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The First Texan (1956)

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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 197 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

After arriving in Texas to escape a scandal back east, lawyer Sam Houston just wants to hang out his shingle, keep a low profile, and stay out of any political intrigue. However, when ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Katherine Delaney
Jeff Morrow ...
Wallace Ford ...
Henry Delaney
...
Don Carlos - magistrate
Jody McCrea ...
Lt. Baker
Chubby Johnson ...
...
Dayton Lummis ...
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ...
Col. Cos (as Rodolfo Hoyos)
...
Col. Sam Sherman
David Silva ...
Frank Puglia ...
Pepe (San Antonio Hotel owner)
...
...
Col. Hockley
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Storyline

After arriving in Texas to escape a scandal back east, lawyer Sam Houston just wants to hang out his shingle, keep a low profile, and stay out of any political intrigue. However, when President Jackson personally orders him to lead the fight for Texan independence, he overcomes his reluctance to become involved and leads his compatriots to a string of victories over the Mexican army. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A GIANT OF A MAN...IN A GIANT OF A LAND! Tall in the saddle, restless of heart...he ranged across a violent land, forging an era with cold steel! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 June 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Held von Texas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: On the first day of December, in 1832, a man rode up to a muddy stream called the Red River. When he crossed this river, he was in Texas. He was a man in search of a new life, because his previous one had left him desolated and sick at heart. He was a man of size and strength and he had history in his hands. His name was Sam Houston.
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Connections

Version of Man of Conquest (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Texan
Written by Paul Sawtell and McElbert Moore
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User Reviews

 
Sam Houston Deserves A Broader More Expensive Production
27 March 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite characters in American history has always been Sam Houston. I've tried to read everything I could about the man and his life and work. It's a story that has its protagonist at the center of all kinds of events in our history from the Indian Wars of the South serving with Andrew Jackson even before The Battle of New Orleans right up to his heroic fight to keep Texas in the United States before the Civil War. His is the story of America during her growing years.

We've never really had an adequate biographical film of Houston. Sam Elliott did a very good job covering a period between his abrupt resignation as Governor of Tennessee right up to the events of San Jacinto in a made for TV film, J.D. Cannon in an acclaimed episode for the Profiles in Courage series did a wonderful job dramatizing those events as Governor of Texas as he led the losing battle for the union. Houston has been played on the screen by such people as Richard Dix, Richard Boone, Stacy Keach, and here by Joel McCrea.

Had this film been given a really top production by a major studio like Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, etc. this could have been one epic film. Joel McCrea is superb casting in the role, Houston was a big man, well over six feet tall and McCrea certainly is impressive physically that way. The problem is that this was done by Allied Artists, Monogram Pictures dressed up so to speak. If The First Texan had a decent budget, someone like John Ford or Raoul Walsh to direct it, Houston might have had a biographical film worthy of the man.

The facts as to the Battle of San Jacinto are pretty accurately set down. The romance McCrea is given with Felicia Farr is something else. Houston was divorced from his first wife Eliza Allen and did not marry Margaret Lea until the middle of the 1840s after Eliza died. Divorce was mighty rare in those days.

Joel McCrea is always a favorite of mine as a cowboy hero, it's with great reluctance I give The First Texan a less than stellar review, but the subject deserves a lot better than a B western from Allied Artists.

Maybe Sam Houston will one day get either a film or a mini-series worthy of him. Until then I suggest one read Marquis James's biography of him. James is one great writer his prose is practically lyrical and you'll get a great feel for the subject in reading him.


13 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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