Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Cashing in on the surprise success of his 1954 Davy Crockett TV miniseries (first presented on the weekly anthology Disneyland), Walt Disney assembled the three hour-long "Crockett" episodes into a 93 minute theatrical feature. While the re-editing process has created a few noticeable continuity gaps, the results are by and large satisfying: certainly audiences in 1955 were satisfied, if box office returns are any indication (and, of course, they are). Fess Parker plays Davy Crockett, Tennessee-born frontiersman, while Buddy Ebsen (Disney's original choice for Crockett) co-stars as Davy's sidekick George Russell. The film is divided into three long episodes, each separated by a title card. Part one shows Crockett the Indian fighter (politically correct? Of course not!); part two finds Davy winning a seat in the Nashville legislature, where his heroism is rather cynically exploited by presidential candidate Andrew Jackson (Basil Ruysdael); and part three concludes at the Alamo, with a discreet cutaway just before Davy meets his doom at the hands of Mexican general Santa Anna. Also appearing in this jerry-built film are Hans Conried as Thimblerig and Helene Stanley as Davy's wife Polly. And who could forget "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"--not to mention those neato coonskin caps? Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier was followed in 1956 by a "prequel" (likewise cobbled together from three Disneyland episodes), Davy Crockett and the River Pirates.
frontiersman, friendship, wilderness