Disney, if you’re listening, you may want to close your ears for this one. I love you but hoo-boy I did not love 1955’s Davy Crockett.
Have you ever “hate-watched” something? A show you were suckered into, don’t like, but ultimately need to see the end? How about a reality show with a cast of characters you despise, but continue to tune in because you just have to follow along? Or here’s a good one, your spouse or significant other loves some God-awful show or movie and because you are the best partner you can be, you’re right in there watching it too! And you only heavily sigh when the show starts or when they put on another episode, and that my friends, is kindness in restraint.
The thing about the “hate-watch” though, is that there is the element of a guilty pleasure in there. You like watching it, despite any irritation you may have.
My friends. Davy wasn’t a hate-watch for me. Ten minutes in I realized it was an obligation-watch. I finished it for the purpose of this blog, and this blog only, and I’m wrestling with how much of a rule-follower I need to be in terms of whether I watch the sequel, or skip it. (Please oh please oh please let me skip it!)
4 Reasons I Must Be Forgiven for Skipping the next Crockett
1. Is there anything behind those eyes, Crockett?
There’s something that makes me real uncomfortable about publicly criticizing someone’s performance but… Crockett speaks with no inflection or really any facial movement throughout the film. Certainly Fess Parker, the actor who portrays Crockett was invoking the historical Crockett’s rural upbringing and no-fuss attitude but… to me it felt a little like he was reading words off of a page. Bleh.
2. You fooled me on this one, Disney.
A few times while watching it I remarked at how the plot seemed to move too quickly, beginning with Crockett assisting the US in an Indian War, quickly being elected into Congress and following his plight in Washington, and then off to Texas to fight in the Alamo. These are all things the real David Crockett did, but the film wasn’t Forrest Gump. It didn’t pull off the quick transition from life event to life event well. Turns out, this film was edited as a compilation of Davy Crockett television episodes, which gives some explanation to the abrupt sequence of events.
3. The portrayal of the Indians.
Yes, Davy helped settle disputes between the Americans and the Indians, but not until he lent his knowledge of their people to the Americans to help kill them. And yeah, he was merciful to a Native man in the third segment in the film, but this poor character’s portrayal was a buffoon at worst and a caricature at best. At this point in the Disney list, I’m a little weary from this stuff.
4. “Now that you’ve saved my hide, I’ll let ya kiss my wife!”
No Davy, just, no. Look I like my husband’s friends just fine but I’m not about to kiss any of them as some kind of treat. I’m sure it gets reeeeeal lonely out there on the plains but… nah.
As an important aside, I’m not saying “Cancel Crockett”. It isn’t surprising, really, to see some of the cultural mistakes that were made in films from the past. In fact, if you’re watching on Disney+ there’s an actual 12-second warning before the film runs. But for Crockett specifically, the cultural and sexist stuff, along with the plot and characters makes for a film that just doesn’t hold up today, not even for the purpose of nostalgia. (Unless of course you grew up loving this film.) For me it’s a just a great big “NEXXXXXT!”
And now, enjoy this beautifully choreographed and executed fight scene.