Night Passage Reviews

  • Jul 08, 2016

    Same old story of good and evil. A down on his luck railroad man is hired to help transport a payroll into a desperate town to pay the workers. A group of outlaws, that are tied to the railroad man, discover the transport is going to occur and try and rob the train. The railroad man hides the money well, but it frustrates the outlaws and they kidnap a woman the railroad man cares about during the heist attempt. The railroad man will need to try to find a way to both protect the funds and rescue the girl. "You wouldn't know how to shoot a man in the back." "I'll learn." James Neilson, director of Gentle Giant, Flare Up, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows, Return of the Gun Fighter, Summer Magic, Moon Pilot, and For the Defense, delivers Night Passage. The storyline for this picture is very well told. There are some cliché elements, but the dynamics between characters is very good and the acting is excellent. The cast includes James Stewart, Elaine Stewart, Jack Elam, Audie Murphy, and Paul Fix. "See what happens when you don't carry your brains in your feet?" I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR this western classic. I am a huge James Stewart fan and he was a perfect blend of grit, tough, and honest in this picture (perfect for his presence). This is a nice addition to the western genre that may not be an all-time classic but is definitely worth a viewing. "He's not bad. He's just a fool." Grade: B

    Same old story of good and evil. A down on his luck railroad man is hired to help transport a payroll into a desperate town to pay the workers. A group of outlaws, that are tied to the railroad man, discover the transport is going to occur and try and rob the train. The railroad man hides the money well, but it frustrates the outlaws and they kidnap a woman the railroad man cares about during the heist attempt. The railroad man will need to try to find a way to both protect the funds and rescue the girl. "You wouldn't know how to shoot a man in the back." "I'll learn." James Neilson, director of Gentle Giant, Flare Up, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows, Return of the Gun Fighter, Summer Magic, Moon Pilot, and For the Defense, delivers Night Passage. The storyline for this picture is very well told. There are some cliché elements, but the dynamics between characters is very good and the acting is excellent. The cast includes James Stewart, Elaine Stewart, Jack Elam, Audie Murphy, and Paul Fix. "See what happens when you don't carry your brains in your feet?" I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to DVR this western classic. I am a huge James Stewart fan and he was a perfect blend of grit, tough, and honest in this picture (perfect for his presence). This is a nice addition to the western genre that may not be an all-time classic but is definitely worth a viewing. "He's not bad. He's just a fool." Grade: B

  • Paris S Super Reviewer
    Oct 09, 2015

    Aside from the sibling angle and great character acting, this is about as forgettable as any James Stewart western could be.

    Aside from the sibling angle and great character acting, this is about as forgettable as any James Stewart western could be.

  • Dec 19, 2013

    This is a very underrated western, possibly because Anthony Mann called the script "trash" and walked off the set. His altercation with Jimmy Stewart was not the cause of this, but there was a disagreement as Stewart wanted Mann to stay. Mann accused Stewart of simply wanting to do a film where he could play his accordion. This made Stewart angry and the two never spoke again or made a film together. Mann's trademarks are visible at the beginning of the film and it looks as though Neilson who took his place, tried to direct in the same vein. Actually the script is very good. The photography is excellent and the acting is good too, especially from Audie Murphy whom Mann did not rate as an actor. As a story about two brothers it rates, in my opinion, higher than some others with a similar theme. This is partly because there is a rapport between Murphy and Stewart born out of mutual respect, and there is a deeper underlying theme that has to do with reconciliation. Not a facile reconciliation but a realistic one based on true brotherly love. It is a story of redemption and loyalty. Perhaps that is why Mann didn't like it. He was certainly right to say that it would not be understood. I don't think many have understood the deeper aspects of it. It needs repeated viewings. Had Mann remained the film might have been a classic.

