6.3/10
2,552
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:

A thousand miles of danger, a thousand thrills a mile! 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

The seventh of nine movies made together by Warner Brothers' romantic couple Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn. See more »

Goofs

Stuart's first assignment after graduating from West Point was the U.S. Mounted Rifles in Texas, followed by the 1st Regiment of the U.S. Cavalry, not the 2nd Cavalry as depicted in the film. See more »

Quotes

Cyrus K. Holliday: Kit, once when you were about this high, Tex and Windy brought home a wolf cub with a broken back. You nursed it for weeks, but it finally died with his head in your lap. You cried for days. But it was just a wolf cub. And it probably would have grown up to be a killer like its father.
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

Featured in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The Arkansas Traveler
(uncredited)
Written by Sanford Faulkner
Played as background music on the train to Kansas
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User Reviews

 
Rousing Pre-Civil War Actioner
26 November 2002 | by 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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