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Reginald Le Borg
In 1775, Daniel Boone leads thirty settler families to Kentucky where they face two threats: Indian raiders led by renegade white Simon Girty, who opposes settlement; and the schemes of effete Stephen Marlowe to seize title to the new lands. Perils, battles, escapes, and a love interest round out the story. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
A well-crafted script efficiently sets up three areas of conflict: white settlers in 1775 Kentucky vs. local Indians stirred up by a renegade named Simon Girty; these same white settlers vs. corrupt officials back in Richmond; and he-man Daniel Boone vs. fancy-man Stephen Marlowe for the affections of the beautiful Virginia Randolph. These conflicts are woven together into a briskly-paced frontier drama which, while showing its age, still holds one's interest. Its chief fault is an ending which, at least on the tape available, seems unfocused and a bit confusing.
Though not well remembered today, leading man George O'Brien was a popular actor in late silents and early talkies. During a fight scene in 1924's "The Iron Horse" his shirt was torn off and audiences got an uncommon eyeful of "beefcake" which earned for O'Brien a nickname: the Chest. Though only 35 or 36 years old when he filmed "Daniel Boone," O'Brien shows signs of middle-age in the form of a somewhat expanded waistline but he's still featured in an extended "beefcake" scene. Captured by Indians he's tied, shirtless, to a post and soon surrounded by burning piles of wood. His bindings allow him to move in a tight circle around the post, (an authentic touch), so O'Brien sweats and squirms as he tries to avoid the tongues of flame. It's a good scene but cut far too short by an all-too-easy rescue. (A shirtless O'Brien also suffered through a prison flogging in 1928's "Honor Bound" but prints of this movie seem to be unavailable.)
John Carradine makes a hissable villain and Heather Angel is an appropriately pretty heroine but Ralph Forbes seems a bit "too, too" as the no-good Stephen Marlowe. No woman would regard him as a serious competitor for George O'Brien! Black actor Clarence Muse has a role surprisingly free of most of the era's usual stereotypes.
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