‘Daniel Boone’ opens at the Palace

Posted by | October 24, 2007

NY TIMES (Oct 24, 1936): “Further evidence of Hollywood’s knack of distorting historical characters into stock figures of blood-and-thunder fiction is presented at the Palace in “Daniel Boone,” which purports to be a reasonably accurate chronicle of the frontiersman’s trek with a party of settlers from Yadkin, N. C., across the trackless Cumberland Mountains up into the fertile country that now is Kentucky.

George O'Brien as Daniel Boone“Though the film is supposed to be a chapter from the trapper’s life, it resembles a dozen others of a genre which languished when the screen started to talk. With such hoary tradition behind it, the new photoplay could not have failed to be a visually exciting cowboy and Indian drama.

“Among the stock story devices note Daniel tied to the flame-encircled stake, his miraculous escape when the faithful Black Eagle tosses a tomahawk from a cliff and cuts the ties that bind him, Daniel’s flight through underbrush and over mountain with five tribes on his trail, and finally the hand-to-hand struggle with the renegade Simon Girty on the edge of a cliff.

scene from Daniel Boone (1936)“For all his physical prowess, George O’Brien manages to project Daniel Boone as a shy, unassuming adventurer, which is presumably what the man was. John Carradine plays Simon Girty with all the malice he can command, and sets a new high in facial contortions. Helpful bits are contributed by Heather Angel as the dreamy-eyed girl who wins Boone’s heart, George Regas as Black Eagle, Ralph Forbes and Clarence Muse.”

Daniel+Boone George+O’Brien appalachia appalachia+history appalachian+culture appalachian+mountains+history

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