The Film (3/5)
Canadian Pacific is another Randolph Scott programmer in which this time he plays Tom Andrews, a surveyor who is involved in a major building project. That building project is to be the Canadian Pacific Railway (hence, the film’s title). However this project has serious opposition from Dick Rourke, played by Victor Jory (he also was in The Cariboo Trail along with Randolph Scott) and Cagle (Don Haggerty from The Atomic Kid) they oppose Andrews the building to the railway because it will ruin his trading enterprise. He stops at nothing to sabotage the mission including shooting Andrews, blowing up the construction site with stolen dynamite and manipulating the local Indian population to stop him as well. With the aid of Dynamite Dawson (J. Carroll Naish), Dr. Edith Cabot (Jane Wyatt) and plenty of reinforcements, Tom Andrews is out to put an end to Rourke, Cagle and the Indians once and for all during a violent shootout.
I thought the movie wasn’t bad, it really reminded me of The Cariboo Trail in some aspects (in fact the two blu ray releases are quite similar). It’s your basic story of villains in the old west who want to control everything with one tough hombre hero standing in the way. Canadian Pacific also has a romantic triangle subplot, where our hero Tom Andrews has two women in his life, which are Dr. Cabot and Cecille Gautier (Nancy Olson), who he was engaged to, but was broken off because she was upset over him wanting to spend another year working on building the railway. The film still was more or less another run of the mill Western adventure film that to me didn’t stand out amongst similar films, but it is entertaining. The acting is excellent and direction is perfectly fine, and the musical scores are terrific, as they were done by Dimitri Tiomkin, who was very well known for his scores in Westerns such as Duel in the Sun and High Noon. This movie is sure to be of interest to the many Randolph Scott fans who love his westerns. Lest we not forget J.Carrol Naish, mainly known for being in horror classics such House of Frankenstein, The Monster Maker and Dr. Reanults Secret, had a brilliant forty year career with either great leading or supporting roles from a large assortment of film genres.
Canadian Pacific debuts on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber and given a brand new HD Restoration. Presented in the aspect ratio of 1:37:1, in 1080p with an MPEG 4 AVC encode, the image quality is quite pleasing. The colors are solid, often vivid, with good depth and texture, maybe a little soft in some scenes. There is what appears to be some minor print damage here and there, but it doesn’t affect the viewing experience. While it’s not overwhelmingly great, it is the best that this film has ever looked and you can feel free to throw those poor quality DVD releases in the trash.
The audio quality for Canadian Pacific is the usual Kino DTS-HD Master Audio English 2.0. The dialog and other sounds such as gun shots firing, exploding dynamite were all just fine. No audio drops or other audio issues were found.
Kino provides us with a few interesting extras for this film, nearly the same as The Cariboo Trail: Restoration Documentary, recombining and restoring two-strip CineColor components, Canadian Pacific on 16mm, excerpts from the 16mm CIneColor print, Canadian Pacific on 8mm and a trailer gallery.
Canadian Pacific is an entertaining film, if not a major, which will be most appealing to Randolph Scott fans seeking a quality release, which this is. Fans of the film should pick this one up without hesitation. Casual fans of Westerns may not find this to be their flavor but it is worth seeking out watching because you never know if the movie could wind up being golden. Having the best picture and audio quality to date will make it a great viewing experience and it does have a few interesting extras to boot. This is another solid release from Kino Lorber.