I just saw something about this movie on a blog not long ago and made a comment, but going back I had no luck in finding it. The Movie I'm talking about is Santa Fe Trail with Errol Flynn, Olivia deHavilland, Ronald Reagan, Raymond Massey, et al. I saw it a long time ago but this time I watched it with the thought that it was about the Santa Fe Trail caravans crossing the prairie. I soon found out that the Santa Fe Trail played only a minor part in it. It wasn't really about the Santa Fe Trail but the abolitionist John Brown and his capture.
Errol Flynn as JEB Stuart and Ronald Reagan as George Custer were sent to Fort Lawrence, the last outpost of civilization at the time. Olivia deHavilland was the daughter of the man who was going to build a railroad to Santa Fe, not Raymond Massey who was playing John Brown, but I don't remember who played the railroad builder. Anyway, the Army was sent to protect them from the assaults of John Brown who was raiding the people going West and taking their supplies and arms. Lo and behold, John Brown raided the caravan of the railroad to get his rifles which were being shipped to him under an assumed name as Bibles, but the Army fought him and his followers off and captured the rifles. Then there was a showdown at Palmyra, Kansas, where John Brown's raiders were decimated and Mr. Brown decided to get the Hell out of Kansas. That's the end of it until Brown shows up in Harper's Ferry launching a surprise attack. Custer and Stuart are in the middle of the battle and finally defeat Brown for all time. Lee J. Cobb plays an army feller named Raydor(?) or Raynor(?) who had to quit the army but was in the same West Point class as Stuart and Custer. He worked for John Brown after the Army and ends up getting shot by John Brown himself when Raydor/Raynor turns on him.
I was hoping that the movie was about the Santa Fe Trail, but was satisfied with the John Brown aspect of it for the reason I commented about earlier, which was that John Brown while being held at Harper's Ferry wrote one of his last letters to a Lora Case, a distant relative. And this brought to mind that Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin, was a distant relative from my mother's branch of the family. The first time I saw this movie, I had no idea that there was this connection to anti-slavery and thought the movie was tiresome and boring, like who was John Brown? When I later got into genealogy and family history, I was really surprised to learn this and, now, I brag on it about every chance I get.This time I thought the movie was an entertaining flick with the actors doing journeyman duty.