Davy Crockett, of the State of Tennessee The Man, The Myth, The Movie

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The thesis deals with the portrayal of American hero Davy Crockett in the 1955 Disney movie Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (Foster, 1955) and the nineteenth century myths about Crockett that the movie was based on. Davy Crocket was a frontiersman and congressman in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This thesis analyzes how Disney used a nineteenth century myth to create one for the age of television and how the movie subsequently created a new fascination of the American public with Crockett: the Crockett Craze of the 1950s. The thesis firstly consists of a description of how the mythical Crockett was known. Secondly, the movie Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier is compared to the original myth and placed within the context of the 1950s. It concludes that many of the choices Disney made when portraying Davy Crockett were based on already popular aspects of Davy Crockett. These aspects were trimmed by Disney to fit the time in which the movie was released, the 1950s, which led to the movie creating the Crockett Craze. Keywords: Davy Crockett, Disney, King of the Wild Frontier, myth, 1950, Crockett craze, legend, propaganda, film, American exceptionalism, communism, Fess Parker, coonskin cap, Alamo, hero.
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