From the program notes of a Jacques Tourneur retrospective at the Walter Reade Theater in Lincoln Center:
Most westerns are about loners crossing vast expanses of desert space. Tourneurs neglected 1946 classic is set in the lush forests and fields of Oregon, and is centered around a community. This is a movie of extraordinary visual beauty, shot in gorgeous, dark-hued Technicolor (by cinematographer Edward Cronjager), with emotional shadings to match. The set pieces an Indian massacre, a barn-raising are as thrilling as the relationships are carefully drawn. With Hoagy Carmichael, singing his immortal “Ole Buttermilk Sky.”
Canyon Passage is three times over an Oregon film. It was based on a novel by Oregon author Ernest Haycox, set in Oregon’s gold rush days, and shot in Oregon, near Jacksonville.
I dislike this film, but then I never got Jacques Tourneur. You may have more sophisticated taste than I do. If you like Cat People, I Walked With A Zombie, and Out of the Past, this is the Western for you.
Fans of Dana Andrews: Here’s the minutes from the last meeting, in case you missed it.