The Alamo (1960)

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    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    Review compiled by ethanedwards
    with special thanks to J.J. for the use of his post.


    Plot Summary
    In 1836 General Santa Anna and the Mexican army is sweeping across Texas.
    To be able to stop him, General Sam Huston needs time to get his main force into shape.
    To buy that time he orders Colonel William Travis to defend a small mission on the Mexicans' route at all costs.
    Travis' small troop is swelled by groups accompanying Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett,
    but as the situation becomes ever more desperate Travis makes it clear there will be no shame if they leave while they can.
    Summary written by Jeremy Perkins

    Full Cast
    John Wayne .... Col. Davy Crockett
    Richard Widmark .... Jim Bowie
    Laurence Harvey .... Col. William Travis
    Frankie Avalon .... Smitty
    Patrick Wayne .... Capt. James Butler Bonham
    Linda Cristal .... Graciela Carmela Maria 'Flaca' de Lopez y Vejar
    Joan O'Brien .... Mrs. Sue Dickinson
    Chill Wills .... Beekeeper
    Joseph Calleia .... Juan Seguin
    Ken Curtis .... Capt. Almeron Dickinson
    Carlos Arruza .... Lt. Reyes
    Jester Hairston .... Jethro
    Veda Ann Borg .... Blind Nell Robertson
    John Dierkes .... Jocko Robertson
    Denver Pyle .... Thimblerig (the Gambler)
    Aissa Wayne .... Lisa Angelica Dickinson
    Hank Worden .... Parson
    William Henry .... Dr. Sutherland (as Bill Henry)
    Bill Daniel .... Col. Neill
    Wesley Lau .... Emil Sande
    Chuck Roberson .... Tennesseean (segment "It do.")
    Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams .... Lt. 'Irish' Finn (as Guinn Williams)
    Olive Carey .... Mrs. Dennison
    Ruben Padilla .... Generalissimo Antonio Miguel Lopez de Santa Anna
    Richard Boone .... Gen. Sam Houston
    Ray Ackland .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Charles Akins .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Harold Allgood .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Lee Allison .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    D.E. Barentine .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Carol Baxter .... Melinda, Texan Girl (uncredited)
    Abe Blankenship .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    F. Bode .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Danny Borzage .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Buff Brady .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Paul Breen .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Jim Brewer .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Jim Burk .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    H.J. Canutt .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Tap Canutt .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    A.R. Carpenter .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Ed Carter .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Georges Cartes .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Vincente Castro .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Raul De Luna .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    LeJean Eldridge .... Mrs. Guy (uncredited)
    Rojelio Estrada .... Mexican boy (uncredited)
    Estill Ezell .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Manuel Farias .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Mickey Finn .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Gerry Fisher .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Karl Flenn .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Miguel Garza .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Yndalecio Gonzales .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Mike Goulla .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Fred Graham .... Bearded volunteer (uncredited)
    Joe Graham .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Big John Hamilton .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Robert H. Harris .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Tom Hennesy .... Bull (uncredited)
    Frank Higgins .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Doug Hodges .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Junior Hudkins .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Joe Jackson .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Leroy Johnson .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Elmo Jones .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Eddie Juaregui .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Wayne Kendrick .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Jim Kennedy .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Charles Kone .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    David Kuykendall .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Ronald Lee .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Cliff Lyons .... (uncredited)
    Efrain Maldonada .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Cy Malis .... Pete (uncredited)
    Bryan McAfee .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    John McGuyer .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Doug McNealy .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Don Middlebrook .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Jack Miller .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    J.R. Miller .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Bob Morgan .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Bob Moss Sr. .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    C.A. Nicks .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Ray Ochoa .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Dale Parsons .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Jack Pennick .... Sgt. Lightfoot (uncredited)
    Gil Perkins .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Jerry Phillips .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Homer Pierce .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Lee Roy Powell .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Lupe Reyes .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Warren Rhea .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Ed Riley .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Rudy Robbins .... Tennessean (segment "Do this mean what I think it do?") (uncredited)
    Cruz Rodriquez .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Eleno Rodriquez .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Ricardo Rosales .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Bob Rose .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    George Ross .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    LeRoy Ryland .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Charles Sanders .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Alberto Sandoval .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Guadalupe Santoya .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Pete Schneider .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Bill Shannon .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Ben Shirley .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Chester Smith .... (uncredited)
    Dan Smith .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Dean Smith .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    George Sofge .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Greg Souquet .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Jack Spain .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Jerry Sterner .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Winner Stevens .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Ted Sumerall .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Alfred Taylor .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Martin Torres .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Julian Trevino .... Silvero Seguin (uncredited)
    Jesse Valdez .... Bowie's charro (uncredited)
    Charles Veltmann Jr. .... Travis' man (uncredited)
    Jim Walker .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Pilar Wayne .... (uncredited)
    Toni Wayne .... (uncredited)
    Ted White .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Bill Williams .... Tennessean (uncredited)
    Jack Williams .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Clay Wilson .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Thomas Worrell .... Bowie's man (uncredited)
    Jim Wright .... Bowie's man (uncredited)

