San Antonio


1h 51m 1945
San Antonio

Brief Synopsis

A reformed rustler tracks down a band of cattle thieves and tries to reform a crooked dance-hall girl.

Photos & Videos

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Dec 29, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,976ft

Synopsis

By 1877, cattle rustling in Southwest Texas has driven away many cattle ranchers. One who has stayed behind to fight the rustlers is Charlie Bell of San Antonio. When Charlie learns that his friend, Clay Hardin, is planning to return to Texas from his hideaway in Mexico, he crosses the border to warn him that his life has been threatened by the rustlers. Clay responds that he has acquired proof against Roy Stuart, the head of the rustlers, and plans to use it to put Stuart in jail. Despite the efforts of Stuart's men, Clay safely crosses the border and rides into San Antonio in a private coach, which is also carrying singer Jeanne Starr, who has a job singing in Stuart's saloon. Clay attempts to present his evidence, a tally book that records the sale of stolen cattle, to the soldiers at a nearby garrison. In the absence of the commanding officer, however, no action can be taken, and Clay decides to hold on to the tally book for the moment. When Legare, Stuart's partner, learns about Clay's evidence, he wants to obtain the book and use it against Stuart for his own purposes. One night, Jeanne invites Clay to visit her backstage, and Charlie, worried that Jeanne may be involved in a plot against Clay, keeps the tally book. Legare witnesses the exchange, and later, when Stuart tries unsuccessfully to kill Clay, he shoots Charlie and steals the tally book. The murder is witnessed by Sacha Bozic, Jeanne's manager, who fearfully denies that he has seen anything. During the inquiry into Charlie's death, Sacha reveals nothing, but Stuart quickly discovers that Legare committed the murder when he demands that Stuart share his cattle business with him in return for suppressing the evidence. When the cavalry leaves town, Clay is temporarily appointed to be marshal. Stuart then summons all his men to town, and this action convinces Clay that he does not have the tally book himself. Clay tells Stuart that he believes him to be innocent, but refuses to make a deal with him. Clay then arrests Legare, but when they try to leave the saloon, a gunfight ensues and Legare escapes. Stuart chases Legare into the ruins of the Alamo and kills him, and then rides out of town, pursued by Clay. Clay finally catches Stuart, who is killed during the ensuing struggle. Clay returns to San Antonio with the tally book to find that Jeanne is leaving town. He swings aboard her coach and tries to talk her into staying with him. Jeanne inadvertently reveals that she, too, is a Texan and does not protest when Clay orders the coach to return to San Antonio.

