The Alamo (2004)

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    • The Alamo (2004)

      THE ALAMO

      DIRECTED BY JOHN LEE HANCOCK
      PRODUCED BY TODD HALLOWELL/ K.C. HODENFIELD/ RON HOWARD
      IMAGINE ENTERTAINMENT/ TOUCHSTONE PICTURES




      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Historical drama detailing the 1835-36 Texas revolution
      before, during, and after the famous siege of the Alamo
      (February 23-March 6, 1836) where 183 Texans (American-born Texans)
      and Tejanos (Mexican-born Texans) commanded by Colonel Travis,
      along with Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie,
      were besieged in an abandoned mission outside San Antonio
      by a Mexican army of nearly 2,000 men under the personal command
      of the dictator of Mexico, General Santa Anna, as well as detailing
      the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836) where General Sam Houston's
      rag-tag army of Texans took on and defeated Santa Anna's army
      which led to the indepedence of Texas.
      Written by Matthew Patay

      Full Cast
      Dennis Quaid ... Sam Houston
      Billy Bob Thornton ... Davy Crockett
      Jason Patric ... James Bowie
      Patrick Wilson ... William Travis
      Emilio Echevarría ... Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
      Jordi Mollà ... Juan Seguin
      Leon Rippy ... Sgt. William Ward
      Tom Davidson ... Colonel Green Jameson
      Marc Blucas ... James Bonham
      Robert Prentiss ... Albert Grimes
      Kevin Page ... Micajah Autry
      Joe Stevens ... Mial Scurlock
      Stephen Bruton ... Captain Almeron Dickinson
      Laura Clifton ... Susanna Dickinson
      Ricardo Chavira ... Private Gregorio Esparza (as Ricardo S. Chavira)
      Steven Chester Prince ... Lieutenant John Forsythe
      Craig Erickson ... Tom Waters
      Nick Kokich ... Daniel Cloud
      Richard Nance ... Grey #1
      Jett Garner ... Grey #2
      Estephania LeBaron ... Juana
      Afemo Omilami ... Sam
      Edwin Hodge ... Joe
      Emily Deschanel ... Rosanna Travis
      Blue Deckert ... Colorado Smith
      Turk Pipkin ... Issac Millsaps
      Brandon Smith ... Lieutenant Colonel J.C. Neill
      Tommy G. Kendrick ... T.J. Rusk
      W. Earl Brown ... David Burnet
      Tom Everett ... Mosley Baker
      Rance Howard ... Governor Smith
      Stewart Finlay-McLennan ... James Grant
      Matt O'Leary ... Boy in Store
      John S. Davies ... Store Owner
      Kit Gwin ... Mrs. Ayers
      Castulo Guerra ... General Castrillon
      Francisco Philbert ... General Cos
      Mauricio Zatarain ... Colonel Jose Batres
      Flavio Hinojosa ... Colonel Juan Almonte
      Hugo Pérez ... Charging Mexican Soldier
      Jesus Mayorga ... Battery Private
      Hector Garcia ... Battery Sergeant
      Roland Uribe ... Colonel Duque
      Ruben G. Rojas ... Francisco Esparza
      Lanell Pena ... Ana Esparza
      Michael Crabtree ... Deaf Smith
      Anna Reyes ... Tejano Child
      Sonia Montoya ... Stunning Tejana's Mother
      Elena Hurst ... Stunning Tejana
      Lynn Mathis ... James Hackett
      Charles Sanders ... Stage Manager
      Rutherford Cravens ... Mr. Smith
      Dameon Clarke ... Mr. Jones
      Tim Mateer ... Bill The Rider
      Nathan Price ... Charlie Travis
      Don Javier Castillo ... Don Jose Palaez
      Lonnie Rodriguez ... Mexican Scout
      Julio Cedillo ... General Cos' Messenger (as Julio Cesar Cedillo)
      Buck Taylor ... Settler
      Oscar D. Silva ... Firing Squad First Lieutenant
      Marc Menchaca ... Fifer
      Safia Gray ... Ursula Veramendi
      Eric Montoya ... Enrique Esparza
      Michael Clossin ... Tennessean #1
      Robert Bassetti ... Bowie Man in Street
      Nathan Walker ... Goliad Man
      Bert Beatson ... The Messenger (uncredited)
      Aidan Black ... Jackson Rusk (uncredited)
      Wendy Bonn ... Lady in Blue Dress (uncredited)
      Charles E. Gray ... Alamo Defender (uncredited)
      Celina Hernandez ... Tejano Prostitute (uncredited)
      Richard Jones ... Drinking Old-Timer (uncredited)
      Crystal Marie Lee ... Camp Follower (uncredited)
      Frank Matthews ... Joseph M. Hawkins (uncredited)
      Krystal Morton ... Angelina Dickinson (uncredited)
      Robert C. Pemelton ... Texan Soldier (uncredited)
      Alyssa Petersen ... Settler (uncredited)
      Amanda Petersen ... Settler (uncredited)
      Ann Taylor ... Theatre Patron (uncredited)
      Frank Thompson ... Texian Politician (uncredited)
      Clint Tidwell ... Texan Defender (uncredited)
      Tony Wolford ... Crockett's Group of Men (uncredited)
      Daniel Zubiate ... Texian Sergeant (uncredited)

