Walter Wanger's first production for Allied Artists, Kansas Pacific is more slick and polished than the usual budget western. Set just before the Civil War, the film concerts Kansas Pacific railroad's westward expansion, a project stymied by the sabotage activities of Southern sympathizers. Military officer John Nelson (Sterling Hayden) is assigned to make sure the railroad goes through. The film offers excellent performances from such usually stereotyped players as Barton MacLane, Harry Shannon, Douglas Fowley and James Griffith. Kansas Pacific's leading lady is Eve Miller, best known as Kirk Douglas' vis-a-vis in The Big Trees.
by Hal Erickson synopsis