Santa Fe Trail [DVD] [1940]

Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan star in this story about renegade abolitionist John Brown, which has been given a respectable presentation on this budget-priced DVD edition. Santa Fe Trail has been transferred to disc in the full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital Mono. The dialogue is in English with no multiple language options included. Bonus materials include cast biographies, trivia facts, background on the movie, and a gallery of still photos. Santa Fe Trail is no longer protected under copyright law, and this is one of several home-video editions of the film currently on the market.
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Special Features

  • Interactive menus
  • Original graphics
  • Chapters
  • Biography
  • Facts and trivia
  • Film information
  • Special collector's photo gallery


Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail, Errol Flynn's third western, has precisely nothing to do with the titular trail. Instead, the film is a simplistic retelling of the John Brown legend, with Raymond Massey playing the famed abolitionist. The events leading up to the bloody confrontation between Brown and the US Army at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, are treated in a painstakingly even-handed fashion: Brown's desire to free the slaves is "right" but his methods are "wrong." Whenever the leading characters are asked about their own feelings towards slavery, the response is along the noncommittal lines of "A lot of people are asking those questions," "I don't have the answer to that," and so forth. Before we get to the meat of the story, we are treated to a great deal of byplay between West Point graduates Jeb Stuart (Flynn) and George Armstrong Custer (Ronald Reagan), who carry on a friendly rivalry over the affections of one Kit Carson Halliday (Olivia DeHavilland). Just so we know that the picture is meant to be a follow-up to Warners' Dodge City and Virginia City, Flynn is saddled with Alan Hale and "Big Boy" Williams, his comic sidekicks from those earlier films. Despite its muddled point of view, Santa Fe Trail is often breathtaking entertainment, excitingly staged by director Michael Curtiz. The film's public domain status has made Santa Fe Trail one of the most easily accessible of Errol Flynn's Warner Bros. vehicles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Errol Flynn
    Errol Flynn - Jeb Stuart
  • Olivia de Havilland
    Olivia de Havilland - Kit Carson Halliday
  • Raymond Massey
    Raymond Massey - John Brown
  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan - George Armstrong Custer
  • Alan Hale
    Alan Hale - Tex Bell
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