      Produced by
      Todd Hallowell .... executive producer
      K.C. Hodenfield .... associate producer
      Ron Howard .... producer
      Mark Johnson .... producer
      Philip Steuer .... executive producer
      Louisa Velis .... associate producer

      Writing Credits
      Leslie Bohem (written by) and
      Stephen Gaghan (written by) and
      John Lee Hancock (written by)

      Original Music by
      Carter Burwell

      Cinematography
      Dean Semler


      Trivia
      Ethan Hawke was up for the role of William Barett Travis but eventually dropped out.

      At 51 acres, the set was the largest and most expensive set built in North America to date.

      It took seven months to shoot the movie. The final battle, which actually lasted less than 6 hours in the pre-dawn morning of 6 March 1836, took over a month to shoot.

      Disney had originally planned to release the film at Christmas 2003 but revised the date, citing that director John Lee Hancock was still working on the film.

      'Ron Howard' was originally set to direct, with 'Russell Crowe (I)' set to star, but both left the film when 'Ron Howard' and Disney had a major disagreement over the film's budget (Howard had sought $200 million). John Lee Hancock was then brought on board as director with Howard as the film's co-producer and the budget reduced to $95 million.

      During production, local news stations sent helicopters to get aerial footage of the Alamo set. This was causing so much interference that everyone on the set was told to give the copters "the finger" so they could not use any footage.

      Production wrapped $82,000 dollars under budget.

      Billy Bob Thornton learned to play the violin for some scenes that required it.

      An extra had grabbed a bag of Doritos from Craft Services before being called to the set. He stuffed it into his costume and got into formation. When action was called, the group charged across the field. When he was "shot" and fell dead to the ground, his bag of Doritos popped out. The scene had to be re-shot and from then on everyone had to be checked frequently.

      Crockett plays the "Mockingbird Quick Step" on his fiddle. The song is a version of "Listen to the Mockingbird". It was composed in 1855 and later used by The Three Stooges as a theme song.

      During the battle of San Jacinto the Texans yelled, "Remember the Alamo." During the actual battle they also yelled, "Remember Goliad." The massacre at Goliad was left out of the movie. Goliad was where Colonel Fannin and his unarmed men were executed at the order of Santa Ana.

      Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson was an extra and appears after the Battle of San Jacinto in a crowd scene shouting, "Hang him!" Patterson is shown briefly in costume in a cut-away shot with another extra while Houston makes a speech. Patterson also did several "PSA" announcements from the Alamo set to promote the "Save Texas History" web site.

      The death of David Crockett as depicted in this film is corroborated by the account of a Mexican soldier, Jose Enrique de la Pena. Though not translated into English until after the earlier Alamo film was made, his account makes the claim that Crockett was recognized by the Mexicans, and was executed after the battle rather than killed during it.

      Several people that played Texan extras in the movie are actual descendants of the defenders of the Alamo.

      The role of Susanna Dickinson, the only adult Anglo survivor of the siege and the mother of the only child Anglo survivor, was much larger in the script than what it ended up being in the final version of the film. The role was one of the major roles in the script and the actress who portrayed Susanna, Laura Clifton, was the only female member of the permanent cast for the film. After Disney finished editing the theatrical release of the film, the character has only one line (screaming for her husband, Almaron Dickinson, during a cattle stampede) and a few appearances in other scenes (during Travis' speech and in the chapel during the siege) and is not even identified anywhere in the movie so that audiences would know who this significant figure in Texas history was. In fact, the role, far from being Laura Clifton's big break, actually hurt her career because of how insignificant it ended up being in the theatrical release.

      Disney forced Director John Lee Hancock to put clothes on the images of liberty on the Texan's drums. Images of that era depicting Liberty always showed her with a breast or both breasts exposed.

      John Wayne's film featured only Anglo men fighting at the Alamo, although this is not historically accurate. The film includes the character of Juan Seguin, a real Hispanic veteran of the Texas Revolution. Sadly, after the war, Texans began to suspect him of betraying them to the Mexicans, so he was forced to return to Mexico to avoid persecution. He ended up serving in the Mexican army and having to fight against his fellow Texans in the Mexican-American war.

      Goofs
      Anachronisms
      The defenders of the Alamo, near the start of the movie, are singing "Listen to the Mockingbird." The Alamo siege took place in 1836 and "Listen to the Mockingbird" was written by Septimus Winner under the name of Alice Hawthrone and copyrighted in April 1855, 19 years after the siege of the Alamo.

      Continuity
      When Lt. Colonel Travis is departing from the house where he drops his son off, we see his black assistant standing next to his horse. In the next shot, the assistant is already mounted.

      When Lt. Colonel Travis is leaving the house where he drops his son off, the knot on the rope on his son's hat changes sides between shots.