    This is a very underrated western, possibly because Anthony Mann called the script "trash" and walked off the set. His altercation with Jimmy Stewart was not the cause of this, but there was a disagreement as Stewart wanted Mann to stay. Mann accused Stewart of simply wanting to do a film where he could play his accordion. This made Stewart angry and the two never spoke again or made a film together. Mann's trademarks are visible at the beginning of the film and it looks as though Neilson who took his place, tried to direct in the same vein. Actually the script is very good. The photography is excellent and the acting is good too, especially from Audie Murphy whom Mann did not rate as an actor. As a story about two brothers it rates, in my opinion, higher than some others with a similar theme. This is partly because there is a rapport between Murphy and Stewart born out of mutual respect, and there is a deeper underlying theme that has to do with reconciliation. Not a facile reconciliation but a realistic one based on true brotherly love. It is a story of redemption and loyalty. Perhaps that is why Mann didn't like it. He was certainly right to say that it would not be understood. I don't think many have understood the deeper aspects of it. It needs repeated viewings. Had Mann remained the film might have been a classic.

  • May 20, 2013

    Brilliant Wide-screen Outdoor Western--This is a wonderful western in a tradition of it's own!!

    Brilliant Wide-screen Outdoor Western--This is a wonderful western in a tradition of it's own!!

  • Apr 23, 2013

    While Jimmy Stewart may be the draw for this film, he is not always in it. The worst thing about this film for me is Audie Murphy, a real WWII, walking talking legend is an utter failure (to me) at acting. Night Passage is a 1957 Western film starring James Stewart and Audie Murphy. Meanwhile, the cinematography is just stunning. The West looks so grand from atop a steam locomotive flatcar. Watch the film for the scenery alone. Just like being there. The film was the first to utilize the Technirama process by Technicolor. It's glorious to see the West filmed this way........ [img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR_qjF_Bw99mnv3Kky683FxmcNVRGvpbARFu--VA9gMgkuUf_lW[/img] The film also offered Stewart the rare opportunity to play the accordion, an instrument he had played since childhood. See the young boy who played in Shane as well. Also, Hugh Beaumont, the dad in TV's Leave It To Beaver plays a sinister role and Jack Elam plays a minor role too. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQml_muNydiH8snoe91BH8W4XdG2bZb7X1WY2ZU1oK1GYphtIiStA[/img] REVIEWS from RT: 100% Hearing James Stewart play the accordion and sing is probably not the most pleasant part of this film. Great actor, bad singer. 60% NIGHT PASSAGE (1957) NOTES: 1 The railroad scenes were filmed at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, Colorado, using Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad K-28 Class steam locomotive #476 which still operates in excursion service today. 2 Though not as memorable as other Stewart-Mann films, Night Passage was a commercial success upon its release and has become a staple of cable television. SEE the entire film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzxyNobslsM SEE the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juENeWSSsog [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f6/Night_Passage_-_1957_-_Poster.png/220px-Night_Passage_-_1957_-_Poster.png[/img] Cast James Stewart as Grant McLaine Audie Murphy as The Utica Kid Dan Duryea as Whitey Harbin Dianne Foster as Charlotte Drew Elaine Stewart as Verna Kimball Brandon deWilde as Joey Adams Jay C. Flippen as Ben Kimball Herbert Anderson as Will Renner Robert J. Wilke as Concho Hugh Beaumont as Jeff Kurth Jack Elam as Shotgun Tommy Cook as Howdy Sladen Paul Fix as Clarence Feeney Olive Carey as Miss Vittles James Flavin as Tim Riley Donald Curtis as Jubilee Ellen Corby as Mrs. Feeney John Daheim as Latigo Kenny Williams as O'Brien Frank Chase as Trinidad Harold Goodwin as Pick Gannon Harold Hart as Tommy Shannon Jack C. Williams as Dusty Boyd Stockman as Torgenson Henry Wills as Pache Chuck Roberson as Roan Willard W. Willingham as Click Polly Burson as Rosa Patsy Novak as Linda Ted Mapes as Leary Directed by James Neilson Produced by Aaron Rosenberg Written by Norman A. Fox Borden Chase Music by Dimitri Tiomkin Ned Washington Cinematography William H. Daniels Editing by Sherman Todd Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date(s) July 24, 1957 Running time 90 minutes

