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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

That Character: DAVY CROCKETT?

Autographed Davy Crockett Lobby Card

Davy Crockett (1786-1836) was a frontiersman, politician and fighter from Tennessee. He died March 6, 1836, at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955)Haven't you seen Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier (1955)? Fess Parker starred as Crockett in a total of five episodes of "Disneyland". They were edited into two feature films. The episodes sparked one of the first mass marketing frenzies for television. Parker was THE Davy Crockett for an entire generation.

See these four other wonderful performances, as well.

The Last Command (1955) While John Wayne was under contract with Republic he wanted to film the story of the Alamo, but studio boss Herbert J. Yates would never approve the project. In 1954 Yates hoped to lure Wayne back to the studio by producing an Alamo film. The timing in relation to the Disney project was purely accident. Wayne refused the offer and the film was made as Sterling Hayden as Jim Bowie. Arthur Hunnicutt stole the show as Davy Crockett making this one of my favorite films.
The Alamo (1960) John Wayne started work on his Alamo film in 1959. He originally intended to play the small role of Sam Houston and concentrate on directing the project, but he couldn't get the financing unless he too one of the leads. He chose Crockett. His Crockett wasn't as believable as Fess Parker or Arthur Hunnicutt, but he tried and the film still holds up today.
Davy Crockett At The Fall of The Alamo (1926) Davy Crockett had been the main character in two earlier silent films based on a 19th Century play, but this was the first starring role for the "Historical" Crockett. Cullen Landis, the only Tennessee native to ever play Crockett in film, starred. The film opens with Crockett's defeat for reelection and his resolve to go to Texas. It is interesting, although the only existing print is missing about 10 to 15 minutes. But the Alamo sequences are pretty much intact.
The Alamo (2004) Billy Bob Thornton almost looked like the real Crockett, but the film went to so much trouble to play down the legend that the character became unbelievable as someone who was so well known during his lifetime. It's not bad, but the Wayne film was a lot more fun.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Feb 23 2006 15:58:02 PST

Lobby Card contributed by: Eric Jamborsky
Preprinted inscription reads: Fess Parker as Davy Crockett

I stood in line with several hundred other kids to meet Fess Parker back in the Summer of 1955. I got to shake his hand and he handed me this card with the preprinted signature. Ah, the height of the Davy Crockett craze. --Eric Jamborsky