Cast

Errol Flynn

Clay Hardin

Alexis Smith

Jeanne Starr

S. Z. "cuddles" Sakall

Sacha Bozic

Victor Francen

Legare

Florence Bates

Henrietta

John Litel

Charlie Bell

Paul Kelly

Roy Stuart

Robert Shayne

Captain Morgan

John Alvin

Pony Smith

Monte Blue

Cleve Andrews

Robert Barrat

Colonel Johnson

Pedro De Cordoba

Ricardo Torreon

Tom Tyler

Lafe McWilliams

Chris-pin Martin

Jaime Rosas

Charles Stevens

Sojer Harris

Poodles Hanneford San Antonio Stage Driver

Doodles Weaver

Entertainer

Dan White

Joey Sims

Ray Spiker

Rebel White

Al Hill

Hap Winters

Wallis Clark

Tip Brice

Harry Cording

Hawker

Chalky Williams

Poker player

Bill Steele

Roper

Howard Hill

Clay's henchman

John Sheridan

Clay's henchman

Allen E. Smith

Clay's henchman

Arnold Kent

Dancer

Joe Dominguez

Subordinate officer

Dan Seymour

Head customs officer

Zedra Conde

Girl bathing

Eva Puig

Old Mexican woman

Dolores Lamar

Girl tying flowers

Norman Willis

Jay Witherspoon

Eddie Acuff

Gawking cowboy

Si Jenks

Station boss

Jasper Palmer

Shot-gun rider

Fernando Alvarado

Mexican messenger boy

Brandon Hurst

Gambler

Robert Dudley

Telegraph operator

Harry Lamont

Waiter

Robert Espinoza

Mexican kid

José Alvarado

Mexican kid

Jack Stroll

Bartender

Fred Kelsey

Bartender

Harry Seymour

Bartender

Francis Ford

Old cowboy

Don Mcguire

Cowboy

John Compton

Cowboy

Brad King

Cowboy

Johnny Miles

Cowboy

Hal Taliaferro

Cowboy

Walter De Palma

Cowboy

Eddie Waller

Cattleman

Henry Hall

Cattleman

James Flavin

Cattleman

Rodney Hildebrand

Cowman

Carl Harbough

Cowman

Lane Chandler

Cowman

William Gould

Wild cowman

Jack Mower

Wild cowman

Film Details

Genre
Adventure
Western
Release Date
Dec 29, 1945
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 51m
Sound
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9,976ft

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1945

Best Song

1945

Articles

San Antonio


Errol Flynn disliked the idea of doing Westerns, certain he was far too "British" and sophisticated for the genre. Yet the Australia native - describing himself as "the rich man's Roy Rogers" - was convincing enough as a Western hero to make a successful string of them between Dodge City (1939) and Rocky Mountain (1950). His greatest Western role was as George Armstrong Custer in They Died with Their Boots On (1941), but despite his success in that he was not eager to strap on a holster again for San Antonio (1945), the tale of a cattleman who returns to Texas from Mexico. Armed with proof that one of San Antonio's leading businessmen is the head of a well-organized gang of cattle thieves, he sets out to clean up the town. Along the way he falls in love (and does a little South of the Border-style dancing) with an entertainer from New York, who at first he suspects of being in cahoots with the rustlers. Filmed mostly at Warner Brothers' Calabasas Ranch in California, the movie includes a rousing shootout in the deserted Alamo.

Flynn's good friend Alexis Smith was cast as the singer from back East, but she was not around for much of the shooting, first because of her obligations to complete production on The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) and second due to a mysterious viral ailment that dragged on for weeks. Smith and Flynn had appeared together prior to this in Dive Bomber (1941) and Gentleman Jim (1942), and would go on to make two more pictures together after San Antonio, including another Western, Montana (1950). She retired from movies after breaking her back in a horseback riding accident during filming of The Young Philadelphians (1959), but after winning a Tony Award for her performance in the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies in 1972, she made a film comeback. She continued to work in both movies and television until her death a few months before the release of her last picture, Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993). Smith was married to actor Craig Stevens (TV's Peter Gunn) from 1944 until she died.

Alexis Smith wasn't the only one whose illness held up production on San Antonio. Flynn caught the flu in the damp outdoor shooting at Calabasas and was out for an extended period. He was still not fully recovered when he finally returned to the set to shoot the climactic free-for-all fight, four months after production began. He was still so sick that many of his shots had to be doubled. The sequence ended up taking 12 days to film and a lot of it had to be redone before the picture could be released. Beyond the illness, however, Flynn was reliable and didn't engage in some of his notorious bad habits; he arrived on the set promptly with his lines memorized and ready to shoot. Production manager Frank Mattison noted rather coldly in his reports, "We'd better not slap him on the back, because it may not happen again."

Although unhappy about doing another Western, Flynn did appreciate the opportunity to learn to play guitar for a ditty he performed on screen called "Put Your Little Foot Out," one of three songs in the movie. Another, "One Sunday Morning" by lyricist Ted Koehler and composers Ray Heindorf and M.K. Jerome, received an Academy Award nomination. Although it didn't win, Heindorf did win for three other pictures out of 15 nominations received over the course of his long, successful film scoring career. Smith's singing of the nominated song here was dubbed, oddly enough considering her Tony win for singing on Broadway. Another irony: although they had Heindorf and company on hand, the studio chose to recycle the Max Steiner theme music from Flynn's earlier Western Dodge City.

San Antonio also got an Oscar® nod for its impressive Technicolor art direction and set decoration but lost to the lavish period adventure-romance Frenchman's Creek (1945).