    Writing Credits
    James Edward Grant original screenplay

    James Edward Grant .... associate producer
    John Wayne .... producer
    Michael Wayne .... associate producer

    William H. Clothier

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
    Cliff Lyons .... second unit director
    Robert E. Relyea .... assistant director
    Robert Saunders .... assistant director
    Michael Wayne .... first assistant director: second unit (uncredited)

    Bill Babcock .... stunts (uncredited)
    Buff Brady .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
    Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
    Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
    Philip Crawford .... stunts (uncredited)
    Harry Froboess .... stunts (uncredited)
    Glen Gamble .... horse master (uncredited)
    Fred Graham .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bob Harris .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bill Hart .... stunts (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
    Tom Hennesy .... stunts (uncredited)
    Tex Hill .... stunts (uncredited)
    John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
    Leroy Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
    Eddie Juaregui .... stunts (uncredited)
    Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
    Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
    Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
    Rudy Robbins .... stunts (uncredited)
    Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bob Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bill Shannon .... stunts (uncredited)
    Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
    Gibb Stepp .... stunts (uncredited)
    Ted White .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bill Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
    Thomas Worrell .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)

    Other Crew
    Frank Beetson Jr. .... technical supervisor (as Frank Beetson)
    Russell Birdwell .... unit publicist
    Jim Henaghan .... unit publicist
    Robert E. Morrison .... production associate
    Jack Pennick .... technical supervisor
    Michael Wayne .... assistant to producer
    Paul Francis Webster .... lyricist: "Tennessee Babe", "Here's to the Ladies" and "Ballad of the Alamo" (song titles uncredited)
    Paul Francis Webster .... lyricist: "The Green Leaves of Summer"
    Burt Kennedy .... production associate (uncredited)
    George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
    Denver Pyle .... set photographer (uncredited)

    LeJean Eldridge was murdered during filming by her boyfriend.

    Lieutenant Finn's fall from his horse was unscripted and unintentional.

    The huge Alamo set took two years to construct.

    John Wayne originally intended that Richard Widmark should play Davy Crockett, while Wayne himself would have taken the small role of Sam Houston so he could focus his energy on directing the picture. However, Wayne was only able to get financial backing if he played one of the main parts, so he decided to play Crockett and cast Widmark as Jim Bowie.

    During the battle sequence, one of the cannons rolled over the foot of Laurence Harvey, breaking it at the instep. He continued with the scene, eventually treating the injury himself.

    John Wayne was a fan of The Kingston Trio's recording of "Remember the Alamo", composed by Jane Bowers, and wanted to use the song in the film. When, for various reasons, the rights to the song couldn't be obtained, Dimitri Tiomkin, who scored the film, and Paul Francis Webster wrote their own song for the film, "The Green Leaves of Summer".

    John Wayne partially financed this film himself. During shooting, the film was delayed due to various production problems. Wayne was under so much pressure, he smoked cigarettes almost non-stop when not acting.

    Charlton Heston was among the actors who were sent the script and John Wayne wanted him to play Jim Bowie. Heston later said there seemed good reasons for him not to do the film and, when pressed further, stated having John Wayne as director to be one of them.

    Sammy Davis Jr. managed to obtain a copy of the script and asked John Wayne if he could play the straight role of a Negro slave. Wayne considered him but eventually declined Davis' offer. Davis recalled, "There were a lot of influential Texans investing in the film and they didn't like the idea that I was seeing [his future wife] May Britt at the time. They disapproved of a man of color going out with a girl who was white, though Duke [Wayne] was upfront with me about it and I respected him for it".

    John Wayne intended this film to be an allegory for America's Cold War with the Soviet Union.

