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Davy Crockett And The River Pirates (1956)

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Actors: Fess Parker, Buddy Ebsen
  • Format: PAL
  • Classification: U
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00135JXX6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,603 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Lively prequel to Davy Crockett where the action takes place on a packet boat bound for New Orleans. Great family entertainment.

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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
loved is film remember it from when i was young and now i got it in my dvd collection really enjoyed the film
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9a6b4ca8) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2c1984) out of 5 stars Two Mike Fink Specials...... 20 Mar. 2003
By Deborah L. Woodstuff - Published on Amazon.com
This is Disney live action at its best!
I have loved these storeis since a young girl when they appeared on the Sunday night Wonderful World of Disney. Although geared for young boys, girls love these stories too.
Wonderful scenery. Wonderful lessons of river history from a bygone era. Frequent mentions of the Ohio River, Pittsburg, Kentucky, Natchez and New Orleans.
Adults and children well love this video.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2c1c90) out of 5 stars Return to a More Innocent Age 13 Jun. 2003
By Mike Leone - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
"Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" is actually a recobbling of the last two of the five Davy Crockett television shows presented by Walt Disney. The first three, which were on during the 1953-54 television season, had to do with the actual Davy Crockett, with the final one of those three shows ending with our hero's death at the Alamo. However, the character was so popular with audiences--every boy in America started sporting a coonskin cap--that Walt presented two further episodes the following season, dealing with the legend of Davy Crockett. Later these two episodes were joined together into a full-length motion picture called "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates."
The two episodes of this picture are very distinct in tone, with the first half being a lighthearted comedy centering around a boat race between Davy Crockett and his friend George Russel on the one hand, and riverboat captain Mike Fink, an historical figure, on the other. The second half keeps the three major characters together in a much more serious story as they outwit and defeat a team of bad guys who are making it dangerous for others to travel the Mississippi and also straining relations between the folks traveling the river and the Native Americans.
We are definitely in a man's world here. There are very few women in the picture and the ones who briefly appear have no lines. So it is up to the men to carry the story and they do so for the most part admirably.
Fess Parker certainly looks the part of Davy Crockett although I found his portrayal somewhat undernourished. Perhaps he came across more strongly in the three episodes from the previous season which I have not seen. And then again, he may have just been personifying the "strong, silent" type which was the masculine ideal of the time. Parker's portrayal stands out in further relief here by being up against the charismatic George Russel of Buddy Ebsen and the over-the-top Mike Fink of Jeff York.
I understand that Ebsen was originally scheduled to play Davy Crockett and was "demoted" to the sidekick role after Parker was discovered in a small role in a marauding-ant film called "Them!" Poor Buddy Ebsen, always losing out on plum roles; first the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz and now this. At least he finally got his revenge with The Beverly Hillbillies and later Barnaby Jones. And here we do get to see him let out with a couple of Jed Clampett-like whoops along the way.
Jeff York as Mike Fink steals every scene he is in. He is nominally the villain in the first half of the film, although it is impossible to dislike him, even when he is busy doing such dastardly deeds as sabotaging Davy's boat. His evil laugh goes so far that it strains credibility, but it doesn't matter. In the second half of the film, he ends up as Davy's and George's ally in defeating the bad guys. For me at least, he was the one of the three lead characters who stood out most strongly. I suspect that if the series had continued, that Mike Fink would have played an important role in any future stories. I wonder why Jeff York who plays Fink didn't have a bigger career than he did.
The minor characters are very well drawn, especially in the first half of the film. One of the standouts in this first half is Kenneth Tobey as Jocko, one of Fink's boatmen. Diminutive in stature, he nevertheless seizes the screen each chance he gets. Certainly his scene in the bar with Ebsen, where the latter is buying him drinks and trying to talk him into joining Davy's boat crew, is one of the highlights of the film. It's curious that most of the boatmen from the first half been replaced by much more anonymous characters in the second half. I wish they had kept Tobey around at least.
Overall, the second half of the film does not maintain the momentum or the interest of the first half. The first half gives some wonderful comedic opportunities to our trio of leads, while the story line of the second half is too serious to allow for much comedy. And then again, perhaps the character of Mike Fink works better as an antagonist than as an ally.
The film is very much a product of its time and so scenes depicting heavy drinking are numerous (although Ebsen does a marvelous job as the chandelier-riding Russel), as are scenes depicting our heroes as somewhat trigger-happy. These are the reasons that I gave the film four stars. I probably would have given it four and a half if I had had that option. And since these films are aimed at a somewhat younger audience, parents would be well advised to discuss these scenes with their children.
