The Cannon family runs the High Chaparral Ranch in the Arizona Territory in 1870s. Big John wants to establish his cattle empire despite Indian hostility. He's aided by brother Buck and son... See full summary »
According to the History Channel series The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, Daniel Boone's life in Boonesborough was nothing like this TV show. Boone was captured by Shawnee warriors in 1778 (about three years after the founding of Boonesborough) who were allies with the British, taking him to a British encampment. He was ordered to surrender Boonesborough and on the way back, he escaped the group of Indians he was with and alerted Boonesborough that the Shawnees were planning an attack. After 10 days of Indian attacks against the fort, the Indians retreated after being alerted of an approaching militia that was sent for earlier. The captain of the militia wanted to retaliate against the Indians, basically planning to wipe them out. Boone wanted nothing to do with the attack, so he left Boonesborough never to return. See more »
This series gave rise to the urban legend that Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were one and the same person. In fact, the producers had intended the show to be about Crockett, but Walt Disney would not sell them the rights, so they used the name Daniel Boone instead. See more »
The "Daniel Boone" series is uneven in its qualities, but overall its a good program. Fess Parker presents a stoic, humble and admirable Daniel Boone, who fights for fair play. Blood and gore is kept to a minimum, but there is still plenty of adventure and suspense. The acting by lesser characters is sometimes poor, especially in some of the middle and later episodes, but Parker, Ed Ames, Patricia Blair and Dallas McKennon keep things good. And the show is meant to be fun. While it often presents a moral, it doesn't have the dreary, preachy quality that so many shows from the '70s onwards have.
There are historical inaccuracies, such as Eastern Woodland Indians living in teepees rather than wigwams, Whites not always wearing the costumes of the time, a mixed-up chronology, and Daniel having the ability to quickly dash off from Kentucky to the eastern colonies almost at will. And some episodes with historical figures such as Lafayette, Aaron Burr, Beaumarchais and Patrick Henry are fictionalized. On the other hand, the show preserves some of the spirit of the frontier and the period, which is not often seen these days. Also, the real Daniel Boone was a humane, honorable man who was highly respected by many Indians and Whites of his day, as he is portrayed in the series.
Its very striking how different "Daniel Boone" is compared with current-day movies and TV shows. In "Daniel Boone," Daniel and his half-breed friend Mingo are definitely heroes. Mingo, who was taken to England as a boy and educated at Oxford, has a deep love for classical European literature, music and philosophy. The goodness of the American Revolutionary cause is assumed. While some of the enemy British soldiers and Indians are treacherous, several of them are also shown as being decent and honorable. Daniel and many of his friends believe in and fight for freedom, private property, law and civilization. Some of the white frontiersmen are bad, but some are good, and many are just trying to find a better life in Kentucky for their families.
If "Daniel Boone" was produced by the politically-correct and supposedly "open-minded, enlightened" Hollywood people of today, Daniel would be a psychologically-conflicted man, continually fighting his rapacious urges that stem from his white culture. Mingo would decide to go completely native and would be continually ashamed of his British education. Daniel's Indian enemies would be shown as wholly noble and innocent, and they would never commit any atrocities unless in retaliation for worse ones done by the Whites. The American Revolutionaries would get their only legitimate ideas from the Indians. And the worst villains of all would be the English, since in today's Hollywood the pre-Socialist English are considered the world's worst villains ever. Anyone who has closely studied history knows that these politically-correct stereotypes are far from the truth, but its shocking how prevalent they are today.
Therefore, with its flaws, "Daniel Boone" still presents entertaining stories, admirable characters, and some of the fighting spirit and concern for fair play of the past, and that's enough for it to earn good marks with me.
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