    Clark Gable was offered the role of Davy Crockett but turned it down. Though Gable was a Republican who shared Wayne's anti-communist views, he did not want to commit to an expensive project with a first-time director.

    Banned in Mexico.

    Despite being a top-ten money maker for 1960, John Wayne assumed huge personal debt to get the film finished after United Artists refused to pay for cost overruns during production. It wasn't until the television rights sale in 1971 that Wayne's personal debts were finally paid off. It premiered on the U.S. network NBC in September 1971.

    John Wayne and Richard Widmark famously did not get along during filming. Since Widmark was a liberal Democrat who opposed blacklisting and supported the civil-rights movement and gun control - positions diametrically opposed to Wayne's - it was long rumored that politics had been the cause of the problem. However, Widmark later cited Wayne's lack of directing skills as the reason for the feud. This was something Ken Curtis agreed with, since he remarked that Wayne had no ability to motivate an actor for a scene.

    Sonny Tufts was at one point considered for the role of Jim Bowie, and Clark Gable for the role of William Travis.

    Director John Ford showed up on the set, and let John Wayne know that he wanted to direct some of the picture. Wayne sent him out with a small crew to do some second-unit work, mostly of Mexican cavalry riding through the countryside as they approached the Alamo, and Frankie Avalon estimated that the footage filmed by Ford made up approximately 10%-15% of the finished film. Other sources, however, have said that Wayne eventually deemed most of Ford's footage unusable, and little if any of it made it into the final cut of the film. According to these sources, the footage that Ford believed he shot of the Mexican cavalry patrolling the countryside was actually re-shot by a second-unit director, although Wayne didn't have the heart to tell Ford.

    Charlton Heston, then a moderate Democrat, turned down the role of Jim Bowie because he feared the critical response to the movie. However, later in life Heston turned around and wholeheartedly embraced right-wing Republican politics, also changing his mind about not accepting the part and saying that it was "a huge mistake".

    John Wayne, in good fellowship, would reportedly refer to Richard Widmark by the nickname "Dick" when filming began, to which Widmark icily replied "It's Richard." After this, Wayne constantly and sarcastically emphasized Widmark's formal first name on the set, as in "Oh, RICHARD, are you ready for the next take, RICHARD?"

    John Wayne formed a close friendship with Laurence Harvey during filming. He later said Harvey should have received an Oscar nomination instead of Chill Wills.

    The Ybarra set was later used in several films and each made additions. By 1985, however, the set was mostly in ruins, and much of it was pulled down. Using plans and period drawings, the set was rebuilt for Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988) on its old foundations, this time to full scale under Production Designer/Art Director Roger Ragland. The new set is still in use. Both "Lonesome Dove" (1989) and Bad Girls (1994/I) have used the historically correct facade.

    Richard Boone showed up on the first day of filming, sporting a full beard. It was then pointed out his character General Houston didn't actually have a beard.

    Shot over a period of 83 days.

    The original blueprints of the Alamo were used to recreate the replica building.

    Originally to save on expenses, Wayne planned to shoot the film in Mexico. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas (the custodians of the real Alamo) sent him a letter that if he pursued with that course of action that he had better not show the film in Texas. Consequently Wayne found an amenable landowner, Happy Shahan, who allowed the production to film on his 20,000 acre ranch in Bracketville, Texas. When Wayne asked to meet the builder, he was introduced to a Mexican immigrant. A rather dubious Wayne asked him "Do you think you can build the Alamo?" to which the Mexican replied "Do you think you can make a picture, Mr Wayne?"

    The climactic battle scenes involved 7,000 extras, 1,500 horses and 400 Texan longhorn cattle.

    At the start of production on location just a few miles from the historic battlesite, Wayne had a clergyman say a prayer for the movie in front of the assembled cast and crew of 342, asking God to bless their work and help them produce a fitting testament to the brave men who died for the cause.

    In the mid 1990s, a private Canadian film collector discovered what was believed to be the last surviving print of the 70mm premiere version in pristine condition. MGM used the print to make a digital video transfer of the roadshow version for VHS and LaserDisc but unfortunately stored it improperly in an archive where it dramatically deteriorated.

    Dimitri Tiomkin's soundtrack for the film has been in continuous print for nearly 50 years.

    Chill Wills' aggressive campaign to win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar was generally thought to bring about a backlash, most people regarding his Variety ad in which the film's cast were praying harder for Wills to win the Oscar than the defenders of the Alamo themselves prayed on the night before the battle as a display of poor judgment. Wayne himself was appalled by the tastelessness of the ad and was forced to take out an ad himself, countering it.