A couple of decades later, there was much ado about the concept of the "buddy film." This film may well have been one of the originals of that genre, as Davy Crockett and George Russel are obviously devoted to each other. To see an example of this, watch the scene where Davy sobers George up, forgives him for wagering the furs they are trying to sell on a boat race with Fink, and then sends the appreciative George back to the boat to sleep it off while he stays up through the night putting together a boat crew. Even though there is temporarily room for a third party such as Fink in this friendship, each of the two halves of the film ends with Fink going his way. The farewell scene midway through the picture is quite touching in fact. The emphasis that the film places on friendship, and friends looking out for each other, is probably the most positive aspect of the film. Even the drinking and violence in their own way play a part in promoting the theme of friendship.
I found this film very enjoyable both in itself and as a nostalgic throwback to the more innocent, if in some ways less enlightened, age of the 50s. I certainly recommend it, especially for family viewing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aa281ec) out of 5 stars More fun than KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER 29 Jun. 2001
By Peter Ingemi - Published on Amazon.com
This review was origionally of the VHS Davy Crockett and the River Pirates which is no longer available
This movie was great and the character of Mike Fink "King of the River" made it so. I've always been into characters and this made this movie better than the first. By meeting and making a near equal Disney provided a great foil for this movie. Mike Fink is a fun guy willing sneaky enough to cheat but also big enough to laugh at a joke on himself and not make excuses when he loses. The entire group of river men were fun. Buddy Ebson and Russel and of course Fess Parker as Davy Crockett played their roles to the hilt. (The scene of Russell and Jocko in the bar was tons of fun.) Again we see adventure and action and fair play win. And again we ALSO see more than meets the eye. We see the lesson about peer pressure (Russell and his wager) We see the virtue of helping out (the stranded farmer). We see its possible to fight and compete in a rough and tumble way, and shake hands later (a shocking discovery to the anti dodgeball crowd). And again we see in the 1950's the American indian shown with dignity instead of savages, helpless victums or saints their treated like MEN. (And wise enough to caputure the "KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER") Once again more than meets the eye. Watch this with your kids a few times. The third time point out each little lesson. It will pay off. P.S. Look for an old member of the John Wayne club Hank Worden as one of the villians in the cave.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a2c19fc) out of 5 stars One of my favorite Disneys to watch on Sunday Night 11 Sept. 2003
By L. J Nary - Published on Amazon.com
I used to really like watching Davy Crockett when the Wonderful World of Disney came on. This video brings back all those warm fuzzies. This is not my best Davy though. This has Mike Fink the River King in it. Davy is a passive mellow guy and doesn't react to Finks braggert ways. Fink trys to bait him over and over but Davy just keeps plowing on and always wins the bad guys over. Fink and Davy eventually team up to find the river pirates who are posing as the Indians and thieving boats on the river. I relived some good old memories and got to feel like a little kid. I remember wanting a gun from Disneyland so I could be like Davy Crockett. Its kind of funny because I'm a girl but Davy was a real important symbol to me when I was little.
Lisa Nary
HASH(0x9aa281f8) out of 5 stars The Legends of Davy Crockett and Mike Fink 5 Jun. 2002
By gobirds2 - Published on Amazon.com
Davy Crockett returns! For Davy Crockett's second season on television the show was retitled "The Legends of Davy Crockett." The necessary title change came about because we had seen Davy come to his end defending the Alamo and Walt Disney wanted to continue bringing us his adventures. "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates" is thus the second theatrical feature re-edited from Walt Disney's TV productions. It's all about a riverboat race between Davy and another American folklore hero Mike Fink and Davy's attempt to stop an Indian uprising with Mike Fink's assistance. In some ways this film is better than the first, "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier." Davy Crockett in this film appears less the frontier fighter and more the good-natured peacemaker. New lyrics were written into the Davy Crockett theme introducing the audience to Mike Fink, King of the Ohio River. The riverboat race with Mike Fink is very entertaining and a high point in Disney's American frontier live action cinema. I don't even think John Ford could have filmed this sequence any better. Kenneth Tobey, who worked with John Ford, is excellent in a great comedic part. Walt Disney gave this actor a chance to demonstrate his great versatility and range as an actor. Also, Mike Fink's boats may look a little familiar since they are the basis for the riverboat ride at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. That's a nice nostalgic tie in! Buddy Ebsen is on hand again as Davy's sidekick George Russel. Disney's stalwart composer, George Bruns came through again with another excellent score. Bert Glennon's cinematography is beautifully picturesque as ever and is matched seamlessly with some very effective glass shot special effects by Peter Ellenshaw. This is another highly recommended family viewing treat personally produced by Walt Disney. This video was part of the Walt Disney Family Film Collection.
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