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Santa Fe Trail (1940)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,028 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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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
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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:

A Magnficent Portrayal of a Thrilling Era ! 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

John Brown did not wear a beard while in Kansas, but rather years later. See more »

Quotes

Caption: The road to Santa Fe was on iron rails to Kansas... and pure nerve from there on.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Errol Flynn (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe (circa 1856)
Played during the opening credits
Variations played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rousing Pre-Civil War Actioner
26 November 2002 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Santa Fe Trail" takes place in the 1850s as the America moved toward Civil War. It's mainly about the activities of self-proclaimed slave abolitionist John Brown and his efforts to provoke a war between the North and South.

The film begins in 1854 at West Point where a number of historical figures who would play prominent roles in the Civil War, are about to graduate. Leading the pack are JEB Stuart (Errol Flynn) and George Armstrong Custer (Ronald Reagan). Robert E. Lee (Moroni Olsen) is the Commandant of West Point and Jefferson Davis (Erville Anders) is the Minister of War. John Brown (Raymond Massey) is conducting bloody raids all over Kansas and has placed an operative, Rader (Van Heflin) within West Point. Stuart and Custer meanwhile, foil Rader and are competing for the affections of Kit Carson Holliday (Olivia de Havilland) the daughter of railroad magnate Cyrus K. Holliday (Henry O'Neill) who hopes to extend the railroad to New Mexico along, you guessed it, the Santa Fe Trail.

There is some very good action sequences ably directed by Michael Curtiz. Future Cvil War adversaries fight side by side against Brown and his followers but are coming to realize that the issue of slavery will not die with Brown.

Raymond Massey steals the acting honors as Brown the slightly mad but dedicated revolutionary. Flynn, Reagan and DeHavilland form the usual love triangle that always seemed to be a staple of the Warner Bros. westerns of the period. Alan Hale and Guinn Williams are along to provide the comedy relief. Heflin in an early role, is also excellent as Rader who seems to have his own agenda.

Also in the cast mostly unbilled, are Alan Baxter, Joseph Sawyer and for "B" movie fans, Charles Middleton, Trevor Bardette, Lane Chandler, Lafe McKee and Roy Barcroft (if you blink you'll miss him).

There's plenty of action and romance to keep the die-hard western fan happy. One of the better Warner Bros. "A" westerns of the period.


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