The First Texan


THE FIRST TEXAN—-boring 82 minutes of nonsense about Sam Houston (Joel McCrea) and the Texan Revolution of 1835-36. One historical mistake after another, and no fun, either (the greatest sin). In the soup are Felicia Farr, Jeff Morrow, Wallace Ford, Abraham Sofaer, Jody McCrea, William Hopper, Rodolpho Hoyos, Roy Roberts and James Griffith.

The earlier Sam Houston biopic, 1939s Man Of Conquest, with Richard Dix, is at least zesty, whereas this 1956 slog takes the drama out of the desperate contest waged for the northernmost province of Old Mexico, and dulls the can’t-lose personalities of Houston, Bowie, Travis, Crockett, Santa Anna and “Andy ‘by-God’ Jackson“. Directed by Byron Haskin, who had done much better work (Treasure Island, His Majesty O’Keefe, The Naked Jungle, The War Of The Worlds).

If you want error-riddled movies on the frontier folks and momentous events, stick with The Last Command and The Alamo: you may not get educated but at least you’ll get some big bangs for your bucks. This one did gross $2,900,000.


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