As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

Night Passage (1957)

Poster - Night Passage_07

Some good elements here but they just don’t come together. Duryea is very underused as a villain and Audie Murphy’s presence/rivalry with him is a distraction instead of an addition. Also, Murphy/Stewart’s relationship as brothers never comes together and the kid (from Shane) also distracts from that. Maybe there’s just too much going on. Is this a misfire from Western screenwriter Borden Chase? I just watched another film written by him, The Far Country, and he wrote great films Red River and Winchester 73. Perhaps his script just wasn’t handled right by James Neilson, who went on to mostly direct Disney live action family films. Who knows but this one is definitely a miss.

Lasting impression: another bad title, Night Passage hints of darkness and at least a story mostly told at night, not so here.