Raton Pass (1951)

84 mins | Western, Melodrama | 7 April 1951

Director:

Edwin L. Marin

Producer:

Saul Elkins

Cinematographer:

Wilfrid M. Cline

Editor:

Thomas Reilly

Production Designer:

Edward Carrere

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of the film was Along the Santa Fe Trail . The film opens with a narrated prologue introducing the high mesa country in the Southwest as a challenge to possess and a haven for the restless. Although an Aug 1950 HR news item states that William Lava was assigned to write the score, his contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. Portions of the film were shot at the Warner Ranch near Calabasas, according to an Aug 1950 HR news ... More Less

The working title of the film was Along the Santa Fe Trail . The film opens with a narrated prologue introducing the high mesa country in the Southwest as a challenge to possess and a haven for the restless. Although an Aug 1950 HR news item states that William Lava was assigned to write the score, his contribution to the final film, if any, has not been determined. Portions of the film were shot at the Warner Ranch near Calabasas, according to an Aug 1950 HR news item. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Mar 1951.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Feb 51
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jul 50
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jul 50
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Aug 50
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 50
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Aug 50
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 51
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
3 Mar 1951.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
3 Mar 51
p. 742.
New York Times
20 Apr 51
p. 25.
Variety
28 Feb 51
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Raton Pass by Tom W. Blackburn (Garden City, New York, 1950).
SONGS
"No, I Don't Wish to Tarry, It's Better to Marry," music and lyrics by Frank La Forge.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Along the Santa Fe Trail
Release Date:
7 April 1951
Production Date:
19 July--late August 1950
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 April 1951
Copyright Number:
LP819
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
14745
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1880, New Mexico territory, elderly widower Pierre Challon and his son Marc, owners of the huge Challon ranching empire, are resented by Jim Pozner and the other homesteaders, most of whom live on the opposite side of Raton Pass. As Pierre high-handedly negotiates with Pozner for a lease of grassland property on the homesteaders' side of the pass, a stagecoach arrives bearing Cy Van Cleave, a ruffian whose return from Colorado is not welcomed by the Raton inhabitants. Also on the coach is an alluring woman, Ann, who claims to want to start a ranch, and who immediately pursues Marc after she realizes his wealth and power. Mistaking the greedy look in her eye for a love of the land, Marc is a willing victim, and the sentimental Pierre, remembering his happy marriage, is also easily charmed. Ann and Marc soon marry, and at their wedding, Pierre presents the deed to the ranch made out to both of them. Ann, who is more conniver than homemaker, is soon bored leaving ranch decisions to Marc, and urges him to take out a loan for an irrigation project. To please her, Marc invites Mr. Prentice, a wealthy Chicago banker and railroad man, to the ranch to discuss backing the project. When Marc realizes that Prentice requires a voice in management before he will grant a loan, Ann convinces Marc that, while he and Pierre are on a cattle drive, she will convince Prentice to agree to their terms. However, when the male Challons return, they find Ann and Prentice in an embrace and Ann tells Marc that she and Prentice want to buy out his half of the ranch. Although ... +


In 1880, New Mexico territory, elderly widower Pierre Challon and his son Marc, owners of the huge Challon ranching empire, are resented by Jim Pozner and the other homesteaders, most of whom live on the opposite side of Raton Pass. As Pierre high-handedly negotiates with Pozner for a lease of grassland property on the homesteaders' side of the pass, a stagecoach arrives bearing Cy Van Cleave, a ruffian whose return from Colorado is not welcomed by the Raton inhabitants. Also on the coach is an alluring woman, Ann, who claims to want to start a ranch, and who immediately pursues Marc after she realizes his wealth and power. Mistaking the greedy look in her eye for a love of the land, Marc is a willing victim, and the sentimental Pierre, remembering his happy marriage, is also easily charmed. Ann and Marc soon marry, and at their wedding, Pierre presents the deed to the ranch made out to both of them. Ann, who is more conniver than homemaker, is soon bored leaving ranch decisions to Marc, and urges him to take out a loan for an irrigation project. To please her, Marc invites Mr. Prentice, a wealthy Chicago banker and railroad man, to the ranch to discuss backing the project. When Marc realizes that Prentice requires a voice in management before he will grant a loan, Ann convinces Marc that, while he and Pierre are on a cattle drive, she will convince Prentice to agree to their terms. However, when the male Challons return, they find Ann and Prentice in an embrace and Ann tells Marc that she and Prentice want to buy out his half of the ranch. Although Pierre is ready to "take care of them," Marc plots revenge, and sells the ranch at an exorbitant price, expecting that he will be able to foreclose within the year. In the meantime, Marc intends to ranch the leased area, but Pierre sees no sense in the plan, and having lost his home, leaves town. Some of Marc's ranchhands, fearing trouble from the homesteaders, are reluctant to follow Marc to the other side of the pass, and Sheriff Perigord, who traditionally backs the Challons, is concerned about the well-being of the Raton community. Pozner's niece, Lena Casamajor, who has been secretly infatuated with Marc since they were young, scolds him for his talk of revenge, fearing that the town will suffer even if his plans succeed. However, she asks Pozner to persuade the homesteaders to support Marc and later brings Pozner and other homesteaders to Marc's camp. At first the homesteaders vent their years of resentment by bullying Marc, but when they talk business, Marc convinces them to close up the pass. In return he promises that, after he gets the ranch back, he will use the $100,000 down payment from Prentice to finance the irrigation project, which will benefit the homesteaders. Meanwhile, Ann discovers that the ranch employees have deserted her and hires Van Cleave as ranch foreman. Van Cleave and his hired thugs begin rounding up the cattle to bring through the pass and Marc's ranchhands, assisted by the homesteaders, try to stop them. Recognizing the two groups against him, Van Cleave then has Marc arrested for rustling by coercing Pozner to confirm his accusation to Perigord. Later, at the jail, Van Cleave shoots first Marc in the back, then Pozner, and leaves them for dead. Meanwhile, Lena finds and enlists Pierre, who proceeds with Perigord and the ranchhands to the Challon ranch to confront Ann and Van Cleave. The injured Marc insists on following them, so Lena takes him, after convincing the homesteaders to help. At the ranch, Prentice, who disapproves of the brutality unleashed by Ann and is genuinely concerned for the territory, finds himself no longer in love and leaves. However, Van Cleave is quick to establish himself in Prentice's place. When Perigord tries to arrest him, Van Cleave kills him outright, then shoots Pierre, and a gunfight commences between the Challon ranchhands and Van Cleave's men. After arriving with Lena and witnessing Pierre's death, Marc sneaks into the house and throws Van Cleave and Ann out. As Ann begs to Marc, the injured Van Cleave shoots at him, but kills Ann instead. In turn, Van Cleave is shot, and the thugs surrender. With the uniting of Marc and Lena, the longstanding feud between the Challon empire and the homesteaders comes to an end. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.