9 user 4 critic

The First Texan (1956)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, History | 29 June 1956 (USA)
Eastern lawyer Sam Houston moves to Texas. At the request of President Jackson, he leads the Texan independence movement and wins the decisive battle against the Mexican army to gain Texas independence.


Byron Haskin


Daniel B. Ullman (story), Daniel B. Ullman (screenplay)


Learn more

More Like This 

Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Notorious outlaw Cole Younger is the only witness who can clear Kit Caswell of false murder charges leveled against him by jealous rival Jan Merlin who covets Caswell's girl, Abby Dalton.

Director: R.G. Springsteen
Stars: Frank Lovejoy, James Best, Abby Dalton
Cow Country (1953)
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rancher v Land Grabbers = Trouble.

Director: Lesley Selander
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Helen Westcott, Robert Lowery
Lone Star (1952)
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ex-President Andrew Jackson sends Texan Devereaux Burke back home on a mission to facilitate Sam Houston's drive for U.S. statehood.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Broderick Crawford
Lilly Turner (1933)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A carnival magician deserts his wife when he finds out she's pregnant. She then marries the carnival's barker, but finds herself attracted to a young engineer.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Frank McHugh
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Anxious to see some naval action in the Pacific during WWII, Lt. Bill Gordon makes the mistake of telling his new girlfriend, ditzy Elaine Carter, that he was an expert in deciphering codes... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Lee Bowman, Jean Rogers, Mona Maris
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Opera singer Ina Massine tries to win back former husband Dr. Lincoln I. Bartlett.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Van Johnson, Kathryn Grayson, Paula Raymond
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Radio singing star, Eve Porter, wants a vacation during her show's summer hiatus, but her manager and press have booked her for additional work. She refuses and goes to Las Vegas. When she ... See full summary »

Director: Will Jason
Stars: Ann Miller, William Wright, Robert B. Williams
Adventure | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A U.S. Marshall and two deputies rescue a cattle rustler from a lynch mob led by a local cattle baron convinced that the rustler also killed his son.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Virginia Mayo, John Agar
Jewel Robbery (1932)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A gentleman thief charms a Viennese baron's wife and also conducts a daring daylight robbery of a jewellers.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Helen Vinson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue.

Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A detective (Roger Pryor) courts a gangster's (Anthony Quinn) ex-wife (Joan Perry) to lure him into a trap.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Joan Perry, Roger Pryor, Anthony Quinn
Certificate: Passed Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Biff Grimes has spent the last ten years regretting that he hadn't married Virginia Brush, the girl of his dreams. Virginia ran off and married his best friend - breaking his heart. Virginia's best friend, Amy, consoles Biff.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Dennis Morgan, Janis Paige, Don DeFore


Cast overview, first billed only:
Joel McCrea ... Sam Houston
Felicia Farr ... Katherine Delaney
Jeff Morrow ... Jim Bowie
Wallace Ford ... Henry Delaney
Abraham Sofaer ... Don Carlos
Jody McCrea ... Lt. Baker
Chubby Johnson ... Deaf Smith
William Hopper ... William Barrett Travis
Dayton Lummis Dayton Lummis ... Stephen Austin
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... Col. Cos (as Rodolfo Hoyos)
Roy Roberts ... Col. Sam Sherman
David Silva ... Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
Frank Puglia ... Pepe
James Griffith ... Davy Crockett
Nelson Leigh ... Col. Hockley


After arriving in Texas to escape a scandal back east, lawyer Sam Houston just wants to hang out his shingle, keep a low profile, and stay out of any political intrigue. However, when President Jackson personally asks him to lead the fight for Texan independence, he overcomes his reluctance to become involved and leads his compatriots to the decisive victory over Santa Anna and the Mexican army to gains Texas' independence. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

texas | See All (1) »


LUSTIEST OF ALL THE GREAT WESTERNERS! (original poster) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 June 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Held von Texas See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Houston arrives in Washington, there's an establishing shot which is, supposedly, the Executive Mansion (now called the White House). The building is clearly not that building. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: On the first day of December, in 1832, a man rode up to a muddy stream called the Red River. When he crossed this river, he was in Texas. He was a man in search of a new life, because his previous one had left him desolated and sick at heart. He was a man of size and strength and he had history in his hands. His name was Sam Houston.
See more »


Features Wichita (1955) See more »


The First Texan
Lyrics by McElbert Moore
Music by Roy Webb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Passable Western inspired by historical events about Sam Houston and his fight for Texas independence
10 October 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Historic events and great action as well as an acceptable cast . Sam left his mark across the West's thousand toughest miles to escape a scandal back east . From the Red River to the Rio Grande he was hunted and feared ; a restless giant in a violent land . Tall in the saddle, restless of heart , he ranged across a violent land, forging an era with cold steel . However , Houston nowadays justly wants to maintain a low profile . After arriving in Texas , advocate at law Sam Houston (Joel McCrea) wishes to stay out of any political turf . Later on , he gets together with notorious Texan leaders , his compatriots as Jim Bowie (Jeff Morrow) , Davy Crockett (James Griffith) , William Barrett Travis (William Hopper) , Stephen Austin (Dayton Lummis) , he then changes his opinion . After that , President Jackson (Carl Benton Reid) personally orders him to lead the battle for Texan independence, he overcomes his reluctance to become involved and leads his partners to a string of victories over the Mexican army . At the end takes place the famous battle of San Jacinto , in which was imprisoned General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana (David Silva) .

This exciting picture about Texas fights for independence contains action Western , drama , historical happenings , a love story and is quite entertaining . Interesting writing based on a story and screenplay by Daniel Ullman , a Western expert . Good main cast such as Joel McCrea and Felicia Farr who married Jack Lemmon . Ample support cast formed by notorious secondaries playing brief roles such as Jeff Morrow as Jim Bowie , Wallace Ford as Henry Delaney , Abraham Sofaer as magistrate , Chubby Johnson as Deaf Smith , William Hopper as William Barrett Travis and Jody McCrea , Joel Mcrea'son . Atmospheric as well as thrilling musical score by Roy Webb , RKO's usual . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Wilfred Cline . Medium budget film by Walter Mirisch , being professionally directed by Byron Haskin , though with no originality . Haskin was a good craftsman who worked in Warner Brothers Special Effects department . He returned to filmmaking , and was responsible for Walt Disney's first live-action film , the adventure cult-classic Treasure island (1950). In the mid-1950s Haskin began a rewarding association with producer George Pal, for whom he filmed what is probably his best-known film , the science fiction classic War of the worlds (1953) and a catastrophe movie , The naked jungle (1954). Haskin was expert on Sci-Fi genre , as he would collaborate with Pal on other films , such as Conquest of Space (1955) , Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) and The power (1968). He also directed some Western as Denver Rio Grande and Silver City .

The picture is partially based on historical deeds about Texas independence, these are the following : With Mexican permission Stephen Austin (Dayton Lummis) 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 (David Silva) , stormed the Alamo , being defended by Jim Bowie (Jeff Morrow) , Davy Crockett (James Griffith) and William Travis (William Hooper) , and wiped out the garrison on 6 March 1836 . But on 21 April 1836 General Santa Anna suffered a crushing defeat by Sam Houston (Joel McCrea) 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 Joel McCrea , 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 .

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed