Movie Review – ‘Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Last week on Good Friday, my parents and I watched ‘Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier’ on Disney+. It was a Disney film my Dad wanted to watch since he used to watch ‘Davy Crockett’ when it was shown on TV when he was a kid. I was intrigued about this film and I agreed that we should watch it.

This film was released in 1955, although it’s more an edited and re-cut compilation of three TV episodes from the ‘Davy Crocket’ TV series shown from 1954 to 1955. I didn’t know this when watching the film with my parents last Good Friday and it was after watching the film I discovered it.

The ‘Davy Crockett’ film being a compilation of three episodes reminds me of ‘The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ movies being film versions of the episodes shown on TV. ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’ is also like that by having three short cartoon films compiled together as one film.

The three episodes of ‘Davy Crockett’ compiled together as a film include ‘Davy Crockett Indian Fighter’, ‘Davy Crockett Goes to Congress’ and ‘Davy Crockett at the Alamo’. The film stars as Fess Parker as Davy Crockett! Davy Crockett was a real-life person who lived in America during the 1800s.

The film’s first third has Davy Crockett fighting in the Creek Indian wars from 1813 to 1814 with his best friend Buddy Ebsen as George Russell. The film’s second third has Davy Crockett and George Russell be involved with politics as they sort out disputes between Americans and Native Americans.

The final third of the film has Davy and George joining in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 where the Texan garrison led by Colonel Jamie Bowie are besieged by Mexican troops. The film concludes with Davy Crockett being the sole defender of the Alamo before the Mexican army inevitably kills him. 😦

I must admit I was rather disappointed with the way the film ended. I suppose the film does provide some historical value especially with depicting who Davy Crockett was since I’ve not come across him before. But it does not help when you have to put up with a ballad being repeatedly sung in this.

Yeah, throughout the film we get ‘The Ballard of Davy Crockett’ sung throughout the film with lyrics by Tom Blackburn, music by George Bruns and sung by the Wellingtons. I admit it is way better than ‘The Ballard of the Last Chance Saloon’ as sung in the ‘Doctor Who’ TV story ‘The Gunfighters’.

But to have the film end where Davy Crockett is about to be killed and ‘The Ballard of Davy Crockett’ is sung happily over a depressing note is rather abrupt. The song should at least lean towards a more sombre approach to indicate the sad passing of Davy Crockett rather than sound so happy about it.

I also feel the film is rather all over the place. It starts being about Davy Crockett helping out in a war between Americans and Indians before he gets involved in politics before ending up fighting in a last stand against Mexicans. Davy Crockett also loses his wife and her death happens to be off-screen. 😦

I wish more time was devoted to Davy Crockett’s family rather than seeing him go off fighting in wars with his best friend George Russell. Mind you, I’ll admit that the friendship between Davy and George is touching, especially since these two have been at each other’s sides throughout the film.

Like with 1960’s ‘Swiss Family Robinson’, ‘Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier’ comes with a ‘content advisory warning’. There are Indians appearing in the film that often look like Japanese people to me. Things were done pretty differently in the 1950s with American films and TV shows. 😐

There is another ‘Davy Crockett’ film called ‘Davy Crockett and the River Pirates’ based on the last two episodes of the ‘Davy Crockett’ TV series. Apparently ‘The River Pirates’ happens to be a prequel to ‘King of the Wild Frontier’. I wouldn’t have guessed that fact had I not looked up on the Internet.

So yeah, ‘Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier’ isn’t really my cup of tea. I appreciate its historical value and I’m glad my Dad enjoyed the film. Maybe it’s too sophisticated for me, especially in terms of the politics aspects of the film, but it’s not really a film I would want to watch over and over again.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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