|Directed by||Burt Lancaster|
|Produced by||Harold Hecht|
|Written by||A.B. Guthrie Jr.|
The Gabriel Horn|
by Felix Holt
|Music by||Bernard Herrmann|
|Edited by||George E. Luckenbacher|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$2.6 million (US)|
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.
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 bullwhip.
- Burt Lancaster as Elias Wakefield
- Dianne Foster as Hannah Bolen
- Diana Lynn as Susie Spann
- John McIntire as Zack Wakefield
- Una Merkel as Sophie Wakefield
- John Carradine as Ziby Fletcher
- John Litel as Pleasant Tuesday Babson
- Rhys Williams as Constable
- Edward Norris as Roulette Dealer
- Walter Matthau as Stan Bodine
- Donald MacDonald as Little Eli Wakefield
- Lisa Ferraday as Gambler
- Clem Bevans as the pilot of the River Queen (uncredited)
Near the end of the film, there is a ferocious fight between Lancaster's character and Matthau's whip-wielding villain. Matthau was doubled by whip expert Whip Wilson, who cut Lancaster across the shoulder after the star asked him to "hit me and make it look real".
As part of the marketing, the studio commissioned Thomas Hart Benton to create the painting The Kentuckian, which depicts a scene from the film. The painting belongs to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 1978.