    Although the film did well at the box office, its high budget meant that it wasn't much of a success, so Wayne lost a great deal of his personal investment.

    The set - now called Alamo Village - has since been used in over 100 other Westerns.

    Wayne lobbied hard for Republic studios to fund a big budget Western. Republic, who dealt with low-budget B-movies, turned him down so Wayne was forced to finance much of the film himself. He took out a second mortgage on his homes and secured loans on his cars and yacht.

    Both Clark Gable and Charlton Heston, the two actors John Wayne wanted most to do the film, both expressed regret at not taking the parts they were offered. Heston declined the role of 'Bowie' out of political ideology (a political view he later later vehemently rejected), and Gable passed due to to the age difference between himself and William Travis. Gable's family later said that he wanted to do the film as a way to do "a macho film" to escape the typecasting of Gone with the Wind (1939) as a romantic lead.

    The set in which the film was made, now called "Alamo Village" is opened to the public in Bracketville, Texas, where there are shows, shops, and most of the buildings (including the Alamo Fort) are opened to the public daily.

    The Alamo Village set near Brackettville was built "180 degrees out" from the actual Alamo layout in San Antonio. In other words, the facade of the chapel faces West in San Antonio, but it faces East in Alamo Village. When an Alamo Village employee was asked why this was done, he replied that, since there were several scenes set at dawn, director Wayne did not want to set up and shoot those scenes at dawn, but rather at sundown, which would be easier on the crew, and the audience would not know. He also said that Wayne thought that a small hill, located to the West of the Alamo Village set, would look good as a backdrop to some of the shots of the chapel. No such hill exists East of San Antonio.

    * Revealing mistakes: Stuntmen can be seen falling onto mattresses.

    * Continuity: In a scene where Travis rides a horse, the shadow changes direction several times.

    * Continuity: In the critical scene where Bowie and Crockett are on horseback, ready to depart with their troops, Col. Travis makes his farewell speech. His shadow then changes directions several times.

    * Crew or equipment visible: In the battle sequences mobile trailers are clearly visible.

    * Continuity: When Capt. Dickinson announces to Col. Travis that Bowie is approaching, there is a soldier on the Travis' right-hand side pulling up a cannon by a rope. It cuts to the next shot and the same soldier appears only gesticulating to orient whom actually is pulling the rope. Then, from one shot to another, the cannon appears on the wall.

    * Continuity: In the church, the shadows of Beekeeper and Bowie's torches appears on the wall behind. It is supposed to be the only light inside came from the torches.

    * Continuity: Talking to Crockett, Flaca grabs the window wide open grates with her both hands. In the following shot, shown from inside, she is leaning the right part of her body on the window and maintaining only the left hand on the grate.

    * Continuity: When the Mexicans begin the siege of Alamo, Col. Travis uses a lunette to watch them, while Capt. Dickinson takes notes on his left-hand side. Between shots, seen from behind, Dickinson is on the Travis' right hand side.

    * Continuity: After Col. Travis reprimands Bowie, Crockett remains talking to him. At one point, Crocket leans his hands on his hips. Next long shot he appears with his arms crossed.

    * Continuity: Gen. Houston's shadow changes direction when he reads the letter delivered by Smitty.

    * Revealing mistakes: During the last Mexican army attack, a dead soldier folds his right arm, approaching his hand to his head.

    * Anachronisms: The soldiers sing "Happy Birthday to You" to a little girl, 57 years before it was written.

    * Anachronisms: The distinctive Alamo church sports upper windows that were not installed until about 15 years after the battle. There are other architectural inaccuracies, too.

    * Factual errors: There are numerous inaccuracies in the depiction of the events of the real battle.

    * Continuity: The Tennessee volunteer who falls onto a bench while holding a woman on his shoulders disappears.

    * Factual errors: Characters react to news of massacre at Goliad. That took place two weeks after the Alamo fell.

    * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When a soldier is riding his horse, we can hear the horses hoofs clopping on the ground. When the horse jumps into the air to jump over a fallen log, we can still hear the clopping noise even when the horse is in mid-air.

    * Continuity: At the end of the film, when Lisa Dickinson is being led away from the Alamo on a mule, a large smudge appears on her left cheek when she is being led past Santa Anna that was not present when she was placed on the mule.