      At one point, Bowie pulls his famous knife out of the sheath and allows Crockett to examine it. When the camera cuts back to Bowie, his knife is back in its sheath, despite the fact that Crockett is still holding it.

      Factual errors
      Several Mexican diaries state that Davy Crockett surrendered. But he surrendered with five other men, instead of just him, like the movie shows.

      In March of 1836, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna was about 42 years old. Emilio Echevarria, while his birth date is publicly unknown, is (visibly) significantly older, not close to resembling how Santa Anna looked at the time.

      Revealing mistakes
      When Houston and his men are charging Santa Anna's army there is a shot of a man being shot and falling to the ground. Midway through his fall the shot cuts to another take and the man jumps from one part of the frame to another and the people in the background change.

      When Jim Bowie returns to his home in San Antonio, he enters the courtyard and stands for a moment. While standing there a light turns on illuminating part of the back wall.

      The shell defused by Travis is too large to have been fired by any of the Mexican guns.

      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 - 23610 Hamilton Pool Road, Dripping Springs, Texas, USA
      (Alamo and Bexar scenes)
      Steiner Ranch - 896 Sayers Road, Bastrop, Texas, USA

      Previous Discussion
      The New Alamo Picture

      Watch the Trailer
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) The Alamo Movies- The Alamo (2004)

      The Alamo is a 2004 American war film
      about the Battle of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.
      The film was directed by Texan John Lee Hancock,
      produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, and Mark Johnson,
      and distributed by Touchstone Pictures.




      The screenplay is credited to Hancock,
      John Sayles, Stephen Gaghan, and Leslie Bohem.
      In contrast to the earlier 1960 film, the 2004 film
      attempts to depict the political points of view of both
      the Mexican and Texan sides; Santa Anna is a more prominent character.

      The film received negative reviews by critics and officially
      was the second biggest box office 'bomb' in cinema history.

      User Review
      Billy Bob Triumph
      25 April 2004 | by Dale Haufrect, M.D., M.A. (Houston, Texas)

      "The Alamo" is the most accurate depiction of this historical event in years. The Billy Bob Thornton performance is the zenith of the movie's strength. His portrayal of David Crockett is worth the price of admission. It places the previous actors, Fess Parker and John Wayne, in a cartoon like, position in this dramatic role. One must see this film on the big screen to appreciate it's panoramic impact. Much of the action takes place in the Alamo itself, however, there is the extra benefit of the battle that took place at the San Jacinto Battle grounds. I found it a refreshing presentation of this film genre. All of the performances were deeply felt, and Billy Bob's is especially outstanding. Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston also turns in a remarkable performance. This was a long awaited movie, and well worth the wait. Plan on a long film.
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) The Alamo Movies- The Alamo (2004)

      As a huge Alamo fan, I like this movie. Despite the bad reviews, I think it's much better than given credit for and of the two major Alamo movies, this one and the Wayne one, it is the more historically correct. I believe John Hancock did the best he could with what he had to work with. Whatever failure there was, I think it comes from Disney. They wanted a historical epic on a shoestring budget. If Ron Howard had gotten his way with the higher budget, this movie would've been so much better. Howard wanted to do it with totally realistic battle scenes and was shooting for an R rating. But Disney would have none of it. They wanted a more family oriented film without all the blood and gore flying about. I also think Disney just wanted a film to fill space and didn't care if it was a success or not. Just a write off. Alot of Alamo fans like myself are hoping that one day, John Hancock will be allowed to release a directors cut of the film that would have some key scenes that were shot, but Disney ordered cut to keep it within certain time limits.
    • Re: (New Review) The Alamo Movies- The Alamo (2004)

      This is more historically accurate than Duke's version, but to me it was a huge disappointment. I never thought that there would be another major Alamo movie in my lifetime and had really looked forward to this version but after viewing it with my family, I walked out of the theater feeling cheated.
      How can you make a siege and battle like this boring?
      The director tried to satisfy both camps regarding Crockett's death. First he wades into advancing Mexicans swinging Old Betsy and then we see him as a prisoner and executed. By the way, most historians question the veracity of the de la Pena diary which is the source of Crockett's capture.
      Hancock has been on record stating that a director's cut will include Bonham's ride (which is glimpsed in the trailer) and Houston's interaction with the Indians (Wes Studi's character was completely edited). He does not plan to restore any battle footage.
      I think a big mistake was the music score. During the final assault, the music sounds like a dirge. There is nothing propelling the action on screen. Tiomkin's music had your heart pumping while this one just depresses you.


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: The Alamo Movies- The Alamo (2004)

      Attempted to watch this movie, but after about 30 minutes in, I was bored!!
      It seemed slow and ponderous, and no matter how I tried to see the main men
      as played by the actors in this film, I couldn't stop comparing them with Duke's choice of actors.

      In the end it spoilt the movie for me, and although, yes it probably was more accurate then Duke's film,
      I couldn't help thinking that Davy Crockett was actually John Wayne, and Sam Houston was really Richard Boone, etc.

      I realise it sounds stupid, but I actually came to believe that
      Billy Bob Thornton and Denis Quaid etc were imposters!!
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England


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