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Santa Fe Trail (1940)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,991 users  
Reviews: 67 user | 16 critic

The story of Jeb Stuart, his romance with Kit Carson Holliday, friendship with George Custer and battles against John Brown in the days leading up to the outbreak of the American Civil War.

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(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
'Kit Carson' Holliday (as Olivia De Havilland)
...
...
...
William Lundigan ...
Bob Holliday
...
Rader
Gene Reynolds ...
Henry O'Neill ...
Cyrus Holliday
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ...
Windy Brody
Alan Baxter ...
...
Martin
Moroni Olsen ...
David Bruce ...
Phil Sheridan
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Barber Doyle
Edit

Storyline

The story of Jeb Stuart, his romance with Kit Carson Holliday, friendship with George Custer and battles against John Brown in the days leading up to the outbreak of the American Civil War. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the railroad and civilization ended, the Sante Fe Trail began! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camino de Santa Fe  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The song, "Benny Havens, Oh!" (sung by the soldiers at the farewell party at Fort Leavenworth) is a song from West Point. Benny Havens ran a public house near by West Point Military Academy. The writing of the song in his establishment by a Lieutenant O'Brien is commemorated in a mural in the Benny Havens Room of the West Point Army Mess. See more »

Goofs

The film plays fast and loose with historical fact, most noticeably in the other famous officers who are supposed to have graduated West Point with J.E.B. Stuart in 1854: James Longstreet (1842), George Pickett (1846), Philip Sheridan (1853), John Hood (1853), and George Custer (1861). See more »

Quotes

John Brown: I have given you fair warning. You can keep your heads or lose 'em as you wish.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rocky Mountain (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Benny Havens, Oh!
(uncredited)
Words by Lucius O'Brien, John T. Metcalfe, Ripley A. Arnold, and others
Music Traditional ("The Wearing of the Green")
Sung by the soldiers at the farewell party at Fort Leavenworth
See more »

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User Reviews

Pure and Thrilling "Histo-tainment"
22 August 2004 | by (Miami, FL) – See all my reviews

It's so sad.

I loved this movie so much as a kid. Then I grew up and found out it was all a big contrivance. It almost quashed my love for this movie.

But the truth did not succeed to extinguish my love.

The entertainment value of this movie is astounding and sometimes thrilling

  • but the historical value is so misguided that it almost ruins it for me.


I now feel that, though this movie makes a sham of history - - it is a great showcase for the wonderful talents of Michael Curtiz, Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan and Olivia de Havilland.

I particularly love the final rescue scene. It is choreographed and orchestrated so beautifully, it is hard not to be taken into the maelstrom of John Brown's destiny. Those battle trumpets still cause a chill to go up my spine.

Before I was old enough to understand the true nature of this tale, I visited Harper's Ferry and felt an honest chill when I visited the firehouse where John Brown and his men were captured. I touched the walls and stood in awe at being so close to such a fateful edifice.

It is now called John Brown's "Fort" because he was holed up in there for three days in October 1859. So close before the fateful Civil War embroiled our nation in its saddest chapter. But the building was a fire engine and guard house when it was built in 1848 and moved to Boston for display and then later, back to Harper's Ferry to a place about 150 feet east of its original location. The original location had become a railroad embankment...so it could not stand at the original spot.

Whatever you think about the historical inaccuracies of this film, its entertainment values are excellent for their own sake.

RAYMOND MASSEY is especially memorable as John Brown. His earnest and single-minded portrayal of a madman-with-a-quest is the great stand-out of this movie. The far-away gaze and fiery eyes are almost hypnotic in its concentration. I also enjoyed watching Ronald Reagan and Errol Flynn do their "stuff" as no one else can. These are actors that for better or worse will always stand out from the Hollywood fray with their own special brand of something indescribable and timeless.

Watch this movie with a grain or two or historical salt. Enjoy it for its sheer fun value.


38 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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