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In 1836 General Santa Anna and the Mexican army is sweeping across Texas. To be able to stop him, General Sam Houston 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. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
John Wayne lobbied hard for Republic Pictures to fund a big-budget epic about the Alamo. Republic, which specialized in 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. See more »
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. See more »
John Wayne's directorial tribute to the struggle for "The Alamo" symbolized the spirit of resistance of a small group of determined fighters for Texan independence from Mexico...
Texans established a provisional government in 1835 and appointed Sam Houston (Richard Boone) commander in chief of their army... There followed a seesaw battle for control of San Antonio, including the ill-advised defense of the Alamo by a force of fewer than 200 Texas volunteers... General Antonio Lopez De Santa Anna was determined to take this key location in order to impress upon the Texans the futility of further resistance to Mexican ruler...
After a 13-day siege, every fighting man perished under the onslaught of 7,000 Mexican troops... Among the fallen defenders were Cols. William B. Travis, James Bowie and the legendary Davy Crockett... Only Mrs. Dickinson (Joan O'Brien), her little daughter and a black boy survive to provide the eyewitness story of the Siege and the Battle of the Alamo...
John Wayne portrays Davy Crockett, a frontiersman and politician, who saw the future of an independent Texas as his future and he loved a good fight... Crockett and his brave combatants - the Tennesseans, expert marksmen, held their position until death...
Richard Widmark is cast as Colonel Jim Bowie, a reckless adventurer, known for his famous 'Bowie knife'. Bowie has come to fight for Texas independence with a small force of volunteers. He had strong personal friction with Travis which threatens to develop into a private war... The difference in their personalities resulted in the two men sharing a somewhat antagonistic competition for command of the entire garrison... On one point they did agree: "The Alamo" is the most important stronghold of Texas...
Laurence Harvey plays Colonel Travis, "the grand Canyon of Texas," who arrives with 25 men to establish the first line of defense against Santa Anna... Travis is a disciplinarian officer who commanded the Texas defenders during the siege and battle of the Alamo, a genuine hero who anticipated a battle to the death, a polite gentleman who gave the men an opportunity to retreat with honor the ill-fated garrison but explained how important their defense of the Alamo is... His appeal from the Alamo of reinforcements becomes an American symbol of unyielding courage, heroism and self-sacrifice... Travis high moment in the film was when he fired his answer to Santa Anna with a cannon blast: Victory or Death!
With its seven Oscar nominations, including the Oscar-nominated hit song "The Green Leaves of Summer" and a superb score written by Dmitri Tiomkin and song-writer Paul Webster, and featuring some of the most spectacular battle sequences ever seen, "The Alamo," - a sacrifice on the altar of liberty - becomes the 'Battle Cry' that broke Santa Anna's back...
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