40′s movies marathon – part 10

Errol Flynn as Jeb Stuart, being treated by happy, recaptured slaves in Santa Fe Trail (1940)Raymond Massey as John Brown in Santa Fe Trail (1940)Ronald Reagan as George Custer, and Errol Flynn as Jeb Stuart, in Santa Fe Trail (1940)

Santa Fe Trail (1940, USA)

John Brown and his gang of evil abolitionists terrorize Kansas in the 1850′s, but Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan come to the rescue. The overall message is that reasonable people may disagree about slavery, but only fanatics are strongly opposed to it, and it’s a shame that Northern abolitionists caused a civil war over such a minor issue. In one surreal scene, one of the bad guys, acting all shifty and evil, tries to smuggle runaway slaves on the train. In another, slaves freed by Brown welcome their recapture by the army, because they miss their owners. Watched it all, mostly because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’m not sure what fascinates me more: The real history of John Brown, (who arguably was a terrorist), or the fact that a pro-slavery telling of his story stars major actors and a future president – and was one of the top movies of the year. IMDB reviewers say Santa Fe Trail is an inaccurate but honest look at the origins of the Civil War, which is fucking stupid.

Pride and Prejudice (1940, USA)

I think I can only stand upper class twits when they’re being murdered or being decadent. Here they’re fluttering about like butterflies, trying to land advantageous marriages. Good God, why?! Watched: 12 minutes.

The Mummy’s Hand (1940, USA)

A secret Egyptian priesthood has kept a mummy alive but imprisoned for 3000 years. Stupid pseudo-archeologists arrive. Watched: 25 minutes.