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Desert Passage (1952)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Western | 30 May 1952 (USA)
Two Arizona stagecoach line owners are hired by a paroled bank embezzler to take him, and his hidden loot, to Mexico but things don't go as planned.


Lesley Selander


Norman Houston


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Complete credited cast:
Tim Holt ... Tim Holt
Joan Dixon ... Emily Bryce
Walter Reed ... John Carver
Dorothy Patrick ... Roxie Van Zell
John Dehner ... Bronson
Clayton Moore ... Dave Warwick
Lane Bradford ... Langdon
Michael Mark Michael Mark ... Pop Burley
Denver Pyle ... Allen
Richard Martin ... 'Chito Rafferty'


Recent parolee John Carver returns to town to collect his hidden stolen money and hires stagecoach line owners Tim Holt and Chito Rafferty to take him to Mexico. The pair soon find they may have taken on more than they bargained for as it seems everyone Carver ever knew is out for the money and will stop at nothing to get it. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gun-Storm Thunders Over Stolen Bank Cash! See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Starlight Canyon See more »


Box Office


$99,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the very last of Tim Holt's RKO B Westerns. Fittingly it was directed by Lesley Selander, one the best and most prolific B western directors, and of course,co-starred Richard Martin as Chito Rafferty, Tim's long time sidekick. See more »

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User Reviews

24 December 2003 | by PittwaterSee all my reviews

After trying out many different character names such as Dave Saunders, Dave Collins, Kansas Jones, Dave/Tim/Ross Taylor (just to name a few), Tim Holt began using his own name (on and off) for the series of Westerns he did with Richard Martin. By the way, Holt's birth name was Charles. Martin wisely stuck with the same character name of Chito Rafferty as Holt's Irish-Mexican sidekick and a sometimes comic relief.

The identity crisis aside, these westerns were usually short in length (this one is 59 min) and fairly entertaining. "Desert Passage" happened to be one of the best in the series supported by a competent cast of actors. Veteran screenwriter Norman Houston provided a neat script loaded with double-cross, intrigue and comedy. Holt is good in his role but he seems to have packed on a few pounds. Pay attention to Martin who has been blessed by the script with some real cracker lines.

The story tells of Holt and Rafferty being owner/operator of their "Lavic Stage Lines." They are on the end of their bankroll and are preparing to sell their business to the next "nitwit" who's willing to buy it.

The two men discovered that a few people in town are looking for a youngish man with greying temples. They then stumble onto the very person who was being attacked at gunpoint. After saving the man's life, our two heroes were offered $1000 for his protection and a ride on their stage coach to a safer destination south of Lavic.

The movie "Pulp Fiction" has a memorable line of "I'll be out within three shakes of a lamb's tail" which I never knew was an old saying. In "Desert Passage," Chito said "That will only take two shakes of a pig's tail!"

My main criticism with some of the series (or any other Westerns for that matter) is with the shooting action. Nobody seem to be able to aim accurately when a subject is exposed in the open unless necessary for the script. This is not as apparent in this movie.

Good fun B-Western. 7/10. Another one in the series I would recommend is "Storm Over Wyoming."

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