Film Review – SANTA FE (1951)

Image result for santa fe 1951SANTA FE (USA, 1951) *
     Distributor: Columbia Pictures; Production Company: Scott-Brown Productions; Release Date: 1 April 1951; Filming Dates: mid Jine 1950 – late June 1950; Running Time: 87m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric Recording); Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Spherical; Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1; BBFC Cert: U.
     Director: Irving Pichel; Writer: Kenneth Gamet (based on a story by Louis Stevens and the novel by Donald G. Payne (as James Marshall)); Producer: Harry Joe Brown; Director of Photography: Charles Lawton Jr.; Music Composer: Paul Sawtell; Film Editor: Gene Havlick; Art Director: Walter Holscher; Set Decorator: Frank Tuttle; Sound: Frank Goodwin.
     Cast: Randolph Scott (Britt Canfield), Janis Carter (Judith Chandler), Jerome Courtland (Terry Canfield), Peter M. Thompson (Tom Canfield (as Peter Thompson)), John Archer (Clint Canfield), Warner Anderson (Dave Baxter), Roy Roberts (Cole Sanders), Billy House (Luke Plummer), Olin Howland (Dan Dugan (as Olin Howlin)), Allene Roberts (Ella Sue Canfield), Jock Mahoney (Crake (as Jock O’Mahoney)), Harry Cording (Moose Legrande), Sven Hugo Borg (‘Swede’ Swanstrom), Frank Ferguson (Marshal Bat Masterson), Irving Pichel (Harned), Harry Tyler (Rusty), Chief Thundercloud (Chief Longfeather), Paul E. Burns (Uncle Dick Wootton).
     Synopsis: After the Civil War four brothers who fought for the South head west. Yanks are building the Santa Fe Railroad and one of the brothers joins them. The other three still hold their hatred of the North and join up with those trying to stop the railroad’s completion.
     Comment: Disjointed and unevenly directed Western still has its moments, but it uneasily blends melodrama with comic relief. Whilst Scott is as capable as ever in the lead, the film is not one of his best. The story puts Scott up against his brothers in the aftermath of the Civil War. What follows is largely episodic but confines its focus to the construction race and the associated incidents. There is no real standout in production or performance other than Scott’s typically stoic persona and some nice moments of comic relief.