Dynamite Pass (1950)
Detonate the Western
Friends Ross (Tim Holt) and Chito (Richard Martin) arrive in Mesa City looking for work end up coming to the aid of Dan (Regis Toomey) and Mary Madden (Lynne Roberts) who want to build a road to a small town so they don't have to pay the toll on the exiting road through the pass owned by Anson Thurber (John Dehner). After a run in with Thurber's men Ross and Chito get the Madden's to the construction site run by Jay Wingate (Robert Shayne) unaware that Wingate is in cahoots with Thurber. When Ross and Chito uncover a connection between Thurber and Wingate, they find themselves on the end of Wingate's lies as he makes out that something is going on between Ross and Mary. With things spiralling out of control with Wingate Ross, Chito and Madden find themselves in trouble in a canyon which is planted with dynamite.
Coming in 1950 is both a benefit and hindrance to "Dynamite Pass" as when you compare it to not just earlier Tim Holt movies but earlier westerns in general this one benefits from better camera stock as well as better acting. But there had been hundreds of westerns which had preceded this one and so despite this having improved image quality the basic storyline is as old as time with a crooked business making life hard for others, there is some double crossing as well and of course a splattering of action. But none of it is amazing and is just an effectively worked western drama.
What though goes in the favour of "Dynamite Pass" is that Tim Holt had spent much of the previous decade appearing in westerns and he feels right at home from the word go with a much more natural performance than in those earlier westerns. He also works well with Richard Martin as Chito as well as Lynne Roberts as Mary who manages to give her character more depth than you would find in earlier, similar westerns when it came to the women.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Dynamite Pass" is little more than a reworking of a familiar western theme right down to some double crosses. But at the same time it is a nicely put together western and compared to the earlier b-movies the production values are a clear improvement on those from just a decade earlier.
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