The Kentuckian (1955)

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    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • The Kentuckian (1955)




      Plot Summary
      A frontiersman in 1820s Kentucky finds the area too civilized for his tastes,
      so he makes plans for he and his son to leave for the wild Texas country.
      However, he buys an indentured servant along the way,
      and her presence throws a monkey wrench into his plans.
      Written by frankfob

      Burt Lancaster ... Elias Wakefield (Big Eli)
      Dianne Foster ... Hannah Bolen
      Diana Lynn ... Susie Spann
      Walter Matthau ... Stan Bodine
      Donald MacDonald ... Little Eli Wakefield
      John McIntire ... Zack Wakefield
      Una Merkel ... Sophie Wakefield
      John Carradine ... Ziby Fletcher
      John Litel ... Pleasant Tuesday Babson
      Rhys Williams ... Constable
      Edward Norris ... Roulette Dealer
      and many more...

      Burt Lancaster

      Writing Credits
      A.B. Guthrie Jr. ... (screenplay)
      Felix Holt ... (novel)

      Harold Hecht ... producer
      James Hill ... producer (uncredited)

      Bernard Herrmann
      Roy Webb ... (uncredited)

      Ernest Laszlo ... (photography)

      The first movie directed by Burt Lancaster.
      Due to the unfavorable critical response he did not direct again for almost 20 years,
      until The Midnight Man (1974).

      Burt Lancaster applied for membership in the Screen Directors Guild in August 1954
      but was rejected "because he allegedly had expressed opinions about directors
      regarded as uncomplimentary by the organization."
      The guild granted Lancaster a waiver to allow him to direct the film
      and invited him to reapply after it was completed.

      In April 1954 Burt Lancaster was considering casting Brandon De Wilde
      as Little Eli Wakefield and Jane Wyman as Susie Spann.

      Film debut of Walter Matthau.

      The average shot length of this film is about 7.75 seconds,
      which makes it one of the faster cut early CinemaScope films.

      The riverboat used in the movie was the Delta Queen.
      The company spent almost $10,000 to add the fake smokestacks.

      Burt Lancaster and producer Harold Hecht considered casting Kim Novak as Hannah Bolen.

      Ian Keith had been cast in the picture, but left the production because of an ulcer.

      In order to publicize the film, noted American artist Thomas Hart Benton painted a seven-foot portrait of Burt Lancaster, Donald MacDonald and Faro, which Lancaster donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1978.

      The Los Angeles premiere was a benefit for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

      The picture was entered in the 1955 Venice Film Festival.

      Final film of Whip Wilson.

      Constance Smith was tested for a co-starring role.

      Una Merkel was the only member of the cast who was actually from Kentucky.

      At the beginning, Eli is sitting near a campfire.
      We can clearly see its flames, showing it is still burning.
      When Eli stands up, the flames has disappeared,
      even we haven't see him extinguishing the fire.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Levi Jackson State Park, London, Kentucky, USA
      Cumberland Falls State Park, Corbin, Kentucky, USA
      Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
      Rockport, Indiana, USA

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • The Kentuckian is a 1955 Technicolor and CinemaScope adventure film
      directed by Burt Lancaster, who also starred.

      This was one of only two films Lancaster directed (the other was The Midnight Man),
      and the only one for which he has sole credit.
      It also marked the feature film debut of Walter Matthau.

      The picture is an adaptation of the novel The Gabriel Horn by Felix Holt.
      The picture was shot on location in Kentucky in the Cumberland Falls area,
      the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park near London, Owensboro and Green River,
      and at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Village near Rockport, Indiana

      User Review

      the showdown: one with a whip, the other unarmed.
      8 June 2006 | by alexandre michel liberman (tmwest) (S. Paulo, Brazil)

      alex wrote:

      This film is unusual and interesting, it shows the life in a small town before the time of the westerns we are used to see, when you still had to sock powder into the rifle before shooting. When Lancaster and his son which are used to live in the woods come to town, people make fun of them, it is surprising how cruel they are. During the film both are going to change, the son will grow up and Lancaster will become a wiser man. There are two women, Diane Foster and Diana Lynn, both are charming and it is going to be a hard choice for Lancaster. Walther Matthau is an expert with the whip and his fight with Lancaster is the high point of the film. "The Kentuckian" did not age and Lancaster came out very well as a director. To see the people, their habits,

      their way of talking, their music, combined with a good story makes this film worth seeing.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

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