20th Century Fox Pictures
Randolph Scott! stars in this standard building-the-railroad-west oater from 1949. Filmed in sepia-toned Cinecolor, Canadian Pacific gives us a look at Canada’s spectacular mountain scenery. The film begins with a brief look at “modern day” (1949) CP steam power before launching into the construction across the prairies — with the mountains looming up ahead.
Brought in to the end-of-track as a troubleshooter, Randy finds himself dealing with TWO gals, various bushwhackers intent on stopping the CPR’s progress west and, of course, the local Indian tribe. Did I mention dynamite is involved? Let’s get on board!
Randolph Scott scouting out a route for the CPR to get over the Canadian Rockies.
Apologies for the fuzzy pictures — my DVD print is not the greatest.
Coming and going view of Canadian Pacific #5923, a T1b class 2-10-4 “Selkirk” built in 1938.
A little 4-4-0 CPR #30 with balloon stack and oversize headlight is the real star of this picture. Note the contemporary CP mainline with four-crossarm telephone/telegraph pole line in the background; Close up view of #30 with engineer & fireman alongside.
Construction crew at track end with the mountains in the background; flatcar loaded with ties with the “Hospital Car” (labeled as such) behind. They must have been expecting a lot of injuries.
Randy Scott lays out a fancy-pants troublemaker with one punch; Jane Wyatt (Love interest #1), plays the pacifist, goody-two-shoes lady doctor on board the hospital car. She constantly chides Randolph Scott about his two-fisted way of solving everything.
Laying rail by hand; blacksmiths banging away on an anvil with construction train simmering nearby.
By the way, for the definitive story of the building of the CPR, be sure to read, “The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885” by Pierre Berton. Watching Canadian Pacific 1949 got me motivated to re-read this classic historical treatise from my library.
Randy visits his snazzy Metis girlfriend (Love interest #2) played quite lustily by a very young Nancy Olson; Meanwhile, back at the saloon, head villian Dirk Rourke (played with wonderful simmering malice by Victor Jory) stares daggers at our hero Randolph.
Dynamite! Why they’re blasting away on the level prairie, I don’t know; Runaway Explosives Wagon! thunders by trackside — soon corralled by Randolph on horseback.
CPR #30 rounds one leg of a wye; belching black smoke, the little 4-4-0 leads the hospital car to end of track.
Hey, where have I see this exact shot before? This is the “mystery locomotive” from my previously-reviewed movie, “Kansas Pacific 1953“; PUSH! All hands move the hospital car down the track to better fend off the upcoming Indian attack. Aux Barricades!
Will help arrive in time? Will the navvies finally get paid? Which love interest will Randolph Scott wind up with? Rent, buy or stream this movie and find out!
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Canadian Pacific:
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