Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy Carmichael is really creepy in this movie. I absolutely hate his singing and his love song to his mule is really really creepy....esp. cuz he keeps singing it.

In Today's world if that character existed he would probably be looked down upon as a complete disgusting weirdo.

He ruins this movie and I am so glad he was not in too many of these films.


The Truth is out there.



In a crucial scene he gives evidence which he got from peeping in a window.

When Andrews is going to San Francisco with Susan Hayward, he lets Hoagy tag along. Hows he going to feel relaxed making time with Susan with this peeper along for the ride?

Also, do you really want to hear Hoagy sing "Old Buttermilk Sky" over and over on the long trip to San Francisco?


I loved him in The Best Years of Our Lives but not so much in this film.


I agree with you. Actually, Ernest HAYCOX, the author of the novel which inspired the movie, didn't have this character in the book.


I just watched this movie, after having seen it in its entirety once before, as a re-release when I was a child in the 1950. I liked it a great deal and so did my wife, who only likes westerns if they are first rate. But I confess I found Hoagy's character irritating. His presence is practically the only thing that shows the time period in which the movie was made. I guess they thought he was sort of like the piano player in Casablanca. Nevertheless, as another poster pointed out, wierd characters like him hung around small towns then as now, and perhaps he was a necessary ingredient in the atmosphere, which was excellent.

My only complain: where was the canyon? Will the Ernest Haycox expert please tell us if the locale but not the title was changed from the original story.

He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good... St. Matthew 5:45


Canyon Passage(orignal title) -the novel published in 1945- is set in OREGON, E. HAYCOX's native state.
There are many canyons in the novel, as Logan STUART, the hero, has a freighting business running from JACKSONVILLE to SALEM and other towns.
JACKSONVILLE is a gold digging camp in the story. It could be present-day JACKSONVILLE in southern OREGON.
The "canyon passage" in the novel is located, roughly, close to present-day Oregon interstate 5, between South UMPQUA River and ROGUE River.
The locale was obviously changed (but not the title) in the film, though the canyon is not that important in the novel, I guess it's more a symbol of life's changes, from friendship to awareness that one's friend is a thief, from frienship to love, and so on.

Hoagy CARMICHAEL doesn't exist as such in the novel; one character might have "inspired" Mr TOURNEUR : his name is Joe HARMS, he does nothing but sit on a bench and watch people; he's also a Peeping Tom and spies on George CAMROSE through a wood-knot hole in the wall. But he doesn't sing, and is neither a comical nor a likeable person.

One interesting point : Lucy OVERMIRE's answer to George asking her when she is going to marry him "We shall be married when the leaves fall", which has been credited to Mr TOURNEUR, is actually pure Haycox (page 25 in the 1974 Signet paperback edition).

HAYCOX wrote many first-rate novels and short stories; apart from Canyon Passage, here's a list of some, with opposite the book titles the movies adapted from them :


Sorry I've been so talkative.
Take care.


Thanks for the rundown, Kate. Don't apologize for being "talkative". That's how you transmit information, and you gave me the exact dope I wanted.

I guess western novels and movies just used titles that had a good western sound.

I think I read one or two of those novels back in the dim past when I read western and other novels. I have seen all of those movies. Stagecoach is good but a tad over-rated in my humble opinion. Union Pacific is one of my favorites. I haven't seen it in years, but have it ordered with a boxed set of C. B. DeMille extravaganzas. I think Man in the Saddle may be Randolph Scott's best, though others will disagree.

He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good... St. Matthew 5:45


You're welcome.

I agree with you as regards STAGECOACH; again, the "burlesque" element added by the drunken doctor in the film is far too exaggerated, and tiring, and wasn't in Haycox's short story, which is much more sober.

I also agree for MAN IN THE SADDLE, very faithful to the novel.

If you feel like reading a good western short story, do read Dispatch to the General, by HAYCOX.

Have you seen THE SPOILERS (not adapted from HAYCOX), where Randolph SCOTT is a villain ? It's not a great film, but it's a change to see Randolph as a baddie, and I thought he was very good at it.

Take care.


Carmichael was a masterful composer and pianist. I guess many younger folks on IMDB have no idea that he wrote the music to such standards as "Georgia on My Mind," "Stardust" and "Rockin' Chair." His "singing" was an acquired taste, but so was Jimmy Durante's. Movie audiences of the 40's and 50's were quite familiare with through recordings and his everal radio shows.

"We're fighting for this woman's honor, which is more than she ever did."


I meant no disrespect to the composer and pianist. You are kind to refer (to me at least) as younger folks, as I'm well on my way to being 58.
It is obvious that the actor sings very well and has a wonderful voice; his songs are beautiful.
I only meant that it wasn't originally in the novel.

Sincerely yours.


Hey folks,

Here is one vote in favor of Hoagy Carmichael and his work in the film. Yes, I am one of those really old folks who pretty much like anything with Carmichael in it.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile


I have not seen this film, but I liked Hoagy in the other films he was in that I have seen. He was one of the very best things that happened to "To Have and Have Not"....

Oh Lord, you gave them eyes but they cannot see...