The Kentuckian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Kentuckian
The Kentuckian poster.jpg
Directed by Burt Lancaster
Produced by Harold Hecht
Written by A.B. Guthrie Jr.
Based on The Gabriel Horn
by Felix Holt
Starring Burt Lancaster
Dianne Foster
Diana Lynn
Walter Matthau
Music by Bernard Herrmann
Roy Webb
Cinematography Ernest Laszlo
Edited by George E. Luckenbacher
Hecht-Lancaster Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • August 1, 1955 (1955-08-01)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2.6 million (US)[1]

The Kentuckian is a 1955 Technicolor and CinemaScope adventure film directed by Burt Lancaster, who also starred. This was one of only two films Lancaster directed (the other was The Midnight Man), and the only one for which he has sole credit. It also marked the feature film debut of Walter Matthau. The picture is an adaptation of the novel The Gabriel Horn by Felix Holt. The picture was shot on location in Kentucky in the Cumberland Falls area, the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park near London, Owensboro and Green River, and at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Village near Rockport, Indiana.[2]


Frontiersman Elias "Big Eli" Wakefield (Burt Lancaster) decides to leave 1820s Kentucky and move to Texas with his son "Little Eli" (Donald MacDonald). Along the way, they run into two women who take a liking to the pair, indentured servant Hannah (Dianne Foster), who wants to go with them, and schoolteacher Susie (Diana Lynn), who would rather have Big Eli marry her and settle down. Big Eli also has to deal with villainous Stan Bodine (Walter Matthau), who cracks a mean bullwhip.



  1. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
  2. ^ "Notes". Turner Classic Movies. 

External links[edit]