6.6/10
366
15 user 2 critic

Houston: The Legend of Texas (1986)

"From personal heartbreak to the epic fight for liberation, the glory of the Old West is captured in this grand life story of Sam Houston, the man whose bravery and vision led to the creation of Texas." -- from back of box

Director:

Peter Levin

Writers:

Frank Q. Dobbs (story), John Binder (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Elliott ... Sam Houston
Claudia Christian ... Eliza Allen
Devon Ericson ... Tiana Rogers
Michael C. Gwynne ... Mosely Baker
Donald Moffat ... Col. John Allen
John Quade ... Sen. Stansbury
Ned Romero ... Chief John Jolley
William Russ ... William Travis
John P. Ryan ... David Burnett
James Stephens ... Stephen Austin
Richard Yniguez ... Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
Michael Beck ... Jim Bowie
Bo Hopkins ... Col. Sidney Sherman
G.D. Spradlin ... President Andrew Jackson
Ritch Brinkley ... Sen. Buckley
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Storyline

"From personal heartbreak to the epic fight for liberation, the glory of the Old West is captured in this grand life story of Sam Houston, the man whose bravery and vision led to the creation of Texas." -- from back of box

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A TV movie for the CBS network. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie when General Houston is being evacuated on a stretcher on board the river boat one of the cheering men clearly is wearing a wristwatch on his left wrist. See more »

User Reviews

Code Duelo
10 December 2003 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Sam Elliot is one tough pecan in this movie. He snarls, shouts, is shot off his horse (twice), and defies all dissenters whether superiors or subordinates. His is the only memorable face or performance. The names of some of the other characters are familiar from other sources -- Bowie, Travis, and Crockett and Deaf (pronounced "deef", as in the peanut butter) Smith -- but the actors are background whether than figures in this inexpensively made film. (Katherine Ross does what amounts to an uncredited cameo.)

I can't comment on the historical accuracy of the story but it seemed convincing enough to a complete outsider. Well, not complete. I once saw Sam Houston's signature on the register of an inn in Monterey, now converted to a museum.

I also had something of a problem keeping the movement of the various forces straight. When Houston orders a certain bridge to be "cut down" I only know that this will hinder any possible retreat of his own men because one of his staff tells him so. I don't know where the bridge is, or where Santa Ana is in relation to it.

But I suspect the battle scenes are at least as realistic as in John Wayne's "Alamo." In the Wayne movie all of the usual conventions of the old-fashioned Western are adhered to. (One of our men can kill five of theirs, etc.) Here, at least, the viewer learns what scholars have known for years from diaries kept by ordinary Mexican soldiers that happened to surface after the battles. Not all the Texicans fought to the last man at the Alamo. Some surrendered and were executed, including possibly Davey Crockett. And the wounded were bayoneted to death by the victorious Mexicans. It was a hard war. Early on, when one of Houston's staff reveals that he paroled several hundred Mexican soldiers with a promise never to fight against Texans again (it was a common practice at the time), Houston chews him out and declares they'll be back again behind Santa Ana. We presume that what Houston is saying is that the Mexican prisoners should have been executed. At the final battle of San Jacincto, Houston's forces defeat Santa Ana's and take hundreds of prisoners, but we see plenty more fleeing Mexicans being deliberately shot and bayoneted, including an unarmed teen-aged drummer boy. As Robert E. Lee was supposed to have said at Frederickburg, a quarter of a century later, it is well that war is so terrible, otherwise we might come to love it. Fewer John Wayne's dying heroic deaths and more harmless teen-agers deliberately executed might remind us a bit more accurately of what war was (and is) all about.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gone to Texas See more »

Filming Locations:

Laredo, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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