Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955)

davy crocket king of the wild frontier poster 1955 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 5/10

The middle part of the movie might be the most interesting

Stock footage, dated references

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Davy Crockett:  King of the Wild Frontier

Studio:  Walt Disney Productions

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Western/Family

Release Date(s):  May 25, 1955

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

davy crockett king of the wild frontier vs red sticks fess parker pat hogan

You have a right to your land…but I’m still going to fight you!

Davy Crockett (Fess Parker) finds himself as a war hero with his friend Georgie Russell (Buddy Ebsen) as he serves as a scout for Andrew Jackson (Basil Ruysdael) during the Creek War.  With a growing name and popularity, Davy moves to politics and finds himself fighting for the people of Tennessee in Congress.  When the wilderness calls for Davy again, Davy finds himself headed south and in the fight of his life at the Alamo.

Directed by Norman Foster, Davy Crockett:  King of the Wild Frontier is a Western action movie.  The film was a reediting of the “Davy Crockett” episodes of Disneyland which aired December 15, 1954, January 26, 1955, and February 23, 1955 as “Davey Crockett Indian Fighter”, “Davy Crockett Goes to Congress”, and Davey Crockett at the Alamo”.

davy crockett king of the wild frontier fess parker congress

I’m a simple man…and I just want you guys to quit being dicks.

Davy Crockett was in the ranks of Daniel Boone, the Lone Ranger, and Zorro growing up.  He was a combination of history, fiction, and modern myth.  It was unclear where the fictional Davy Crockett began and the real Davy Crockett began.  While a lot of the history of Davy Crockett:  King of the Wild Frontier, is exaggerated, a lot of it is basically true.

The movie has a weird flow to it since it was originally a TV show.  The film as a result is broken into three parts.  The first part of the movie is the part you heard about a lot as a kid with Davy fighting Native Americans, bears, and exploring the wild.  The final part also was popular with the fall of the Alamo…but the middle part was often glazed over.  Weirdly, it is this middle part which helps define the character.  His politics and actions aren’t of a person who “fought Indians” but someone who believed in sharing the land and honoring the law…it should be his legacy, but it isn’t really.

davy crockett king of the wild frontier alamo fess parker buddy ebsen

Wow, Buddy…tough luck. I stole this from you…and you lost out on being the Tin Man…maybe you’ll strike it rich in oil

Fess Parker has a lot spunk but down home feel as Davy Crockett.  The role originally was going to go to Parker’s partner in crime Buddy Ebsen, but Parker’s performance in Them! won him the title role.  The film of course has a lot of questionable portrayals of Native Americans and Mexicans, and generally now runs with a warning about these portrayals.

Visually the movie is a hodgepodge.  There are some nice, classic Western scenes, but they are often mixed with stock footage.  Davy might look over at a prairie dog and the stock footage of a prairie dog shows up.  This type of thing happens throughout the movie with things like alligators and bears.

Davy Crockett:  King of the Wild Frontier is what you’d expect from it and a Disney series at the time.  Having seen it in pieces growing up in Walt Disney reruns, it is nice to see it clean and restored.  The movie’s popularity led to a TV sequel, and the follow-up series were also collected into a movie.  Davy Crockett:  King of the Wild Frontier was followed by Davy Crockett and the River Pirates in 1956.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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