"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Movie Review: Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Hello everyone!
Do you know what happened on Sunday? The amazing Olivia de Havilland turned 102!!!! Isn't that incredible!? Because of her I am participating in a blogathon hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and Phyllis Loves Classic Movies!
In her honor, I will be reviewing a movie (okay, that was obvious.). I watched this specially for this blogathon, and I have some mixed emotions...

Let's get to it!

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless it says so.

Santa Fe Trail (1940):
"There is no other fort between us and Santa Fe."
Some West Point graduates get into trouble and are sent down to Kansas to help settle things so the construction of the railroad to Santa Fe can continue. One of the soldiers, Bob Holliday, is happy because that is where he is from. His sister, Kit Carson, catches the eyes of two of the soldiers who playfully see who can win her. But the abolitionist John Brown is on the move and no one is sure of what the right thing to do is.
"I've given you fair warning, you can keep your heads or lose them, as you wish."
Genre: Period Drama, Romance, Adventure, Biography.
Length: approx. 110 minutes.
Costumes: 9, nothing bad and we have some great period pieces!
My favorite is the one in the middle.
Script: 8.
'"Wait a minute, they out number us three to one!"
"If it makes you nervous, don't count them."'
Directed by: Michael Curtiz
Produced by: Hal B. Wallis
Written by: Robert Buckner
Errol Flynn as J. E. B. "Jeb" Stuart. "I intend to be a masked man."
Olivia de Havilland as Kit Carson Holliday.
'"I thought two years in Boston would make a lady out of you."
"So did I, it just popped out."'
Ronald Reagan as George Armstrong Custer (first Ronald Reagan movie I've seen!).
Raymond Massey as John Brown.
Van Heflin as Carl Rader.
Alan Hale as Tex Bell.
Guinn Williams as Windy Brody.
Gene Reynolds as Jason Brown.
Henry O'Neill as Cyrus K. Holliday.
William Lundigan as Bob Holliday.
Alan Baxter as Oliver Brown.
Cinematography: 7, nothing spectacular.
Cinematography by: Sol Polito
Music: 7, nothing spectacular.
Music by: Max Steiner
Notes: I am always surprised at the depth of the movies Miss de Havilland was in. You think, "Oh, just Olivia de Havilland movie." You think it will just be a light watch (At least that is what I think).
Mais no.
"God doesn't tell people to kill one another."
There is a deeper meaning, something that leaves you thinking. This movie is no different, it is deals with a really big subject. This movie is set pre-Civil War. All the characters are trying to figure how to work with the tricky subject of slavery. Some make rash actions, some mock others, some sit and think. Because we don't have slavery anymore it is hard to think that it could have been a hard decision, but this movie shows it was.
"What does pride got to do with human lives?"
Quotes: 9. "This was something a lot bigger than myself."
Storyline: 6, There is death, fighting, smoking, drinking, and slavery.
"I'll take that bet."
Overall Score: 7.

Big thank you to Crystal and Laura for hosting this! Please go check out the other entries!



  1. Santa Fe Trail deals with an immense issue and I find it continually interesting. Raymond Massey's performance as John Brown mesmerizes me. He is a fanatic, but we know he is in the right. The scene at his hanging gives me chills.

    On the lighter side, the theme song gets stuck in my head for days!

    1. It is such an interesting topic! Massey did a stunning job on John Brown. The movie shows him in a wrong light, but we know that he is right, even if his methods are wrong. I agree, that scene gives me chills too!

      True, the theme is very catchy! Thanks for commenting, Caftan Woman! :)

  2. I need to watch this again as I don’t remember a whole lot. I love movies that make me think!

    Thanks for participating in this celebration of Olivia!!

    1. There are the movies that make us laugh, cry, roll our eyes, but my favorite are the ones that you have to think about. :) You should rewatch it!

      Thank you for hosting! I can't wait for next year...

  3. "In her honor, I will be reviewing a movie (okay, that was obvious." Lol lol lol! I must admit I didn't really like this movie when I saw it. But Olivia de Havilland was the best thing about it. She was charming, funny and had a great chemistry with Errol Flynns

    1. :D Thanks. Olivia de Havilland is why I watched this movie, and she is what made this movie. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have liked it if not for Olivia and Errol Flynn. They are amazing. Thank you for your comment, Virginie!


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