Station West

Station West is a 1948 black-and-white film directed by Sidney Lanfield and based on a Western novel by Luke Short.[3] Burl Ives plays a small role and sings the following songs on the soundtrack: "A Stranger in Town," "The Sun's Shining Warm," and "A Man Can't Grow Old."[4]

Station West
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySidney Lanfield
Produced byRobert Sparks
Screenplay byFrank Fenton
Winston Miller
Based onthe novel Station West
by Luke Short
StarringDick Powell
Jane Greer
Agnes Moorehead
Burl Ives
Music byHeinz Roemheld
CinematographyHarry J. Wild
Edited byFrederic Knudtson
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • October 19, 1948 (1948-10-19) (premiere-Chicago)[1]
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.7 million (US rentals)[2]


Two soldiers have been robbed and murdered while guarding a shipment of gold. Into town rides Haven (Dick Powell), a military intelligence officer traveling incognito. When he rides into town, the hotel clerk (Burl Ives) is sitting at the front desk, playing his guitar and singing “a man can't grow old where there's women and gold,” segueing the lyrics into a clear warning to leave town.

A beautiful saloon singer (Jane Greer) catches Haven's eye. After he meets Mrs. Caslon (Agnes Moorehead), who owns the gold mine, Haven hears that someone called "Charlie" is the brains behind the scene. He finds out to his surprise that Charlie is the singer.

Charlie's lawyer, Bristow (Raymond Burr), is $6,000 in her debt and therefore might be involved in the gold theft. Haven beats up Charlie's saloon bouncer in a fight and is offered a job as transport chief for the gold. Charlie's friend, Prince (Gordon Oliver), meanwhile, is growing jealous of her interest in Haven.

While transporting a shipment of gold, the man riding shotgun, Goddard (Regis Toomey), is killed and Haven knocked cold. When he comes to, he manages to track, catch and kill the robber carrying the gold. He shoos away the dead man's horses and follows them to their home stable, at the sawmill owned by Charlie. Haven pretends to be an ignorant hand working for Charlie, and is charged with transporting the stolen gold in the horses' saddlebags back to town to Charlie and Prince.

He hides the gold, and confronts Prince and Charlie. After some to-ing and fro-ing with the gold and an affidavit dictated to Bristow by Haven, Charlie convinces Bristow that he ought to confront Haven. Haven convinces him rather that he is the next target of Prince and Charlie as he knows too much. Bristow, terrified, tries to get away but is shot by Prince. Haven is pinned down, but after persuading the sheriff to arrest him for the crime, Haven escapes, and learns that Charlie's men plan to disguise themselves as military officers to steal more of Mrs. Caslon's gold.

He foils this plot, then arrives back at the saloon, to arrest Charlie, but also because he is in love with her. Prince sneaks up intending to shoot Haven, but his bullet hits Charlie instead. Haven kills Prince and rushes to Charlie's side. Before she dies, Charlie tells Haven that she loves him, and Haven confesses his love for her.

Haven rides away as Burl Ives sings “a man can't grow old where there's women and gold.”




  1. "Station West: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  2. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  3. Station West at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  4. Station West on IMDb. Soundtrack section. Accessed: July 24, 2013.
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