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.
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.
Ron Howard was originally set to direct, with Russell Crowe 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.
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.
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 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.
One of the biggest box office bombs in film history. The film ended up costing, with marketing expenses, over $140,000,000 and by its second month of release had only earned a worldwide gross of slightly more than $25,000,000.