Denver and The Rio Grande is a 1952 color film dramatizaion of the 1870 competition to build the first railroad through the Rocky Mountains. Filmed on location, the film follows Jim Vesser (Edumund O'Brien) leading his construction team as they try to build the railroad line as quickly and safely as possible. Opposing them is an unscrupulous group of workers led by McCabe (Sterling Hayden) and Johnny Buff (Lyle Bettger) who try to sabotage Vesser whenever possible. One spectacular event engineered by McCabe and Buff causes two trains to hit head on and explode in a giant fireball leading to the final confrontation between the two groups. Zasu Pitts as Jane Dwyer and Paul Fix as the Irish engineer Moynihan provide the comedy relief. Denver and The Rio Grande is an action-packed Western featuring landslides, robberies, and breathtaking cinematography. In addition, the film has copious footage of antique trains for railroad buffs.