Director: David Butler
Producer: Robert Buckner
Screenplay: W.R. Burnett, Alan Le May
Cinematography: Bert Glennon
Editing: Irene Morra
Art Direction: Ted Smith
Original Music: Ray Heindorf and M.K. Jerome, Max Steiner
Cast: Errol Flynn (Clay Hardin), Alexis Smith (Jeanne Starr), S.Z. Sakall (Sacha Bozic), Paul Kelly (Roy Stuart), Victor Francen (Legare).
C-109m. Closed captioning.

by Rob Nixon
San Antonio

San Antonio

Errol Flynn disliked the idea of doing Westerns, certain he was far too "British" and sophisticated for the genre. Yet the Australia native - describing himself as "the rich man's Roy Rogers" - was convincing enough as a Western hero to make a successful string of them between Dodge City (1939) and Rocky Mountain (1950). His greatest Western role was as George Armstrong Custer in They Died with Their Boots On (1941), but despite his success in that he was not eager to strap on a holster again for San Antonio (1945), the tale of a cattleman who returns to Texas from Mexico. Armed with proof that one of San Antonio's leading businessmen is the head of a well-organized gang of cattle thieves, he sets out to clean up the town. Along the way he falls in love (and does a little South of the Border-style dancing) with an entertainer from New York, who at first he suspects of being in cahoots with the rustlers. Filmed mostly at Warner Brothers' Calabasas Ranch in California, the movie includes a rousing shootout in the deserted Alamo. Flynn's good friend Alexis Smith was cast as the singer from back East, but she was not around for much of the shooting, first because of her obligations to complete production on The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945) and second due to a mysterious viral ailment that dragged on for weeks. Smith and Flynn had appeared together prior to this in Dive Bomber (1941) and Gentleman Jim (1942), and would go on to make two more pictures together after San Antonio, including another Western, Montana (1950). She retired from movies after breaking her back in a horseback riding accident during filming of The Young Philadelphians (1959), but after winning a Tony Award for her performance in the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies in 1972, she made a film comeback. She continued to work in both movies and television until her death a few months before the release of her last picture, Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence (1993). Smith was married to actor Craig Stevens (TV's Peter Gunn) from 1944 until she died. Alexis Smith wasn't the only one whose illness held up production on San Antonio. Flynn caught the flu in the damp outdoor shooting at Calabasas and was out for an extended period. He was still not fully recovered when he finally returned to the set to shoot the climactic free-for-all fight, four months after production began. He was still so sick that many of his shots had to be doubled. The sequence ended up taking 12 days to film and a lot of it had to be redone before the picture could be released. Beyond the illness, however, Flynn was reliable and didn't engage in some of his notorious bad habits; he arrived on the set promptly with his lines memorized and ready to shoot. Production manager Frank Mattison noted rather coldly in his reports, "We'd better not slap him on the back, because it may not happen again." Although unhappy about doing another Western, Flynn did appreciate the opportunity to learn to play guitar for a ditty he performed on screen called "Put Your Little Foot Out," one of three songs in the movie. Another, "One Sunday Morning" by lyricist Ted Koehler and composers Ray Heindorf and M.K. Jerome, received an Academy Award nomination. Although it didn't win, Heindorf did win for three other pictures out of 15 nominations received over the course of his long, successful film scoring career. Smith's singing of the nominated song here was dubbed, oddly enough considering her Tony win for singing on Broadway. Another irony: although they had Heindorf and company on hand, the studio chose to recycle the Max Steiner theme music from Flynn's earlier Western Dodge City. San Antonio also got an Oscar® nod for its impressive Technicolor art direction and set decoration but lost to the lavish period adventure-romance Frenchman's Creek (1945). Director: David Butler Producer: Robert Buckner Screenplay: W.R. Burnett, Alan Le May Cinematography: Bert Glennon Editing: Irene Morra Art Direction: Ted Smith Original Music: Ray Heindorf and M.K. Jerome, Max Steiner Cast: Errol Flynn (Clay Hardin), Alexis Smith (Jeanne Starr), S.Z. Sakall (Sacha Bozic), Paul Kelly (Roy Stuart), Victor Francen (Legare). C-109m. Closed captioning. by Rob Nixon

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to a September 25, 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, actor Harry Carey was released from the film at his own request because he was dissatisfied with his role. He was to have played Errol Flynn's sidekick. Pre-production press releases included in the file on the film at the AMPAS Library state that former Olympic athelete Jim Thorpe was to play an Indian chief in the picture and Raoul Walsh was scheduled to direct it. Ted Smith and Jack McConaghy received an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration in a color film, and "Some Sunday Morning" was nominated for Best Song.