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Denver & Rio Grande

Denver & Rio Grande(1952)

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Onscreen credits conclude with the following written statement: "With grateful acknowledgement to the officials and personnel of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad whose splendid cooperation made this picture possible." Voice-over narration, describing briefly the past and present of the Denver & Rio Grande railroad, is heard at the beginning of the film. As noted in a July 1952 ParNews item, Frank Gruber's screenplay was based on research material provided by the Denver & Rio Grande railroad. Most of the film was shot in the Colorado Rockies, in the vicinity of Durango. According to a ParNews item, a forty-seven mile stretch of the Durango-Silverton branch line was used for filming. Paramount publicity material, included in the copyright records, noted that more than sixty pieces of nineteenth century "rolling stock" was utilized in the picture, including six "diamond stack" steam locomotives. The train wreck, according to publicity material and a July 1951 New York Times article, was enacted at Rio de las Animas de la Perdita, also in Colorado. Engineers William Squires and Frank Hardy and road foreman Tom Cummins participated in the shooting of the wreck. The forty-second scene took five days and five camera crews to film and cost $165,000 to execute.
       Hollywood Reporter news items add Don Dunning, John Mansfield, Howard Joslin, Warren Fiske, Eric Alden, Lester Dorr, Bob Templeton, Leo McMahon, Harvey Parry, Herrick Herrick, Bob Scott, Clem Fuller, Bob Morgan, John Roy and William O'Driscoll to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to a Motion Picture Herald article, between its Denver premiere on 2 May and its 6 May opening in Salt Lake City, UT, the film opened in nine small Colorado and Utah cities.