Station West (1948)

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Station West (1948) Poster

When two US cavalrymen transporting a gold shipment get killed, US Army Intelligence investigator John Haven goes undercover to a mining and logging town to find the killers.



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19 February 2011 | Red-125
| A man can't grow old, where there's women and gold
Station West (1948) directed by Sidney Lanfield, is definitely a cut above your standard Grade-B western. The plot is complex, the camera angles are skillful, and the acting is outstanding.

However, this is not a film you see because you like guns, fists, and horses. It's the acting that makes this movie so interesting. RKO put real effort into casting the film. Besides Dick Powell and Jane Greer, the cast includes Agnes Moorehead and Raymond Burr.

Powell is typecast as the tough-as-nails stranger in a very tough town. Jane Greer is "Charlie," who owns the gambling saloon, the gold mine, and the sheriff. She wears gowns that no 19th-Century saloon owner ever wore, and, being Jane Greer, she looks great in them. (Greer was, of course, very beautiful, but her beauty came from her intelligence as well as from her features. She was known as "The Woman with the Mona Lisa smile.")

Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams plays the bouncer Mick Marion. About Marion the hotel clerk says, "Me, I'd rather fight a forest fire." Powell answers, "So would I."

Burl Ives is perfect as the hotel clerk who acts like a Greek chorus as he composes and sings a ballad about the plot as it unfolds. (The chorus ends, "And a man can't grow old, where there's women and gold.")

I was able to find a used VCR copy of this film. I don't think it's available in DVD, and you'd be lucky to find it being screened in a theater. It would probably work better on a large screen, but the chemistry between Greer and Powell will work in any format. It's a movie that's definitely worth finding and seeing.

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