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Man of Conquest

(1939 b 99')

En: 6 Ed: 7


In this biographical drama Sam Houston helps the Cherokee and leaves Tennessee to fight for the independence of Texas.

Sam Houston (Richard Dix) tells his ma he is going hunting with the Cherokee. Houston volunteers to fight for Andrew Jackson (Edward Ellis) in 1814. In 1829 President Jackson speaks for the re-election of Gov. Houston in Tennessee. Houston weds Eliza Allen (Joan Fontaine) and campaigns. When he drinks and wrestles a man, she leaves, giving back his ring. Gossip spreads, and to maintain his privacy Houston resigns. Lannie Upchurch (Gabby Hayes) takes drunk Houston to the Cherokee. Houston becomes a Cherokee brave. The Cherokee are told they must move again and are given paper money, which they trade for whiskey. At a Washington ball Houston arrives as Cherokee ambassador, and Jackson welcomes him. Houston dances with Margaret Lea (Gail Patrick), who says she is going to Texas. Houston tells Jackson not to move the Cherokee and pay them in silver. John Hoskins tells Houston that Texas needs an army. Houston threatens Jackson with an Indian war. Jackson gives in if Houston will leave the Indians. Houston says he will go to Texas for freedom; but Jackson wants it to be in the United States.

Houston goes with Margaret to Texas. He kisses her, and she says she loves him; but Houston says he has big plans and can't settle down. Houston and Lannie sneak into Texas and help Davy Crockett (Robert Barrat) and Jim Bowie (Robert Armstrong) fight Comanche. Houston burns oil springs to stop the Indians. William Travis (Victor Jory) says that Stephen Austin (Ralph Morgan) is ill. Houston rouses people to revolt from Mexico, but Austin advises him to leave. Margaret tells Houston she agrees with Austin. Houston gets a letter from Hoskins offering weapons. When Austin learns that the Mexican army is seizing weapons and killing, he says they will fight. Jackson calls on Houston and argues for Texas being in the United States.

Austin presides over a constitutional convention but says they must first elect a commander. Votes are divided until Houston arrives with 200 men and is elected. Houston asks Margaret to wait while he fights a war. Houston sends an order for Travis to blow up the Alamo and retreat. Travis says they must fight to give the convention time; Bowie and Crockett agree. Houston leads men but gets to the Alamo after all are killed. Houston retreats but then attacks the camp of Gen. Santa Ana (C. Henry Gordon). In the battle Houston is wounded, and Santa Ana flees. Lannie raises the Texas flag and is killed. Nine years later in 1845 Houston tells Margaret he is proud to raise the flag of the United States as Texas joins the union. Jackson hears the news before he dies. In the final scene Houston tells his son to remember Andrew Jackson.

Houston did live with the Cherokee and was a counter-force to Jackson's oppressive policies against that tribe. In Texas the liberal Austin balanced the boldness of Houston, who won an important battle at San Jacinto in 1836. These adventurous personalities and historic events are truly portrayed.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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