AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Daniel Boone
Director: David Howard (Dir)
Release Date:   17 Oct 1936
Production Date:   22 Jul--mid-Sep 1936
Duration (in mins):   75 or 77
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Cast:   George O'Brien (Daniel Boone)  
    Heather Angel (Virginia Randolph)  
    John Carradine (Simon Girty)  
    Ralph Forbes (Stephen Marlowe)  
    George Regas (Black "Blackie" Eagle)  
    Dickie Jones (Master Jerry)  
    Clarence Muse (Pompey)  
    Huntley Gordon (Sir John Randolph)  
    Harry Cording (Joe Burch)  
    Aggie Herring (Mrs. Burch)  
    Crawford Kent (Attorney general)  
    Keith Kenneth (Commissioner)  
    Tom Ricketts    
    Baron Lichter    

Summary: In 1775, frontiersman Daniel Boone prepares to lead a group of Colonial settlers from their home in Yadkin, North Carolina, across the Cumberland Mountains to a region known as Kain-tu-kee. Before leaving, Daniel sets out on a "hunting" trip with his Indian friend, Black "Blackie" Eagle, and finds his prey, the dreaded white renegade Simon Girty, who, with his small band of outlaw Indians, have murdered numerous settlers. Daniel and Black Eagle capture Girty but learn that, because of a recently signed treaty with the Indians, Girty cannot be tried for his crimes. Although he and the revenge-hungry settlers are frustrated by the law, they agree to free Girty to avoid trouble with the Indians. On the way to Kain-tu-kee, Daniel asks dandy Stephen Marlowe, who is in love with the pretty aristocratic settler Virginia Randolph, to ride ahead and tell the men who are driving the cattle herd to return to the main group. Marlowe, however, ignores Daniel's order, and the cattle herders are murdered that night by Girty. Furious, Daniel tells Marlowe to leave the group, but changes his mind when Virginia intercedes on Marlowe's behalf. Unknown to Virginia and Daniel, Marlowe and his rich political cohorts from Richmond are plotting to seize the land settled by Daniel by enforcing a law that requires squatters to acquire a legal title to their land claims by a certain date. Consequently, as soon as the new fortified settlement of Boonesborough is developed, Daniel is forced to ride to Richmond to save it from the Virginian politicians. In spite of Daniel's pleas, Marlowe refuses to bend the law, and Daniel rides sadly back to Boonesborough. Before reaching the settlement, Daniel is captured by Girty but is saved from a flaming death by Black Eagle. The settlers do battle with Girty and the Indians for nine exhausting days and, with the help of a well-timed rain storm, finally defeat the Indians. Girty, however, refuses to surrender and murders Daniel's special friend, little Master Jerry. Filled with vengeance, Daniel kills Girty after a long fight. With Virginia at his side, Daniel then leads the surviving settlers west to pioneer more virgin territory. 

Production Company: George A. Hirliman Productions, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: David Howard (Dir)
  George Sherman (Asst dir)
  William O'Connor (Asst dir)
Producer: George A. Hirliman (Prod)
  Leonard Goldstein (Assoc prod)
Writer: Daniel Jarrett (Scr)
  Edgcumb Pinchon (Orig story)
Photography: Frank Good (Photog)
Art Direction: Frank Sylos (Art dir)
Film Editor: Ralph Dixon (Film ed)
  Joseph H. Lewis (Supv film ed)
Music: Hugo Riesenfeld (Mus dir)
  Arthur Kaye (Mus dir)
  Abe Meyer (Mus supv)
Sound: Hal Bumbaugh (Sd rec)
Make Up: Max Factor (Makeup)
Production Misc: Charles Hunt (Prod mgr)
Country: United States

Songs: "Make Way," words and music by Jack Stern and Harry Tobias; "In My Garden," words by Grace Hamilton, music by Jack Stern.
Composer: Grace Hamilton
  Jack Stern
  Harry Tobias

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 12/10/1936 dd/mm/yyyy LP6632

PCA NO: 2500
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA "High Fidelity" Sound System

 
Genre: Biography
Sub-Genre: with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Daniel Boone
  Simon Girty
  Indians of North America
  Kentucky
  Politicians
  Settlers
  United States--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
 
Subjects (Minor): Aristocrats
  Boonesboro (KY)
  Children
  Cumberland Mountains
  Escapes
  Fights
  Land claims
  Massacres
  Murder
  Rainstorms
  Renegades
  Richmond (VA)
  Treaties
  Yadkin Riverh (NC)

Note: In the onscreen credits, writer Edgcumb Pinchon's first name was misspelled "Edgecumb." The film's foreword states that while the story is "imaginative in some aspects," it is "faithful to the character and times." According to historical records as noted in modern sources, in 1775, as part of an agreement with Richard Henderson's Transylvania company, Daniel Boone led a group of settlers, which included his wife and daughter, from Yadkin, North Carolina to the Indian territory known as Kain-tu-kee. In the process of establishing Boonesborough (later spelled Boonesboro), he and his followers fought with and were captured by Indians. Instead of being named the fourteenth colony, the newly settled land was incorporated by Virginia as a county. Richard Henderson never succeeded in procuring legal title to the land. Simon Girty, called "The Great Renegade," led raids against settlers and soldiers, but not until 1778, after his participation in the American Revolution.
       Although a HR news item announced that the film was to have its premiere in Louisville, KY, release charts indicate that the national release date preceded the proposed premiere date. Many films and television shows based on the life of Daniel Boone have been made, including the 1923 short film Daniel Boone , which was part of the Yale University Press's Chronicles of America series; Daniel Boone Thru the Wilderness , a 1926 Sunset Productions film starring Roy Stewart and directed by either Frank S. Mattison or Robert N. Bradbury (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.1197); Young Daniel Boone , a 1950 Monogram production starring David Bruce and directed by Reginald LeBorg; Daniel Boone, Trail Blazer , a 1956 Republic picture starring Bruce Bennett and directed by Albert C. Gannaway and Ismael Rodriguez (see below), and the NBC television series Daniel Boone , which starred Fess Parker and ran from 1964 to 1969. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   18 Sep 36   p. 3.
Film Daily   22 Sep 36   p. 8.
Film Daily   30 Sep 36   pp. 16-17.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Jul 36   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Sep 36   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Sep 36   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   16 Oct 36   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   19 Sep 36   p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald   31 Oct 36   p. 41.
New York Times   24 Oct 36   p. 23.
Variety   28 Oct 36   p. 14.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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