Lone Star (1952 film)

Lone Star is a 1952 Western film starring Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Broderick Crawford, Ed Begley, and Lionel Barrymore (in his final role) as President Andrew Jackson. The film also marks the first (uncredited) screen appearance by then-13-year-old George Hamilton, playing beside Barrymore in the role of Jackson's servant.[2]

Lone Star
Theatrical film poster
Directed byVincent Sherman
Produced byZ. Wayne Griffin
Written byBorden Chase
Howard Estabrook
StarringClark Gable
Ava Gardner
Broderick Crawford
Lionel Barrymore
Beulah Bondi
Ed Begley
Music byDavid Buttolph
CinematographyHarold Rosson
Edited byFerris Webster
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • February 8, 1952 (1952-02-08)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.6 million[1]
Box office$3,922,000[1]

The movie is considered both a Western and a romance, set in Texas shortly before statehood.


Devereaux Burke (Clark Gable) gets a personal request from former President Andrew Jackson (Lionel Barrymore) to facilitate the annexation of Texas into the United States. Opposition to annexation is gaining favor because it is mistakenly believed that Texas pioneer Sam Houston (Moroni Olsen) opposes statehood.

The opposition leader is wealthy rancher Thomas Craden (Broderick Crawford), but when Craden is ambushed by Comanches, Dev comes to his rescue. Dev and Craden travel to Austin, where they meet Martha Ronda (Ava Gardner), who runs the local newspaper. Craden does not know Dev supports annexation when he invites him to a dinner he planned that night for a number of senators at his home. When the senators will not all agree to vote against annexation, Craden refuses them permission to leave. Dev is allowed to leave, but soon returns with a group of armed men to rescue the senators and reveal his support for annexation.

The senators inform Dev that Sam Houston is on the other side of the Pecos River, negotiating a peace treaty with the Apache. Dev leaves to find Houston, but is followed by Craden. Dev and Craden find Houston with the Apache. Dev gets a signed letter from Houston telling of Houston's actual position, but the ink smears when Dev falls into a river while fleeing from Craden's men. Dev has difficulty persuading Martha that he is telling the truth, but after confirming the facts with Craden, she publishes the correct story about Houston's position.

When the people of Austin are told the truth of Houston's position, they rally in support of annexation. Craden resorts to force to stop the Texas Congress from voting on annexation. Dev is called on to organize the defense of the Texas Congress. Craden attacks the fort-like congress building with several dozen armed men on horseback. Dev leads the defenders as they repulse two waves of attack, but the battle begins to turn against them during the third wave of attack. Houston arrives with the Apache just in time to end the battle before any senators are killed. Dev and Craden fight each other hand-to-hand until Dev knocks out Craden. Annexation succeeds, Craden concedes, and Dev wins Martha over and saves the day.



According to MGM records, the film made $2,478,000 in the US and Canada and $1,444,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $990,000.[1]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Wilson, Ross (2016). The Language of the Past. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 223. ISBN 9781474246798. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
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