Santa Fe Trail (1940)

There are 2 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 3,681 times. The latest Post () was by lasbugas.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!




    Plot Summary
    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

    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
    Charles D. Brown ... Maj. Sumner
    Joe Sawyer ... Kitzmiller
    Frank Wilcox ... James Longstreet
    Ward Bond ... Townley
    Russell Simpson ... Shubel Morgan
    Charles Middleton ... Gentry (as Charles Middletown)
    Erville Alderson ... Jefferson Davis
    Spencer Charters ... Conductor
    Susan Peters ... Charlotte (as Suzanne Carnahan)
    William Marshall ... George Pickett
    George Haywood ... John Hood
    and many more...

    Michael Curtiz

    Writing Credits
    Robert Buckner ... (original screenplay)

    Robert Fellows ... associate producer
    Hal B. Wallis ... executive producer

    Max Steiner

    Sol Polito ... director of photography

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

    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.

    Aptly enough, the movie made its world premiere in Santa Fe, NM.

    Shown at some engagements with Warner Bros.' new Vitasound audio process.
    Often incorrectly called a stereophonic process,
    Vitasound actually combined a standard, variable-width monophonic soundtrack
    with a second variable-width control track, located between the soundtrack and the sprocket holes,
    that increased loudness for certain scenes by switching on additional amplifiers and speakers.
    "Santa Fe Trail" was one of only two films shown in the Vitasound process (the other was Four Wives (1939)

    The song "Benny Havens, Oh!" (sung by the soldiers at the farewell party at Fort Leavenworth)
    is a song from West Point.
    Benny Havens ran a public house near by West Point Military Academy.
    The writing of the song in his establishment by a Lt. O'Brien
    is commemorated in a mural in the Benny Havens Room of the West Point Army Mess.

    Errol Flynn plays Jeb Stuart, with Ronald Reagan playing George Armstrong Custer.
    A year later Flynn would play Custer in They Died with Their Boots On (1941).

    The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright
    resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone
    could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film.
    Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely
    (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality,
    having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film.

    Ronald Reagan got the part of George Custer on the strength
    of his success playing George Gipp in Knute Rockne All American (1940).

    Crazy Credits
    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."

    Throughout this pre-Civil War film, characters shoot at one another with 1873 model Colt pistols.

    Toward the end of the film, in the establishing shot of John Brown's hanging sequence,
    three men in formal dress are shown on the left side of the road.
    Subsequently they appear on the right, and then there is one more.

    When Jeb Stuart escapes the hanging, he fires eight shots from the stolen six-shooter.

    Factual errors
    The film plays fast and loose with historical fact, most noticeably in the other
    famous officers who are supposed to have graduated West Point
    with J.E.B. Stuart in 1854: James Longstreet (1842), George Pickett (1846),
    Philip Sheridan (1853), John Hood (1853), and George Custer (1861).

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

    Most of the Harpers Ferry engagement is inaccurate.
    Most notably, while the government forces were led by Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee,
    the troops were marines, not army.

    John Brown did not wear a beard while in Kansas, but rather years later.

    The artillery pieces at the Harper's Ferry battle are shown being pulled by teams of four horses.
    Prior to the Civil War all field artillery pieces,
    except the M1841 12-pound Gun used teams of six horses
    (the 12-pound gun required eight horses).
    A shortage of horses during the War caused field artillery horse teams to be reduced to four horses,
    a changed which continued after the War.

    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.

    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.

    At the Harper's Ferry battle the troops are shown carrying the Model 1873 (Trapdoor) Carbine,
    a breech loading weapon which is the standard Hollywood weapon for all U.S. cavalry in the 19th century.
    The correct weapon would have been the M1854 Rifled Carbine, a muzzle loading weapon.
    It may also be noted that cavalry was not present at the take over
    of the Harper's Ferry Arsenal by John Brown.

    The final battle takes place in a building called "The Arsenal".
    The Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry was actually a complex of manufacturing, storage, and office buildings.
    During the fighting, John Brown's force finally took refuge in the Fire House,
    one of the smallest of the buildings on the Armory grounds.
    The Fire House was built of brick but had three large wooden doors
    through which the firefighting equipment could move.

    Just after John Brown is hanged, an Army officer next to the gallows says
    "So perish all such enemies of the Union."
    What the officer, Colonel J.T.L.Preston of the Virginia Military Institute said was
    "So perish all such enemies of Virginia, all such enemies of the Union,
    all such foes of the human race."

    Factual errors
    In real life, John Brown said nothing from the gallows.
    He did, however, hand one of his guards a note on his way to his execution.
    It read: "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land
    will never be purged away but with blood."

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations
    Lasky Mesa, West Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Sonora, California, USA
    Warner Ranch, Calabasas, California, USA
    Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA (location filming)

    Watch the Movie



    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • Santa Fe Trail is a 1940 American western film directed by
    Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland,
    Raymond Massey and Ronald Reagan.

    Written by Robert Buckner, the film is about the abolitionist John Brown
    and his fanatical attacks on slavery as a prelude to the American Civil War.
    Subthemes include J.E.B. Stuart and George Armstrong Custer as they duel
    for the hand of Kit Carson Holliday.

    The film was one of the top-grossing films of the year,
    and the seventh Flynn–de Havilland collaboration.
    The film also has almost nothing to do with its namesake, the famed Santa Fe Trail,
    except that the trail started in Missouri and the railroad could be built
    only after the Army drove Brown out of Kansas.

    The outdoor scenes were filmed at the Lasky Movie Ranch
    in the Lasky Mesa area of the Simi Hills in the western San Fernando Valley.

    One can visit the film location site, now in the very large
    Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve (a.k.a. Ahmanson Ranch),
    with various trails to the Lasky Mesa locale.

    At one stage Randolph Scott was mentioned for the lead.
    However it soon became a vehicle for Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.

    John Wayne was mentioned as a possibility for Flynn's costar.

    Dennis Morgan was originally announced for the role of George Custer.
    Van Heflin was signed to play the villain following his success on Broadway
    in The Philadelphia Story; it was his first movie since 1937.
    Morgan was borrowed to appear in Kitty Foyle and was replaced
    shortly before filming began by Ronald Reagan.

    Filming started July 1940 although the shoot starting date was pushed back due
    to a re-emergence of Flynn's malaria.

    The film is frequently confused with the Raoul Walsh movie They Died with Their Boots On,
    released the following year, in which Flynn replaces Reagan in the role of Custer
    and also features de Havilland as Flynn's leading lady.

    The film was premiered in Santa Fe over a three-day festival, featuring a large number of celebrities.
    There were 250 guests and two special trains, with a total cost of $50,000
    - shared between Warners and Santa Fe Railroad.

    Box office
    The film made a profit of $1.48 million.

    Look out for Duke's, 'Pals' Ward Bond, Russell Simpson

    User Review

    In The Tradition of Gone With the Wind
    8 May 2007 | by bkoganbing (Buffalo, New York)

    Best Wishes
    London- England