Davy Crockett and his sidekick Georgie compete against boastful Mike Fink ("King of the River") in a boat race to New Orleans. Later, Davy and Georgie, allied with Fink, battle a group of ... See full summary »
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Davy Crockett and his sidekick Georgie compete against boastful Mike Fink ("King of the River") in a boat race to New Orleans. Later, Davy and Georgie, allied with Fink, battle a group of river pirates trying to pass themselves off as Native Americans. Written by
Ken Miller <email@example.com>
Sometimes a film is powerful because it WAS powerful.
This is an amazingly dumb movie but perhaps no dumber in extremes than today's. The reason it might be on your radar is because of how influential it was.
It was the first movie with multimedia tie-ins. You could buy Davey Crockett hats and weapons. And lunchboxes stuff like that. That wasn't all that extraordinary then. But this was also the first movie that was also a theme park ride. So it is the beginning of a food chain that leads us to the Depp pirate projects. That Davey Crockett ride lasted 40 years! (Incidentally, students of film will see blocking similarities between Depp's boat ride in the bayou and Parker's.)
Its also one of the movies most obviously designed for boys. Here you have guys pretending to be Indians and dying by falling down. You have water play. You have racing. You have tricksters.
And most of all, you have a juvenile version of that John Ford/ John Wayne meme: real men achieve honor through recreational fighting.
Seeing it again fifty years later is very strange. Young people watch movies more closely than adults I think. I remembered the smallest details, like the lettering on barrels, which incidentally was inspired by the Our Gang/Little Rascals cosmology that things become props by labelling them.
There are no "girls;" this is strictly boy's play. The only time girlie stuff appears is when the pirates try to attract Mike Fink's crew to an ambush. They do this by dressing up as floozies, which of course he cannot resist.
And its also an influential film in melding a certain collection of values to a certain collection of cultural carriers.
The values are honesty, plainspokenness, insight outside of book-larnin', loyalty (at least among men). The cultural carriers today are what's been labelled as "country" music (and its advertising affiliate, NASCAR).
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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