    While Jimmy Stewart may be the draw for this film, he is not always in it. The worst thing about this film for me is Audie Murphy, a real WWII, walking talking legend is an utter failure (to me) at acting. Night Passage is a 1957 Western film starring James Stewart and Audie Murphy. Meanwhile, the cinematography is just stunning. The West looks so grand from atop a steam locomotive flatcar. Watch the film for the scenery alone. Just like being there. The film was the first to utilize the Technirama process by Technicolor. It's glorious to see the West filmed this way........ [img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR_qjF_Bw99mnv3Kky683FxmcNVRGvpbARFu--VA9gMgkuUf_lW[/img] The film also offered Stewart the rare opportunity to play the accordion, an instrument he had played since childhood. See the young boy who played in Shane as well. Also, Hugh Beaumont, the dad in TV's Leave It To Beaver plays a sinister role and Jack Elam plays a minor role too. [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQml_muNydiH8snoe91BH8W4XdG2bZb7X1WY2ZU1oK1GYphtIiStA[/img] REVIEWS from RT: 100% Hearing James Stewart play the accordion and sing is probably not the most pleasant part of this film. Great actor, bad singer. 60% NIGHT PASSAGE (1957) NOTES: 1 The railroad scenes were filmed at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Durango, Colorado, using Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad K-28 Class steam locomotive #476 which still operates in excursion service today. 2 Though not as memorable as other Stewart-Mann films, Night Passage was a commercial success upon its release and has become a staple of cable television. SEE the entire film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzxyNobslsM SEE the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juENeWSSsog [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f6/Night_Passage_-_1957_-_Poster.png/220px-Night_Passage_-_1957_-_Poster.png[/img] Cast James Stewart as Grant McLaine Audie Murphy as The Utica Kid Dan Duryea as Whitey Harbin Dianne Foster as Charlotte Drew Elaine Stewart as Verna Kimball Brandon deWilde as Joey Adams Jay C. Flippen as Ben Kimball Herbert Anderson as Will Renner Robert J. Wilke as Concho Hugh Beaumont as Jeff Kurth Jack Elam as Shotgun Tommy Cook as Howdy Sladen Paul Fix as Clarence Feeney Olive Carey as Miss Vittles James Flavin as Tim Riley Donald Curtis as Jubilee Ellen Corby as Mrs. Feeney John Daheim as Latigo Kenny Williams as O'Brien Frank Chase as Trinidad Harold Goodwin as Pick Gannon Harold Hart as Tommy Shannon Jack C. Williams as Dusty Boyd Stockman as Torgenson Henry Wills as Pache Chuck Roberson as Roan Willard W. Willingham as Click Polly Burson as Rosa Patsy Novak as Linda Ted Mapes as Leary Directed by James Neilson Produced by Aaron Rosenberg Written by Norman A. Fox Borden Chase Music by Dimitri Tiomkin Ned Washington Cinematography William H. Daniels Editing by Sherman Todd Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date(s) July 24, 1957 Running time 90 minutes

  • Apr 18, 2013

    While Jimmy Stewart may be the draw for this film, he is not always in it. The worst thing about this film is Audie Murphy, a real WWII, walking talking legend is an utter failure at acting. Meanwhile, the cinematography is just stunning. /The West looks so grand from atop a steam locomotive flatcar. Watch the film for the scenery alone. Just like being there. The film also offered Stewart the rare opportunity to play the accordion, an instrument he had played since childhood. The film was the first to utilize the Technirama process by Technicolor. Its glorious to see the West filmed this way........See the young actor boy who played in Shane as well. Hugh Beaumont , the dad in TV's Leave It To Beaver plays a sinister role and Jack Elam plays a minor role too. SEE the film here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzxyNobslsM SEE the trailer here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juENeWSSsog

