After the Civil War four brothers who fought for the South head west. Yanks are building the Santa Fe Railroad and one of the brothers joins them. The other three still hold their hatred of the North and join up with those trying to stop the railroad's completion. The one brother unsuccessfully tries to keep the other brothers out of trouble but eventually has to join the posse that is after them. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <email@example.com>
Captain Canfield is a good man in a fight, I ought to know.
Santa Fe is directed by Irving Pichel and adapted to screenplay by Kenneth Gamet from the James Marshall novel and a story by Louis Stevens. It stars Randolph Scott, Janis Carter, Peter M. Thompson, Jerome Courtland and John Archer. A Technicolor production, it's photographed by Charles Lawton Jr. Story is set following the American Civil war and finds Scott as Britt Canfield, one of four ex-Confederate brothers heading West for a new life. While Britt finds honest employment on the Santa Fe railroad, his brothers veer towards the other side of the law.
A routine Western boosted by some quality set pieces and a well crafted script. Watchable from the off, film follows a true course whilst launching off narratively from the bitterness still felt by those who were on opposite sides of the war. It pitches Scott front and centre as the stoic character fending off all sorts of challenges, challenges that come courtesy of Indians, rival companies and his own kin! The acting around Scott is pretty average, tho the comic relief from Billy House & Olin Howland is most appealing, while it would have been nice to have some more imposing scenery filling out the screen. All told it's a safe recommendation to Western fans, even if ultimately it's not a genre film to revisit often. 6/10
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