Station West (1948)

91-92 mins | Western | 1948

Director:

Sidney Lanfield

Producer:

Robert Sparks

Cinematographer:

Harry Wild

Production Designers:

Albert D'Agostino, Feild Gray

Production Company:

RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
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HISTORY

Luke Short's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 19 Oct to 30 Nov 1946. According to an unidentified item in the files at the AFI Louis B. Mayer Library, dated 1 Nov 1946, RKO purchased the novel for $20,000. In that item, the story is referred to as Mission in Mufti , a title that a HR news item also lists for the serialization. According to contemporary literary sources, however, the serialized work was titled Station West . Many contemporary sources erroneously list the film's title as Stations West . RKO borrowed Burl Ives from Twentieth Century-Fox for this production. Early HR production charts include Lex Barker in the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to HR news items, exteriors for the film were shot in Sedona, AZ, near Flagstaff. HR adds that star Jane Greer left the production for two weeks to honeymoon with her new husband, Edward Lasker. For the picture's world premiere in Chicago, a torchlight parade was held outside the theater and a number of Hollywood stars made personal ... More Less

Luke Short's novel was serialized in The Saturday Evening Post from 19 Oct to 30 Nov 1946. According to an unidentified item in the files at the AFI Louis B. Mayer Library, dated 1 Nov 1946, RKO purchased the novel for $20,000. In that item, the story is referred to as Mission in Mufti , a title that a HR news item also lists for the serialization. According to contemporary literary sources, however, the serialized work was titled Station West . Many contemporary sources erroneously list the film's title as Stations West . RKO borrowed Burl Ives from Twentieth Century-Fox for this production. Early HR production charts include Lex Barker in the cast, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to HR news items, exteriors for the film were shot in Sedona, AZ, near Flagstaff. HR adds that star Jane Greer left the production for two weeks to honeymoon with her new husband, Edward Lasker. For the picture's world premiere in Chicago, a torchlight parade was held outside the theater and a number of Hollywood stars made personal appearances. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Sep 1948.
---
Daily Variety
2 Sep 48
p. 3.
Film Daily
2 Sep 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 47
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 47
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 47
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 47
p. 22.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Sep 48
p. 3, 11
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 48
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Aug 48
p. 4283.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
4 Sep 48
p. 4301.
Variety
8 Sep 48
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Dore Schary in Charge of Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Asst to prod
Script supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Station West by Luke Short (Boston, 1947).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"The Sun Shining Warm" and "Sometime Remind Me to Tell You," music by Leigh Harline, lyrics by Mort Greene.
DETAILS
Premiere Information:
World premiere in Chicago: 19 October 1948
Production Date:
28 July--mid October 1947
Copyright Claimant:
RKO Radio Pictures, inc.
Copyright Date:
20 October 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1928
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
91-92
Length(in feet):
8,283
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12639
SYNOPSIS

In 1881, in a western saloon, a tough-talking stranger named John Martin Haven picks a fight with army lieutenant Stellman. Haven is then escorted by Stellman to a secret meeting with Captain George Iles, the commander of a nearby army post. Haven is a demoted lieutenant who has been sent by the government to investigate a series of deadly gold shipment thefts. He tells the doubting Iles that he will continue to work undercover to discover the thieves's identity and will report his findings to widow Mrs. Mary Caslon, a trusted gold mine owner. To that end, Haven returns to the saloon to speak to the town's financial boss, whom he knows only as "Charlie." While making his inquiries, Haven is distracted by the singing of a beautiful woman and attempts to flirt with her, unaware that she is Charlie. Unmoved by Haven, Charlie encourages Mick Marion, the saloon's bouncer, to fight with him. After a long, bloody fight, Haven beats the previously undefeated Mick and wins Charlie's respect. In his hotel room that night, Charlie gently tends to Haven's wounds and later offers him a job working on one of her many operations. Haven chooses a position on Charlie's stage line and, after reporting for duty, asks Mrs. Caslon to allow him to transport some of her gold. As Haven and fellow driver James Goddard are driving the gold-ladden stage, they are attacked by masked bandits. During the confrontation, Goddard is killed, while Haven is knocked unconscious. When Haven awakens, he discovers a card on Goddard identifying him as a Wells Fargo detective. Haven then pursues Joe, one of ... +