    While Jimmy Stewart may be the draw for this film, he is not always in it. The worst thing about this film is Audie Murphy, a real WWII, walking talking legend is an utter failure at acting. Meanwhile, the cinematography is just stunning. /The West looks so grand from atop a steam locomotive flatcar. Watch the film for the scenery alone. Just like being there. The film also offered Stewart the rare opportunity to play the accordion, an instrument he had played since childhood. The film was the first to utilize the Technirama process by Technicolor. Its glorious to see the West filmed this way........See the young actor boy who played in Shane as well. Hugh Beaumont , the dad in TV's Leave It To Beaver plays a sinister role and Jack Elam plays a minor role too. SEE the film here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzxyNobslsM SEE the trailer here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juENeWSSsog

  • Dec 25, 2012

    It's decent but fairly forgettable.

    It's decent but fairly forgettable.

  • Sep 30, 2012

    It's a feud between brothers on a much grander scale, but that fact is not very convincing. Good looking movie though...

    It's a feud between brothers on a much grander scale, but that fact is not very convincing. Good looking movie though...

  • Jun 08, 2012

    Watchable but nothing remarkable.

    Watchable but nothing remarkable.

  • Nov 16, 2011

    Grant McLaine (Jimmy Stewart) is an ex-railroad employee, now a vagabond who goes from town to town. He is approached by railroad company to guard a train which is delivering $10,000 because the train has been robbed 3 times in a row by a criminal named Whitey, preventing a large group of their employees from being paid. Grant was fired from this exact railroad company months ago for what they believe was aiding The Utica kid, who happens to be Grant's brother. Grant agrees to the railroad's proposal but when the train is high-jacked, Grant discovers that his brother, The Utica Kid, is actually working with Whitey, the man responsible for the robberies. Night Passage is another Jimmy Stewart western that is surprisingly not directed by Anthony Mann. Apparently Mann and Stewart had a falling out while on set and Mann left the project. It's a solid western centering around's Grant's character having to confront his past demons. The Utica Kid and Whitey have a very interesting relationship, in that they bicker and fight among themselves constantly making it hard on the viewer to determine where Utica's allegiances lie. This sets up the last part of the film where Grant tracks the bandits down leading to a confrontation between him, Whitey, and Utica Kid. Night Passage is a decent western but it's really just average among Jimmy Stewart's catalogue of Westerns. The film felt emotionally flat and I don't think the brother vs brother relationship was very invigorating, which really was a big problem for me. I really wonder how this film would have came out with Anthony Mann as I found most of the performances to be bad as well. Maybe I am being too harsh, but I think the film could have been sooo much more reflective and deeper in this struggle which Grant faces in confronting his past.

    Grant McLaine (Jimmy Stewart) is an ex-railroad employee, now a vagabond who goes from town to town. He is approached by railroad company to guard a train which is delivering $10,000 because the train has been robbed 3 times in a row by a criminal named Whitey, preventing a large group of their employees from being paid. Grant was fired from this exact railroad company months ago for what they believe was aiding The Utica kid, who happens to be Grant's brother. Grant agrees to the railroad's proposal but when the train is high-jacked, Grant discovers that his brother, The Utica Kid, is actually working with Whitey, the man responsible for the robberies. Night Passage is another Jimmy Stewart western that is surprisingly not directed by Anthony Mann. Apparently Mann and Stewart had a falling out while on set and Mann left the project. It's a solid western centering around's Grant's character having to confront his past demons. The Utica Kid and Whitey have a very interesting relationship, in that they bicker and fight among themselves constantly making it hard on the viewer to determine where Utica's allegiances lie. This sets up the last part of the film where Grant tracks the bandits down leading to a confrontation between him, Whitey, and Utica Kid. Night Passage is a decent western but it's really just average among Jimmy Stewart's catalogue of Westerns. The film felt emotionally flat and I don't think the brother vs brother relationship was very invigorating, which really was a big problem for me. I really wonder how this film would have came out with Anthony Mann as I found most of the performances to be bad as well. Maybe I am being too harsh, but I think the film could have been sooo much more reflective and deeper in this struggle which Grant faces in confronting his past.