powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
Opening and ending cast credits differ in order. Although a September 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item credited McElbert Moore as co-writer of the theme song for The First Texan, only Roy Webb was credited onscreen. Moore's contribution to the film has not been confirmed. Actor Jody McCrea was Joel McCrea's son. Sam Houston (1793-1863) was an American general and political leader and the president of the Republic of Texas from 1836-1838 and 1841-1844. As dramatized in the film, Houston led a small army in apparent retreat, which was actually a strategy to entrap the Mexican army led by General Antonio Lpez de Santa Anna (who is called "Santa Ana" in the film). Despite Texas' constitutional advocacy of slavery, the U.S. Congress accepted it as a state on 29 December 1845.
The First Texan was shot on location at Conejo Ranch in Los Angeles, CA. Other films dealing with the life of Sam Houston and early Texas history are the 1917 Fox picture The Conquerer, directed by R. A. Walsh and starring William Farnum (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20), the 1939 Republic film Man of Conquest, directed by George Nicholls, Jr. and starring Richard Dix (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40), and the 1952 M-G-M film Lone Star, directed by Vincent Sherman and starring Clark Gable and Ava Gardner .