Santa Fe Trail/Abilene Town

Santa Fe Trail/Abilene Town

Director: Edwin L. Marin, Michael Curtiz Cast: Errol Flynn, Helen Boyce

DVD (Pan & Scan)


This two-on-one DVD is a mixed bag as far as quality goes -- Santa Fe Trail, the much better-known of the two movies and the more easily available, looks somewhat better than passable, in a decent master with good sound. Abilene Town is a lot less common and a pretty special film, but it is of substandard quality here as most DVDs go. For those unfamiliar with the film, Randolph Scott plays Dan Mitchell, the tough, soft-spoken town marshal of Abilene, KS, in the 1870s, amid the great cattle drives, who finds himself caught between the merchants and the saloon-keepers in a showdown over who will run the town. He's also caught between nice girl Rhonda Fleming and saloon singer Ann Dvorak. The complexities are nearly as involved as those in High Noon, and there's enough plot and characterization here for a two-hour movie. The film-to-video transfer looks almost like a one-light job, which is to say, the kind of old-style, down-and-dirty film-to-video work that used to be done in the '70s, in which there is no contrast or brightness adjustment for changes in the condition of the film materials, just a straight transfer with one setting for the equipment. At 16 minutes in, a reel-change point is especially jarring, going from decent contrast to a couple of very bright, over-saturated minutes before settling down. Most of the movie looks better than that, but there are scratches in evidence throughout and some frame damage in various spots. The movie is good enough to overcome these drawbacks for the genre fan or anyone who wants a diverting 90 minutes. The $15 list price is just about right, at least until a better version of Abilene Town comes along. The chapter encoding is limited in scope, especially on Santa Fe Trail, which is a long movie with a lot more than seven key scenes worth marking. The menu pops up automatically after a two-minute introduction to Marengo Films.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/27/2001
UPC: 0807013000528
Rating: NR
Source: Marengo Films
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [Full Frame]
Time: 3:20:00

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Abilene Town
0. Chapter Selection
1. Chapter 1 [10:39]
2. Chapter 2 [12:05]
3. Chapter 3 [9:25]
4. Chapter 4 [12:11]
5. Chapter 5 [9:13]
6. Chapter 6 [10:47]
Side #1 -- Santa Fe Trail
0. Chapter Selection
1. Chapter 1 [4:51]
2. Chapter 2 [5:38]
3. Chapter 3 [4:35]
4. Chapter 4 [7:15]

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