Monday, August 8, 2016


I watched THE CARIBOO TRAIL (1950) the other day. It's not a great film by any stretch but it was a good way to pass the time on a blistering hot summer afternoon. CARIBOO is similar to CANADIAN PACIFIC (1949), which I previously reviewed here. Both films star Randolph Scott, both were filmed on location in Canada, both were helmed by journeyman director Edwin L. Marin and both were shot in Cinecolor.

Scott stars as Jim Redfern, a man determined to start a cattle ranch in Canada. He encounters a series of obstacles including hostile Indians and villainous Frank Walsh (Victor Jory), who owns most of the territory. Redfern is aided by crusty and grizzled gold prospector Oscar Winters (the inimitable Gabby Hayes in his last film appearance) and beautiful, independent saloon owner Frances Harrison (Karin Booth). Redfern's former partner, Mike Evans (Bill Williams), loses an arm in the first act. He blames Redfern and sides with Walsh before having a change of heart in the third act in which he redeems himself.

The locations are gorgeous but once again, there's an abrupt and unsettling visual disconnect when the action shifts from the great outdoors to faux outdoor sets on a sound stage. With a running time of 81 minutes and a script by Western veteran Frank Gruber, CARIBOO TRAIL is a routine, formula Western. It's not a classic but it's fun to watch.

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