6.3/10
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73 user 21 critic

Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 28 December 1940 (USA)
In 1854, Jeb Stuart, George Custer and other graduates from West Point are posted to Kansas to help pacify the territory before railroad construction to Santa Fe can resume.

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(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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'Kit Carson' Holliday (as Olivia De Havilland)
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Gene Reynolds ...
Jason Brown
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Robert E. Lee
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Phil Sheridan
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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:

They carved a path through the wilderness... then paved it with bullets and lives! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 December 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Diary of the Santa Fe  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)| (Vitasound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond Massey starred as John Brown again in Seven Angry Men (1955), the main story of which is also the trial and hanging of the abolitionist. See more »

Goofs

The railroad being built is called the "Santa Fe". The original company was the Atchison and Topeka Railroad Company chartered in 1859. Although one of the original destinations of the railroad, "Santa Fe" was not added to the name of the company until 1863, well after the setting of the movie. Further, contrary to what is shown, initial track laying did not begin until 1868. See more »

Quotes

James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: What do you mean trailing us halfway across Kansas?
Windy Brody: Well, we don't want you to get lost. You see, I know every wrinkle of this here country like my own face.
James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: Well, you should. It's just as dirty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening card: "1854, THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT When the gray cradle of the American Army was only a small garrison with few cadets, but under a brilliant Commandant, named Robert E. Lee it was already building for the defense of a newly-won nation in a new world." See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Along the Santa Fe Trail
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Will Grosz
Played when Jeb and George say goodbye to Kit and when Jeb first kisses her
Waltz version played at the party in Washington
Played at the wedding and during the end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Pure and Thrilling "Histo-tainment"
22 August 2004 | by 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.


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