6.3/10
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73 user 21 critic

Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Biography, Drama | 28 December 1940 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writer:

Robert Buckner (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... Jeb Stuart
Olivia de Havilland ... 'Kit Carson' Holliday (as Olivia De Havilland)
Raymond Massey ... John Brown
Ronald Reagan ... George Armstrong Custer
Alan Hale ... Tex Bell
William Lundigan ... Bob Holliday
Van Heflin ... Rader
Gene Reynolds ... Jason Brown
Henry O'Neill ... Cyrus Holliday
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Windy Brody
Alan Baxter ... Oliver Brown
John Litel ... Martin
Moroni Olsen ... Robert E. Lee
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:

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 December 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Diary of the Santa Fe See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)| Mono (Vitasound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

J.E.B. Stuart's wife was named Flora Cooke, not Kit Carson Holliday. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer-colorized version. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

No More Auction Block For Me
(uncredited)
Sung by the slaves when John Brown pronounces them free
See more »

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User Reviews

Pure and Thrilling "Histo-tainment"
22 August 2004 | by Enrique-Sanchez-56See 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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