Sterling Hayden Rules This Fun Little Western
- Sterling Hayden stars in this entertaining B-grade macho Civil War western. Set in a small town in "Bleeding Kansas," the time when the Kansas Territory erupted in violence between Free-state and Pro-slavery factions prior to the American Civil War, United States Army Captain John Nelson is sent undercover to supervise and help build a vital railroad system while taking on those who are trying to sabotage it.
Where Kansas Pacific (1953) has a plain, predicable, and sometimes cheesy script in addition to its unimaginative direction and cinematography, it has other aspects that make it a nice popcorn flick. Kansas Pacific is mindless 1950s B-movie entertainment, not short on a few fun fist fights, horse chases, and shootouts and Sterling Hayden is a very enjoyable hero in John Nelson with his classic tough stance, slick speech, and mean right hook. Giving Hayden some help in the performance department is Eve Miller who is one sassy tart and Reed Hadley who plays a nice Confederate antagonist.
One does not have to be a history buff to notice the film's glaring historical inaccuracies or be a film buff to see the pretty effortless film-making; however, Kansas Pacific still manages to be a generally fun seventy-three minutes - and it is quite easily accessible....
CBC Rating: 6/10