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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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sam Houston
... Eliza Allen
... Tiana Rogers
... Mosely Baker
... Col. John Allen
... Sen. Stansbury
... Chief John Jolley
... William Travis
... David Burnett
... Stephen Austin
... Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
... Jim Bowie
... Col. Sidney Sherman
... President Andrew Jackson
... 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

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22 November 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gone to Texas  »

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1.33 : 1
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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 »

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User Reviews

 
History's harsh reality
27 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Of all the movies I've come across dealing with early Texas history (various versions of The Alamo, Michener's Texas, Texas Rangers, King of Texas, Two for Texas), this is by far the best.

No sugar-coating here. Instead of loading on the usual simplistic blather about heroic Texas revolutionaries fighting for "freedom" (these were slave-owners; they wanted the "freedom" to own human beings), this movie makes the point early on that self-serving adventurers from the US were scheming to take Texas from Mexico long before the revolution came. Jim Bowie is seen inviting Houston to do just that; Houston, drunk with his Indian compatriots, dreams of seizing Texas and making it an Indian Republic (with himself at the head, naturally). For such "dreams of freedom" to take place, a lot of people will have to die, but when ruthless men believe in their own manifest destiny, nothing must get in the way of their empire-building. Thus the J.R. Ewing mentality of Texas was set from the very beginning...and continues to this day, with our war-mongering Texas president.

Are men like Houston (or Julius Caesar, or Napoleon, or George Bush) admirable? Frankly, after living 50 years on this planet, I've had my fill of these dangerous egomaniacs, but for better or worse they are the types who make history for the rest of us, so any work that offers insight into their personalities and careers is interesting to watch. Most movies that portray the Texas revolutionaries reflexively offer brain-dead patriotic pabulum; they're fairy-tales for adults who think like children. The script for this movie offers far more to think about.

Even the most justified wars are always fought for someone's profit, and atrocities always take place on both sides. And yet, at the outset of every war, a large component of the population goes forth with stars in their eyes, thinking that god must be on their side and that everything will be just wonderful. What's truly reprehensible is to look back on those wars in retrospect with the same stars in your eyes, instead of training a hard, unflinching gaze on the cruel and ugly realities of history and the types of men who make it. This movie does that to a greater degree than most, and for that I give it credit.


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