    * Factual errors: At the Alamo, Jim Bowie receives a letter informing him that his wife and children recently died of cholera. In reality, Ursula died Sept. 10, 1833, 2½ years earlier.

    * Factual errors: Jim Bowie is shown in bed suffering from injuries received in an explosion during the siege. In reality, throughout the siege he was bedridden because of an illness believed to be pneumonia, typhoid or tuberculosis.

    * Miscellaneous: At the very beginning, when General Houston and his men ride into town, Houston dismounts and enters a building for a meeting with Colonel Travis. One of Houston's men then asks if the General will allow his men to rest, as the last two forced marches have rather taken it out of them. Houston replies that the foot soldiers may and that the others are to be fed and their horses tended to before another forced march within the hour. But Houston and his men are all on horseback. There are no foot soldiers in his troop. After the meeting, Houston and his large force of men then all gallop off on horseback at quite a pace. So, if there ever were any foot soldiers, they would never have been able to catch up with Houston and his riders.

    * Factual errors: In the movie, Flaca reads a letter that was ficticiously written by Mexican Dictator Santa Anna. She calls his first name as "Miguel" when in actuality his name was Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.

    * Factual errors: The opening scene of the movie shows Sam Houston giving orders to William Barrett Travis to hold off the Mexican army until he could build an army. In reality he sent Travis to the Alamo to help Jim Bowie burn it down and retreat to Gonzales, Texas. Bowie and Travis ignored the order.

    * Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Sam Houston refers to the Alamo as being on the Rio Bravo (aka Rio Grande) when the Alamo is located on the San Antonio River.

    * Continuity: As Davy is walking with Graciela through the woods after convincing his men to fight, his hat which he has under his arm flips 180 degrees between shots.

    * Factual errors: In the battle Santa Ana wears a Shako helmet. That is the hat all of his foot soldiers wore, not him.

    * Factual errors: By dawn, the battle at the Alamo was all but finished. It was essentially a night action.

    * Continuity: When Crockett and his men arrive at the Alamo, he stops and is standing with his rifle across his body in both hands. When the camera angle changes, the rifle is upright and he is leaning on it.

    * Continuity: When Crockett and his men arrive at the Alamo, and he is standing in front of his men, he is a few feet away from Bowie. When the camera angle changes, he is standing right next to Bowie.

    * Continuity: When Crockett and his men arrive at the Alamo, and he is standing in front of his men, Beekeeper is several feet back dismounting his horse. When the camera angle changes, he is standing right behind Crockett.

    * Revealing mistakes: Just prior to an explosion on the wall during the first battle, several Texans are seen from behind watching the Mexican attack. One of the "Texans" is an obvious wooden dummy, costumed and placed to absorb the greatest impact of the explosion.

    * Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When Travis is killed he falls to the ground face down. As the Mexican soldiers overrun that position, one of them kicks Travis's hand. Some people think incorrectly that this is actor Harvey deliberately moving his hand to avoid being stepped on.

    * Revealing mistakes: During the first attack by the Mexicans, you can see the Alamo's right side window (by the fence) is black after being burned from the huge explosion at the end of the film. This is clearly seen when they show a close up of Crockett at the fence area.

    * Anachronisms: Susannah Dickinson's dresses have an obvious zipper. Zippers weren't invented until 1914 and weren't used on dresses until the 1930s.

    * Factual errors: Col. Travis was shot in the forehead and died on the north wall early in the final battle.

    * Factual errors: Col. Travis' last speech in the plaza asking for those who would to stay to the end did not show him draw a line in the sand with his sword. In reality two survivors, Moses Rose and Susannah Dickenson both reported he did.

    * Errors in geography: The real Alamo in San Antonio faces west. In the movie you see a sunset behind the eastern facing Alamo.

