Walt Disney Treasures: Davy Crockett - The Complete Televised Series
DVD | Box Set
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All 5 episodes of Walt Disney's Davy Crockett series chronicling the adventures of the King of the Wild Frontier. Beginning with Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter and featuring Davy's adventures all the way up to the Alamo, these classic adventures are fun for the whole family. Introduction by Leonard Maltin.
Episodes: Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter; Davy Crockett Goes to Congress; Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race; Davy Crockett and the River Pirates; Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
Available uncut for the first time, the five episodes of Davy Crockett that aired on Walt Disney's "Disneyland" show (1954-55) launched one of the great pop culture crazes of the '50s. An estimated $300 million worth of Crockett merchandise was sold during the first eight months of the craze, including 10 million "coonskin" caps. Disney didn't spend a lot on the original episodes, but as host Leonard Maltin observes, the colorful location and matte shots distinguished Davy Crockett from the cheesy-looking westerns of the 1950s. The three original episodes were later recut into the theatrical feature Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955); the more comic adventures from the second season that introduced the flamboyant riverman Mike Fink (Jeffrey York) became Davy Crockett and the River Pirates (1956). Tall and ruggedly handsome, if somewhat limited as an actor, Fess Parker was effective as the laconic frontiersman. The more experienced Buddy Ebsen (playing sidekick Georgie Russel) carried many of their scenes. Fifty years later, Davy Crockett remains an engaging example of national myth making. Younger viewers may be surprised to find this straightforward hero retains much of his appeal in an uncertain time. --Charles Solomon
- Only 150,000 sets issued
- Disc One
- Davy Crockett Indian Fighter
- Davy Crockett Goes to Congress
- Davy Crockett at the Alamo
- Disc Two
- Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race
- Davy Crockett and the River Pirates
- Supplemental Features
- "A Conversation with Fess Parker" Leonard Maltin & Fess Parker
- "The Davy Crockett Craze" with Leonard Maltin
- Easter Egg: "The Ballad of Davy Crockett"
- Still Gallery
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The five TV episodes aired when I was five and six years old, and I immediately became one of the millions of kids with coonskin caps, buckskin jackets, and toy flintlocks, and I spent days searching the woods for Indians and guarding the front porch from marauding Mexicans with their ladders. ... Now, almost a half-century later, I got to watch the originals again-and they seem as fresh and new as the first time I saw them. Davy and Georgie in one exciting adventure after another, just enough talking to sustain the plot, right triumphs over wrong, and an unforgettable song that ties everything together periodically.
The story is hardly historically accurate, but who cares? It's also not p.c.: Davy fought Indians and helped establish Texas, which for a short time was a slave state. If they made this movie today, I guess they'd have to drag the viewers through the p.c. mud. But in that sense, frankly, the movie is a refreshing change from the revisionist frontier dreck made today. ...
Davy's ultimate fall at the Alamo was well-staged and quite moving, perhaps a little much for the younger kids, and perhaps the impetus for the softer Mike Fink comedies that followed. And comedies they were, with dozens of comic elements inserted into supposedly serious stories: bad guys slipping on molasses, Mike Fink ripping the top off the bar, Mike's crew in comic book fights, and so on. And though the pirates dressed as Indians rain a hail of bullets on Mike, Davy, and the rest of the good guys, no one is ever hit. But I love it.
The VHS tapes were fine, but the DVD is clearly superior. For me, and I suspect a lot of others of my generation, these are true treasures.
Now, 15 years later, I entreat Disney to release this version, all five episodes, on Blu Ray. They have released the truncated versions on Blu Ray, so why not give the Blu Ray treatment to the clearly superior, and complete, version? Come on, Disney, do the world a favor!
Fess Parker is the image many people think of when they hear the name Davy Crockett and its for a reason. Parker's performance is truly great as the frontiersman, hunter, adventurer, and Congressman, Davy Crockett. Equally as good is Buddy Ebsen as Georgie Russel, Davy's loyal sidekick. The relationship the two men have is what holds all of these episodes together. The series also starred William Bakewell as Major Norton, Basil Ruysdael as Andrew Jackson, Pat Hogan as Chief Red Stick, Mike Mazurki as Bigfoot Mason, Hans Conreid as Thimblerig, Nick Cravat as Busted Luck, Kenneth Tobey in two roles as Jim Bowie and Jocko, and Jeff York as Mike Fink. The DVD offers all five episodes(Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter, Davy Crockett Goes to Congress, Davy Crockett at the Alamo, Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race, and Davy Crockett and the River Pirates), introductions by Leonard Maltin, an extensive photo gallery, an interview with Fess Parker, and a mini-documentary about the Crockett craze. Fans of this great tv series should have this DVD in their collection. Check out this DVD!
The DVD quality here is both great and not so great.
1) First of all, [...it] indicates there is a hidden "Easter Egg", THE BALLAD OF DAVY CROCKETT sung by Fess Parker. I finally found it! "Right click" on the second selection on disc 2, which highlights Davy's cap. Then press ENTER.
2) The color on the DVD is superb, the sharpness is OK but the cleanliness of the films is less than I expected. I would have thought that every frame would have been digitally remastered, but no...some frames show spots, dirt and lines running down the screen.
3) Each show has multiple chapters as one would expect, BUT THE CHAPTERS ARE NOT LISTED ON THE MENU. Nor is there a detailed listing of the chapters and what they are about. I thought that was very strange.
(With the less than perfect frames and the lack of menu chapters, probably the Disney folks rushed to get this out before Christmas.)
4) In an earlier [...] customer review, someone indicated that there really was no George Russel. That's not true! He wasn't around all the time like Disney's Georgie, but he was indeed a friend of Davy's and written in Crockett's memoirs.
Now that Disney has given us Crockett fans what we wanted, we must force them to publish SONG OF THE SOUTH. The movie is no more politically incorrect than CABIN IN THE SKY or GREEN PASTURES, which are both currently in print. Michael Eisner ... what do you say?