KID SHIRT

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SANTA FE TRAIL (1940)

Warner Bros. rewrite history w/ this simplistically reductive retelling of the John Brown/Harper's Ferry incident that preceeded the US Civil War, featuring Sean's dad Errol and The Gipper:



Also starring the hugely underrated Van Heflin, this film portrays Slave Abolishionists as villains w/ Ramond Massey playing Brown as a bug-eyed religious psycho who wants to arm the slaves and unleash a racial bloodbath. I never realised before that (alleged anti-semite) Errol Flynn can't actually fucking act...he's loads worse than his side-kick Ronnie R, who spends the whole film riding slightly behind him, grinning like a chimp or an android or a slightly disturbing ventriloquist's dummy...the battle scenes are v. well choreographed w/ loads of exploding walls and a rather vicious sabre-charge (on foot!) by the US cavalry...freed slaves show their gratitude by singing Christian spirituals, zillions of horses are maimed by trip-wires and have to be put down (one does a somersault! and there's a multi-horse pile-up at one point..), stunt-men fall under wagons or are gratuitously trampled by stampeding ponies and there's a comedy barber and some singing cowboys (Alan Hale & Guin 'Big Boy' Williams)...the only thing missing is a camp-fire singalong featuring The Ku Klux Klan...

An extremely guilty pleasure.

1980

Somerset Punk/post-Punk legends.

I'll try and dig some posters and stuff out the attic to complement this...