    * Continuity: At the beginning of the movie after the meeting at the Alamo Sam Houston is riding away. Behind him is the character Jocko riding a mule. Later, Jocko is one of the defenders saying a final goodbye to his family.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Locations

    Texas, USA
    Austin, Texas, USA
    Bastrop, Texas, USA (battle of San Jacinto)
    Dripping Springs, Texas, USA
    Driskell Hotel - 604 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas, USA
    Jim Small's Big Thicket, Bastrop, Texas, USA (lake camp scenes)
    Paramount Theatre - 713 Congress, Austin, Texas, USA
    Pedernales Falls State Park - 2585 Park Road 6026, Johnson City, Texas, USA
    (Zacatecas and Mexican command scenes)
    Reimer's Ranch - Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, Texas, USA
    (Alamo and Bexar scenes)
    Steiner Ranch - 896 Sayers Road, Bastrop, Texas, USA
    (Bexar & Alamo scenes

    Watch the Trailer:-



    The Alamo is a 1960 American historical epic war film about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo
    produced and directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne as Davy Crockett.
    The picture also stars Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey as William B. Travis,
    and the supporting cast features Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Linda Cristal, Joan O'Brien, Chill Wills, Joseph Calleia, Ken Curtis, Ruben Padilla as Santa Anna,
    and guest star Richard Boone as Sam Houston.
    The movie was photographed in 70 mm Todd-AO by William H. Clothier
    and released by United Artists.

    The subject is the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.

    Review compiled by ethanedwards
    with special thanks to J.J. for the use of his post.

    Post by Jay J. Foraker

    I thought I would share a little remembrance and nostalgia on the world premiere of the Duke's "The Alamo." This took place here in San Antonio in October, 1960 (I don't remember the exact date). My memory is a little fuzzy here since I had just graduated from high school the previous spring, but as I recall, this took place at what was then called Wonderland Mall with a lot of state, county and local dignitaries as well as a lot of media. This was given a lot of promotion and the celebration was telecast locally. I wasn't able to attend but did watch the telecast. Of course, the Duke was there and, as I remember, Chill Wills and some of the other cast were on hand (memory fails me here). Then everybody travelled down Fredericksburg Road to the Woodlawn Theater for the premiere.
    Just thought I'd share this bit of nostalgia with everyone.

    Have a great day!

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

    Edited 21 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • :cowboy: Hi Jay, welcome to this great site. Also, my own Mother was at a breakfast that you had to pay a fee for to eat with John Wayne. From what I remember her telling me, she sat across the table from The Duke. My mother was also at the premier of The Alamo. I don't remember much more than this but I do recall she said that she ordered the same meal as John Wayne did at that breakfast, which was a Western Omlett.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • I saw the original road show engagement of John Wayne's "The Alamo" a few weeks after its world premiere in 1960. When I was able to buy a VHS tape of the movie in the early '80s, I was extremely puzzled, because I was sure that the character Emil Sand met his demise at the hands of Crockett and Co. Sand just initiates that skirmish with Crockett, gets whipped with the help of Bowie, and then simply disappears off the map.
    When some publicity about the release of the Director's Cut VHS was initiated in the early '90s, I salivated and made sure I got my copy the day it was released.
    Sure 'nough, there were the missing scenes, among others - and - it was in letterbox - glory, glory day.
    Like most of the rest of you folks have been saying - nothing can hold a candle to the uncut version of Duke's "The Alamo." Unfortunately, as I understand from the rest of the discussions on this site, the DVD is of the cut version, a vastly inferior presentation.


    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • Regarding a folk legend about "The Alamo" - the rumor has been around for years that in one of the scenes during the battle, a Bracketville school bus can be seen in the background. I have looked at the uncut version several times without spotting this anomaly and would be interested if anyone else has seen this or has more info on this.

    Thanks folks -

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • I have seen The Alamo many many times and thankfully on the big screen as well - and never seen that darn bus. I think people mess this up with a behind the scenes photo: When the final assault of the Mexicans was filmed, there was indeed a red bus in the background of the chapel -yet that's only on photographs.

    (I've never seen the legendary wrist-watch in Ben-Hur either!)

    Even with the director's cut and the scenes which have been missing for so long, there remain some scenes which have been shot yet never made it in the final Wayne-version. I'd love to see these:

    When Frankie Avalon carries the fire-wood, he meets with his love-interest (the blonde girl, only to be seen in the final version when Frankie faints)

    And the scene in which Crockett and his men enter San Antonio in their fancy clothes.

  • While the Alamo may not be my favourite movie by any strech of the imagination I do find the recovery of previously deleted scenes very interesting. From what I can understand scenes within the movie that previously seemed odd i.e. the henchman whom Duke fought with on the street just disappears out of the movie but the deleted scenes seem to show us more of what happened there now that can only improve the movie.

    Itdo what do you think are the chances of actually finding scenes that Duke cut from the movie, I was watching a documentary about Humphrey Bogart a while ago and it was brilliant it not only showed many deleted scenes from his movies but alternative endings its a shame that nothing like this can be found for Dukes movies or is it a case of not looking in the right places.

