Chito manage to break free, however, and ride to Thurber's ranch, where they see Stryker, Wingate's store clerk, delivering a load of dynamite to Thurber. Thurber then orders Stryker to set the explosives on the road, and after exchanging gunfire with the clerk, Ross and Chito deduce Thurber's murder plot. Before they can alert Dan to the danger, Ross and Chito are caught by the sheriff and put in jail. From his cell, Ross yells to Mary, who is passing by on the street, and she helps the cowboys to escape. Ross and Chito then ride to intercept Dan, who has resumed drinking out of jealousy, and save him from sure death. Surrounded by Thurber's gang, the cowboys are forced into a gun battle and are almost killed by exploding dynamite. The sheriff arrives in time to witness the attack and arrests the gang. Later, as the just-completed road is about to be dedicated, Ross and Chito bid a regenerated Dan and his devoted wife Mary goodbye. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Lew Landers (Dir)
  John E. Pommer (Asst dir)
Producer: Herman Schlom (Prod)
Writer: Norman Houston (Wrt)
Photography: Nicholas Musuraca (Dir of photog)
  Charles Burke (Cam op)
  Richard DuValle (Cam op)
  Charles Beckett (Gaffer)
  Ollie Sigurdson (Stills)
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino (Art dir)
  Walter E. Keller (Art dir)
Film Editor: Robert Swink (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Darrell Silvera (Set dec)
  Jack Mills (Set dec)
Music: C. Bakaleinikoff (Mus dir)
  Paul Sawtell (Mus)
Sound: John Cass (Sd)
  Clem Portman (Sd)
Make Up: Mel Berns (Makeup)
  Larry Germain (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Marguerite Fogel (Scr supv)
  Tom Clement (Grip)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 17/3/1950 dd/mm/yyyy LP2971

PCA NO: 14114
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Sound System

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Attempted murder
  Cowboys
  Duplicity
  New Mexico
  Roads
  Sabotage
 
Subjects (Minor): Alcoholics
  Arrests
  Clerks
  Dances
  Dynamite
  Engineers
  Fistfights
  Gunfights
  Jailbreaks
  Jealousy
  Marriage
  Mexican Americans
  Regeneration
  Robbery
  Saloons
  Sheriffs
  Storekeepers

Note: The working title of this film was Dynamite Trail . Some scenes were shot in Lone Pine, CA. Modern sources add Stuart Randall to the cast. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   25 Mar 1950.   
Daily Variety   17 Mar 50   p. 3.
Film Daily   23 Mar 50   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   6 Sep 49   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Sep 49   p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter   17 Mar 50   p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   25 Mar 50   p. 238.
Variety   22 Mar 50   p. 6.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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