Desert Passage (1952)
It's a Plain Old Passage
As westerns go "Desert Passage" is not that special, it has a reasonable storyline, it movies quite quickly and at just over 60 minutes it doesn't last that long. But for western fans it is watchable with simple but nice performances, simple but nice direction and simple but nice action. It is basically the sort of movie you can watch if you have an hour to spare but you won't remember much about it a few hours later.
With business bad Tim (Tim Holt - His Kind of Woman) & Chito (Richard Martin - The Raiders) are preparing to sell up their stage coach business when they are approached by various people who ask whether they have seen a grey templed man on the road in to town. Shortly after they find themselves coming to the very same man's rescue when they hear gunshots behind their business. The man is John Carver (Walter Reed) who has just got out on parole from Yuma and has returned to Lavic to collect the money he had hidden from embezzling money from the bank. With various people after him Carver asks Tim & Chito to escort him south of town to safety in return for $1000.
As storylines go "Desert Passage" keeps it familiar as we have two good guys, various bad guys, a secret which the good guys don't know and all of that builds to some action in a stage station. There is little intrigue to it despite the initial mystery over Carver and why people are after him. And whilst everything builds to a nice action scene at the seemingly empty station it is not that unexpected or that well shot.
It is the same with the acting as Tim Holt, Richard Martin and Walter Reed all put in fine performance but their characters are just western stereotypes. In the end it is Richard Martin as Chito who makes the biggest impression because he has the lion's share of funny lines and it is the occasional comedy more than anything which makes "Desert Passage" entertaining.
What this all boils down to is that "Desert Passage" is a routine B-western which in truth is now only good as a time filler with its relatively short 62 minute running time. It's not that it is terrible but just incredibly ordinary and really only for western fans who have never seen it before.
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