18 January 2019 | hitchcockthelegend
Southwest Passage (AKA: Camels West) is directed by Ray Nazarro and written by Harry Essex and Geoffrey Homes. It stars Rod Cameron, John Ireland, Joanne Dru, John Dehner and Guin Williams. Music is by Emil Newman and Arthur Lang and the Pathe Color photography is by Sam Leavitt.
A robber and hid girl join a Camel Caravan to escape their pursuers.
Originally filmed in 3-D, one might be surprised to find that as fanciful as the premise to this seems, it's very much grounded in facts. Edward Fitzgerald Beale (1822 - 1893) the character played by Cameron is a most fascinating person whose real life work is far more interesting than the film is! Further reading on the subject is recommended.
This is all very routine as a group of various ethnicities and walks of life trek across the desert with camels in tow to test their usage for the U.S. Cavalry. Ireland (posing as a doctor) and Dru (gorgeous but looking like she just wandered in off of a Estée Lauder advertisement) are hiding out. So they are on the bluff which keeps the "will they get caught" factor simmering away. Naturally a rapscallion fellow (Dehner) figures things out and wants a share of the couple's stolen goods.
To further complicate matters and up the peril quota, the water is running low. Add in the fact we are in Apache country and you get the drift of where the picture is heading. Cast make things watchable at least, while the location scenery out of Kanab, Utah, is a treat for the eyes. It all builds to a frantic finale, which is well staged and high on rapid gun fire, but once the "too tidy" resolution is reached it's a Western that quickly fades from memory. 5/10