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Santa Fe Trail

  • War
  • Western
  • 1940
  • Michael Curtiz
  • 109 mins
  • U

Summary

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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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

One of the weakest of the Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland series at Warners, this misleadingly titled - it's not a western - and rambling saga concerns the attempts of future Civil War cavalryman Jeb Stuart (played by Flynn) to nail the great abolitionist John Brown, ridiculously overplayed by a ranting Raymond Massey. As history, this is wild fiction, even for Hollywood, and, despite a watchable supporting cast including Ronald Reagan as Stuart's West Point pal George Armstrong Custer (a role Flynn would memorably make his own in They Died with Their Boots On the following year), there's precious little actually going on here. Director Michael Curtiz is on record as saying he was tired of working with the unreliable Flynn, and it's clear he wasn't trying with this picture. Still, Curtiz keeps up the pace despite the script: just don't stop and wonder why the liberal, humanitarian Stuart should want to defeat the abolitionist Brown.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Jeb StuartErrol Flynn
Kit Carson HallidayOlivia de Havilland
John BrownRaymond Massey
George Armstrong CusterRonald Reagan
Tex BellAlan Hale
Windy BrodyGuinn "Big Boy" Williams
RaderVan Heflin
Cyrus HallidayHenry O'Neill
Bob HallidayWilliam Lundigan
MartinJohn Litel
Jason BrownGene Reynolds
Oliver BrownAlan Baxter
Robert E LeeMoroni Olsen

Crew

rolename
DirectorMichael Curtiz

Details

Theatrical distributor
Warner Bros Pictures Ltd
Languages
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Black and white
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