by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Sante Fe Passage (1955)

Jack   C

IMDB    5.9

Tribe(s) : Kiowa

Language : English, Kiowa



   Kirby Randolph (John Payne) and his partner Sam (Slim Pickens) guide a wagon train through Kiowa territory. Kirby doesn't like Indians too much, and gives them old guns that he fixes to blow up in their face. The Kiowa chief Satink says: "You scout for train of many wagon, there." You kind of get the idea right away that the writing isn't going to be too good in this movie.

Kirby gives the Kiowas the broken rifles, some liquor and a music box and the Kiowas are happy. But when Kirby and Sam get back to town they found out that the Kiowa have massacred everyone on the wagon train, and they are now looked on as traitors.

Kirby and Sam have trouble getting work but then they sign on with an outfit heading to Sante Fe. Kirby gets in to a fight with the wagon boss, who he finds out is half Sioux. He says: "I don't like any Indians, and like half-breeds less". Kirby is very bitter about the massacre he was blamed for.

Then Kirby demands that an old Indian woman. Ptewaquin, leave the wagon. He says : " We're not taking any squaws along on this train. Now make tracks. Move. Get out of here." But one of the train's investors, Auriele St. Clair, refuses to part with her.

When there is a stampede Kirby saves Auriele and then they become lovers. But the wagon train leader, Jess Griswold, loves Auriele too. When Jess sees Kirby and Auriele falling for each other he tells Kirby that Auriele is a half-breed. Her mother was the daughter of a Kiowa chief. Kirby then tells Auriele "When I get married I don't want my wife to be a Kiowa half-breed."

The Kiowa capture Kirby when Jess' assistant Chavez gives Kirby to the Kiowa. Satank is about to kill Kirby when Ptewaquin saves him, but loses her own life. Kirby then finds out the Ptewaquin is Auriele's mother.

I like John Payne, and Slim Pickens is always good, but this movie was only mediocre. The Kiowas are only used as an object of fear. Ptewaquin and Auriele are used to show Kirby that not all Indians are evil, but his sudden turn around from Indian hater to Indian lover was pretty weak, and not handled well.