Lone Star (1952)

  • Year: 1952
  • Released: 08 Feb 1952
  • Country: United States
  • Adwords: N/A
  • IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043751/
  • Rotten Tomatoes: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/lone_star
  • Metacritics:
  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • MPA Rating: Approved
  • Genre: Drama, Western
  • Runtime: 94 min
  • Writer: Borden Chase, Howard Estabrook
  • Director: Vincent Sherman
  • Cast: Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Broderick Crawford
  • Keywords: texas, senator, shootout, texan, statehood,
false% – Audience

Lone Star Storyline

Rip-roaring big star, big budget semi-historical story about cattle baron Devereaux Burke, who is enlisted by an aging Andrew Jackson to dissuade Sam Houston from establishing Texas as a republic. Burke must fight state senator Thomas Craden, in the process winning the heart of Craden’s newspaper-editor girlfriend Martha Ronda.—Lew Amack (LAlawMedMBA@aol.com)

Lone Star Photos

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Lone Star Movie Reviews

fun to watch but far from Gable’s best

If you watch this movie anticipating a Western B-movie, you won’t be disappointed. There’s action and romance a-plenty. However, if you realize that this was an A-picture and you hold the film to a higher standard, then you will be disappointed. This film is at best an average Gable film, in that the plot is VERY tired–looking like so many characters Gable played before. In fact, he is a very close variation on Rhett Butler–a cynical Southerner who is only looking out for himself (so he says), but ends up doing the right thing when the chips are down. Yes, there certainly is nothing new here.

As far as other performances go, Ava Gardner is at her best. Broderick Crawford, though, does not come off nearly as well because his character is awfully stupid–especially at the end of the film. And, the utter stupidity of the end of the film is a major problem. One minute Crawford and his men are shooting up the town trying to kill everyone and the next all is forgiven and it’s off too fight the Mexicans! Huh?! I truly hate clichéd, slapped on endings! There are many better Gable films out there. My advice is see them first and then give Lone Star a try.

Historic events and great action as well as a first rate cast

This big budget Western deals with cattle baron Deveraux (Clark Gable) who his assigned by Andrew Jackson (Lionel Barrymore) to convince Sam Houston for union Texas to United States . A fiery newspaper editor (Ava Gardner) is the woman between Deveraux and the bad guy , Craden (Broderick Crawford) . Deveraux must fight state senators (Crawford , Ed Begley , Russell Simpson) for union to United States.

This exciting picture about Texas fights for independence contains Western action , drama , historical happenings , a love story and results to be quite entertaining . Based on a screenplay by Borden chase , a Western expert . Gorgeous Ava Gardner as an intrepid journalist as well as Clark Gable’s love interest . Film debut for George Hamilton and secondary acting by William Conrad and Ed Begley . The motion picture was well directed by Vincent Sherman . Also available in horrible computer colorized version .

It’s partially based on historical deeds about Texas independence, these are the followings : With Mexican permission Stephen Austin brought the first Anglo-American colonists to Texas, the first of many, their numbers grew and they wanted self-government and this desire led to the revolt of 1835, the Texas war for Independence. General Santa Anna, stormed the Alamo, and wiped out the garrison on 6 March 1836. But on 21 April 1836 General Santa Anna suffered a crushing defeat by Sam Houston and was taken prisoner. Texas was declared a Republic in October 1836 and Houston became its first president. In 1845 Texas joined the US, this lead to war with Mexico and disastrous results for that country. Samuel Houston(1793-1863)well performed by Moroni Olsen, was a frontiersman and politician , he went to live with the Cherokees and took a Cherokee wife. After the fall of the Alamo, he managed to keep together a small force and launched a furious surprise attack on the Mexican army of 1300 camped on the western bank of the San Jacinto River. With Texas free and independent republic, Houston was elected the first president. When Texas was admitted to the United States in 1845, Houston was a senator to Washington.

The Texas Dilemma

The diplomatic and political machinations around the admission of Texas to the USA are incredibly complex and are touched on in this film. It would have taken a longer and better film to explain it all. I think MGM had plans for one in this, but Dore Schary was budget cutting at the time and this got B western treatment for a stellar cast.

One thing they show is true and that is the influence of 77 year old former President Andrew Jackson on the Democratic Party he founded. His prestige was that big, he was the dominant political figure for 20 years or so in the country before, during and after his presidency.

Lionel Barrymore reprises the role of Jackson, he had previously played in MGM’s The Gorgeous Hussy. He’s still wheeling and dealing and he doesn’t like what he’s heard that his old friend and comrade in arms Sam Houston is climbing off his position of being for the annexation of the Texas Republic to the United States. On his own he sends Clark Gable as Devereaux Burke Texas cattleman to seek out Houston and get the real story.

On the way to completing his mission Gable finds Ava Gardner who is the editor of a local paper in Austin and Broderick Crawford another Texas cattleman who is violently opposed to annexation. They get a good political rivalry and a personal one over Gardner.

In the film as in real life Sam Houston, played by Moroni Olsen, is running a big bluff. He’s playing footsie with the British by negotiating a treaty of alliance with them in order to force the hand of northern politicians who are against slavery, but who would like even less the British moving into Texas.

There’s an exciting battle between the pro and anti annexation forces while the Texas Congress meets. It results however in a very unreal conclusion to the story.

It’s unfortunate given the stellar cast Lone Star has that a better scripted story was not developed for them, even one that is completely factual. It’s an A picture subject that got B picture treatment.