Kit Carson (1940 film)

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Kit Carson
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George B. Seitz
John E. Burch (assistant)
Written by Evelyn Wells
Screenplay byGeorge Bruce
Based onnewspaper serial by Evelyn Wells
Produced by Edward Small
Starring Jon Hall
Lynn Bari
Dana Andrews
Cinematography John J. Mescall
Robert Pittack
Edited byWilliam F. Claxton
Fred R. Feitshans Jr.
Music by Edward Ward
Edward Small Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • August 30, 1940 (1940-08-30)(United States)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States

Kit Carson is a 1940 Western film directed by George B. Seitz and starring Jon Hall as Kit Carson, Lynn Bari as Delores Murphy, and Dana Andrews as Captain John C. Frémont . This picture was filmed on location at Cayente (Kayenta), Arizona [1] and was one of the early films to use Monument Valley as a backdrop. The supporting cast features Ward Bond as a character named "Ape", future Lone Ranger Clayton Moore without his mask, and Raymond Hatton as Jim Bridger.


Plot summary

Kit Carson (Jon Hall) and his two saddle pals, Ape (Ward Bond) and Lopez (Harold Huber) are attacked by Indians. They manage to escape unscathed and make their way to Fort Bridger, where Captain John Fremont (Dana Andrews) hires Carson to guide a wagon train westward to California south along the Oregon Trail. Both Carson and Fremont fall in love with pretty Dolores Murphy (Lynn Bari), on her way to her father's hacienda in Monterey. Meanwhile, General Castro (C. Henry Gordon), the Mexican Governor General of California, arms the Shoshoni Indians in an effort to keep the Americans out of California. [2]



The movie was one of several Edward Small made for United Artists. Victor McLaglen was originally announced for the title role, [3] and then Randolph Scott. [4] Joel McCrea and Henry Fonda were also named. [5]

Jon Hall had just made South of Pago Pago for Edward Small and was borrowed from Samuel Goldwyn Productions. Lynn Bari was borrowed from 20th Century Fox. Filming started on March 10, 1940. [6] It was shot on location in Kayenta, Arizona. [7]

The film was later remade as Frontier Uprising (1961).


Filmink felt that Hall was not comfortable in the lead role but the film was "saved by its production values and support cast". [8]

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  1. "Kit Carson". Turner Classic Movies . Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  2. "Kit Carson (1940) - George B. Seitz | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie".
  3. DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (October 17, 1939). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Metro Will Make Picture of 'Escape,' Novel About Actress Held in Concentration Camp JAMES STEWART FILM DUE Music Hall's 'Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Here Thursday --Another Opening Listed John Stahl Leaves Universal Role for Marjorie Rambeau". New York Times. p. 30.
  4. DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (April 10, 1940). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Metro Will Produce 'Escape,' With Norma Shearer and Robert Taylor in Leads TWO FILMS OPEN TODAY Dr. Cyclops' in Local Premiere at Paramount--Criterion Bills 'One Was Beautiful' Roosevelt Changes Plans Role for Humphrey Bogart". New York Times. p. 35.
  5. "32 FILMS ON LIST OF UNITED ARTISTS: Pictures by Eleven Producers to Be Released by Company During 1939–40 Season LEAD FOR JASCHA HEIFETZ Will Star in Goldwyn's 'Music School'--'Rebecca' and 'My Son, My Son!' on Schedule Leslie Howard to Star "Of Mice and Men Listed"". New York Times. May 8, 1939. p. 23.
  6. DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (May 1, 1940). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: Melvyn Douglas Gets Lead in Story of Refugee in Paris-- Wendy Barrie Signed NEW ITALIAN FILM TODAY Opens at Cine Roma--Helen Vinson Here After Playing in New Cagney Picture Of Local Origin". New York Times. p. 31.
  7. "Hawaiian Plays Indian in Film". Los Angeles Times. September 20, 1940. p. A13.
  8. Vagg, Stephen (April 9, 2022). "The Campy, Yet Surprisingly Interesting Cinema of Jon Hall". Filmiink.