    Note I'm not writting in bold anymore as it has been brought to my attention that it can be translated as me shouting.



  • :cowboy: I always was told by my parents to look for that bus and never could spot it though that said they always did. Guess I will have to watch The Alamo for my Thanksgiving movie. I never knew where to look but now I will look for it behind the Chapel.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • I think that this movie shows the patriotic theme of America that makes it great. This is a classic Duke movie, and I cherish it as a Duke greatest.


    Note I'm not writting in bold anymore as it has been brought to my attention that it can be translated as me shouting.

    Robbie, you're a hoot!

    Cheers B)


    "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"

    - John Wayne quote

  • OK, Ringo Kid but don't spoil your fun watching the film by looking for that non-existing bus: I'm only saying I've seen photos of the bus parked behind the chapel (when filming the scene of the last wave of mexicans storming the chapel). I've never seen the bloody thing in the film (there are other bloopers to look for, unfortunately).

  • :cowboy: Hi Itdo, thanks for that ;)

    I do know of one blooper I can think of off hand.

    This was a scene where after the Mexican Cannorfire blew a hole through one of the walls. There was a scene where the Mexican Soldiers were racing through the hole, ther was some sort of straw-covered roof? they were running under--which was on fire. Anyway, it must have been a powerful windy day when they filmed that scene because the "bricks" were being blown away by the winds. One person running through the "debris" accidently kicked or slightly bumped his foot against one, and it rolled away like a Tumbleweed.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

  • Two bloopers I can think of are when Travis is killed the Mexicans run over him and he can be seen to move his hand.

    The next one is quite funny when Duke is told to guard the north wall he accidentally walks on one of the defenders head.

    At the same time though the final assault on the Alamo is very well done and Duke should get a little more credit for it than he has in the past.



  • Resurrection time once more ... ^^

    I viewed my "director's cut" VHS of "The Alamo" over the holidays after an abstinence of some time. I noticed that one of the restored scenes not on the cut version had some emotional impact. That is the one with the death of the "Parson and Crockett's soliloquy and prayer. Very touching! This and other scenes in the restored version simply add to the quality of "The Alamo."

    Cheers - Jay :)

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • I almost forgot -

    In our daily newspaper's obituaries today, a reporter that interviewed Duke during the making of "The Alamo" passed away this week - he was 82, I believe. Anyway, he also covered the murder that involved two of the bit players in the movie. I believe Duke was to give testimony at the trial, but I have no specifics.
    Just thought I'd pass along that little bit of trivia.

    Regards - Jay :mellow:

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • Hi Jay

    The murder you refer to was about a supporting actress name Jeanne Le Guye real name Le Jeanne Ethridge who was a member of a travelling group known as The Hollywood Starlight Players. After auditioning for a part in The Alamo she and her boyfriend were taken on as extras and lived in the extras quarters. Later her part was expanded and she moved out of the extras quarters into the next strp up. This led to an arguement with her boyfriend during which time he stabbed her to death.
    If you want to read more I suggest Duke the Life and Times of John Wayne
    or John Wayne's Alamo

    It might also be possible if Ringo in his reasearch facility might be able to pick up a copy of the actual paper headline. I know I for one would be interested in reading about it.



    Walk Tall - Talk Low

  • One of the experiences of seeing the restored Director's cut for the first time is seeing that scene of the murdered Ethridge for the first time - her only scene was cut for the theatrical release. It was of no consequence to the plot - just a single moment of a feisty pioneer women leaving San Antone.

  • She was the actress who was murdered by her boyfriend in Bracketville (or maybe the Ft. Clark area) during the filming of "The Alamo." She is only in the scene where Crockett and Flacca are watching the exodus of the townspeople. She had all her belongings in a wagon and exchanges a few words with the principals. The scene is not in the cut version of the movie.

    Best regards - Jay :)

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • :cowboy: Hi Jay and thanks. I had never heard about that, what a sad thing to happen though. I sure hope justice happened in her case.

    I used to be a Correctional Officer for the State of Tx. I dealt with many thousands of inmates in the years I worked for the system. I heard countless stories of them telling at how they were framed and because of that, were sentenced to terms in prison. Some undoubtedly were in because of wrongful information but, that number is VERY low.

    Anyway, I really do hope justice was served for that gal.

    Best regards--TRK.

    Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..