Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier
Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier is a 1955 adventure film produced by Walt Disney Productions. It is an edited compilation of the first three episodes of the Davy Crockett television miniseries, Davy Crockett Indian Fighter, Davy Crockett Goes to Congress, and Davy Crockett at the Alamo, starring Fess Parker as Davy Crockett.
|Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier|
|Directed by||Norman Foster|
|Produced by||Walt Disney|
|Written by||Tom Blackburn|
|Music by||Thomas W. Blackburn (lyrics)|
Edward H. Plumb (orchestration)
|Cinematography||Charles P. Boyle|
|Edited by||Chester W. Schaeffer|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
|May 25, 1955|
|Box office||$2,150,000 (US)|
Creek Indian Wars
Two Tennessee wilderness settlers, Davy Crockett and his best friend Georgie Russel, volunteer to fight with General Andrew Jackson and Major Tobias Norton in the Creek War (1813-1814). They return home after a successful battle to make sure their families have enough provisions for the winter, rejoining a short time later to find the Americans at a stalemate against the Creeks, with Jackson having gone to New Orleans. Against Norton's orders, Crockett and Russel scout for Creek positions, and Russel is captured.
Crockett tracks the Creeks to their camp, where he challenges the remaining Creek chief, Red Stick, to a tomahawk duel for Russel's life. Crockett wins, but agrees to spare Red Stick's life in exchange for his signing the American peace treaty.
Off to Congress
Crockett and Russel head west to scout virgin territory being opened for settlement, planning to send for Davy's family once a cabin has been built. They acquire a claim after beating Bigfoot Mason in a shooting contest. They learn that Mason is running Native Americans off their land in order to resell it, and befriend a family of Cherokee refugees Mason has victimized. Crockett offers to become the magistrate for the area. Crockett defeats Mason in hand-to-hand combat before arresting him and his surviving accomplice (the other one having been shot dead when he tried to shoot Crockett).
Crockett is convinced to run for the state legislature against Amos Thorpe, a corrupt politician in league with men trying to claim Cherokee lands, who is running unopposed. He then receives a letter from his sister-in-law telling him that his wife has died of a fever. Crockett wins the election handily and becomes a popular member of the Tennessee General Assembly. He reunites with Norton and Andrew Jackson, who is running for President of the United States and convinces him to run for the United States House of Representatives.
After he enters Congress, Norton, trying to pass a bill to usurp Native American treaty lands, has Crockett embark on a speaking tour across the eastern United States to distract him, but Russel learns of the bill and brings Crockett back to Washington to argue against it. Crockett tears the bill in half before leaving, ending his political career.
Crockett decides to join the Battle of the Alamo (1836), joined by a reluctant Russel. While traveling to San Antonio, they are joined by Thimblerig, a riverboat gambler, and Busted Luck, a Comanche tribesman. Reaching the Alamo, they join its defense, though Colonel James Bowie confides that their supplies are dangerously low. Russel manages to slip through the enemy lines to try to bring back help, only to return empty-handed. The Texan garrison withstands several attacks from Mexican troops before being overcome. Russel, Thimblerig, Busted Luck, David Arvedon, Travis, and a bedridden Colonel Bowie are all killed, leaving Crockett the sole defender standing. Crockett kills several Mexicans, though the surrounding Mexican army will inevitably kill him as well.
The three segments comprising the film, which originally aired on Walt Disney's Disneyland, were popular enough for Walt Disney to release them theatrically. The film remains Disney's most successful television film project, inspiring two prequel episodes for the television series which were later released in theaters as Davy Crockett and the River Pirates.
- Fess Parker as Davy Crockett
- Buddy Ebsen as George "Georgie" Russel
- William Bakewell as Tobias Norton
- Basil Ruysdael as Andrew Jackson
- Pat Hogan as Chief Red Stick
- Mike Mazurki as Bigfoot Mason
- Hans Conried as Thimblerig
- Don Megowan as William B. Travis
- Helene Stanley as Polly Crockett
- Kenneth Tobey as James Bowie
- Campbell Brown as Bruno
- Jefferson Thompson as Charlie Two Shirts
- Nick Cravat as Busted Luck
- Jim Maddux as Congressman #1
- Robert Booth as Congressman #2
- Eugene Brindel as Billy Crockett
- Benjamin Hornbuckle as Henderson
- Henry Joyner as Swaney
- Ray Whitetree as Johnny Crockett
- Hal Youngblood as Opponent of political speaker
- Haystacks Calhoun as David Arvedon
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
- Dave Smith. Disney A to Z. Disney Editions, 2006. 161.
- Schneider, Jerry L. (2015). Western Filming Locations Book 1. CP Entertainment Books. Page 116. ISBN 9780692561348.
- Fleming, E.J. (2010). The Movieland Directory: Nearly 30,000 Addresses of Celebrity Homes, Film Locations and Historical Sites in the Los Angeles Area, 1900–Present. McFarland. Page 48. ISBN 9781476604329.