Daniel Boone (1936)



Director:  David Howard.

Starring:  George O'Brien (Daniel Boone), Heather Angel (Virginia), John Carradine (Simon Girty), Ralph Forbes, Clarence Muse.


Just an o.k. movie about the famous pioneer.


The year is 1775.  Thirty settlers with their wives and children prepare to follow Daniel Boone from Yadkin, North Carolina across the mountains into Kain-tu-kee. 

Simon Girty, a ferocious white renegade and leader among the Indians. is busy ravaging the frontier settlements and massacring settlers.

The opening scene show Girty at his dastardly deeds murdering one white man and roasting another.  Then he waylays two sellers on their way to Yadkin. 

The scene switches to Yadkin where the settlers are gathering to go with Boone into the future Kentucky.  We meet, among others, Virginia, a very pretty young woman who says that Boone is a dreamer, her brother Jerry and her father, Sir John.  We also meet the villain Mr. Marlowe who plans to defraud the settlers of any land they settle. 

Boone and his side kick Black Eagle find Girty and take him into the commissioner.  But the recent peace treaty has granted a general amnesty to the Indians and, since Girty has been adopted into one of the tribes, the commissioner decides that they have to let Girty go. 

On the trail, Boone gives Marlowe the task of telling the cattle herders ahead of them that the wagon train is stopping for the night.  Marlowe chooses to ignore the order and the three cattle herders are killed by Girty and his Indians.  Virginia sticks up for Marlowe against Bowie because she thinks the path finder is being too harsh on Marlowe.  From this rough beginning, however, Virginia later warms up to Boone.  

The settlers reach their destination and build a fort to protect themselves from the Indians.  They then name the settlement Boonesborough.  The settlement soon learns from the government of Virginia colony that they have no legal claim to the land.  Boone hurries to Richmond, but the attorney general, in the company of Marlowe, informs him that he can do nothing to help the settlers.  The land will go to the filer, Mr. Marlowe.  Boone angrily denounces the group as a gang of thieves, argues with Marlowe and knocks the villain down. 

On the way back to Boonesborough, Boone is captured by Girty and his Indians.  They tie Boone to a pole and build a fire around him to slowly roast the hero.  At thisthe lowest point in Boone's fortunes, it is a good time to ask how the heck Boone is going to get himself and his settlers out of the terrible jams in which they find themselves.

Nothing really good, but nothing really bad about the movie either.  The sound quality is a little bad, but the emphasis is on action so it doesn't really matter does it? 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


Historical Background:


See Young Daniel Boone (1950) .



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