In 1881, in a western saloon, a tough-talking stranger named John Martin Haven picks a fight with army lieutenant Stellman. Haven is then escorted by Stellman to a secret meeting with Captain George Iles, the commander of a nearby army post. Haven is a demoted lieutenant who has been sent by the government to investigate a series of deadly gold shipment thefts. He tells the doubting Iles that he will continue to work undercover to discover the thieves's identity and will report his findings to widow Mrs. Mary Caslon, a trusted gold mine owner. To that end, Haven returns to the saloon to speak to the town's financial boss, whom he knows only as "Charlie." While making his inquiries, Haven is distracted by the singing of a beautiful woman and attempts to flirt with her, unaware that she is Charlie. Unmoved by Haven, Charlie encourages Mick Marion, the saloon's bouncer, to fight with him. After a long, bloody fight, Haven beats the previously undefeated Mick and wins Charlie's respect. In his hotel room that night, Charlie gently tends to Haven's wounds and later offers him a job working on one of her many operations. Haven chooses a position on Charlie's stage line and, after reporting for duty, asks Mrs. Caslon to allow him to transport some of her gold. As Haven and fellow driver James Goddard are driving the gold-ladden stage, they are attacked by masked bandits. During the confrontation, Goddard is killed, while Haven is knocked unconscious. When Haven awakens, he discovers a card on Goddard identifying him as a Wells Fargo detective. Haven then pursues Joe, one of the bandits, and shoots and kills him. Finding nothing on Joe's body, Haven follows Joe's horse to Charlie's saw mill, which is being used as the bandits' hideout. There Haven commandeers a wagon from another stage driver and finds a button from an army uniform on the wagon's floor. After he convinces Pete, the bandit leader, that he is just a driver, Haven leaves the mill with a locked box. On the road back to town, Haven breaks open the box and discovers Mrs. Caslon's stolen gold inside. Haven dumps the box into a ravine and returns to town, where he forces Charlie's weak-willed lawyer, Mark Bristow, to notarize a statement concerning his recent activities. Haven then has Bristow give the sealed statement to Mrs. Caslon for safekeeping, but she and Iles read the statement and replace it with blank paper. Soon after, Haven approaches Charlie and Prince, Charlie's partner, and offers to retrieve the gold for a part of its worth. Charlie accepts Haven's offer and admits that she is falling in love with him. When Haven returns to the ravine the next day, he is held up by Mrs. Caslon, who reclaims her gold. At the saloon, Haven reports the loss to Charlie and Prince, who then conclude that Haven and Bristow, who is heavily in debt to Charlie, are planning to blackmail them. Charlie orders Bristow to kill Haven, but Haven convinces the terrified lawyer that Charlie intends to murder both of them. As Bristow attempts to flee town, Mick and Prince shoot him in the back, and Haven sneaks back to the saw mill. After overwhelming a guard and searching the mill, Haven sets fire to a building to create a distraction, then kills Mick. At Mrs. Caslon's, Haven tells Iles that Charlie planted false reports concerning Indian uprisings in order to draw troops away from the fort, where much of Mrs. Caslon's gold is being kept. Haven adds that Charlie intends to steal the gold by having her men pose as soldiers while wearing pilfered army uniforms. Finally trusting Haven, Iles leaves to apprehend the bandits, while Haven goes to town to arrest Charlie. After Charlie offers him a bribe, Haven outdraws Prince during an ambush attempt. Charlie is fatally wounded by Prince's bullet, and as she lays dying, Haven grants her final request by declaring his love for her. +

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

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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.