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Martyrs of the Alamo (1915)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, War | 21 November 1915 (USA)
The story of the defense of the mission-turned-fortress by 185 Texans against an overwhelming Mexican army in 1836.


Christy Cabanne (as W. Christy Cabanne)


Christy Cabanne (as W. Christy Cabanne), Theodosia Harris (novel)




Cast overview:
Sam De Grasse ... Silent Smith
Allan Sears Allan Sears ... David Crockett (as A.D. Sears)
Walter Long ... Santa Anna
Alfred Paget ... James Bowie
Fred Burns Fred Burns ... Captain Dickinson
John T. Dillon John T. Dillon ... Colonel Travis (as John Dillon)
Juanita Hansen ... Old Soldier's Daughter
Ora Carew ... Mrs. Dickinson
Tom Wilson ... Sam Houston
Augustus Carney ... Old Soldier


Santa Anna, dictator of Mexico, comes to San Antonio, Texas, and there follows a series of outrages upon Americans living there. The wife of Captain Dickinson is insulted by one of the dictator's officers. When her husband goes to demand satisfaction he is thrown into jail. Then are introduced Bowie, Crockett and Silent Smith. The last named falls in love with the old soldier's daughter. These leaders of the Texans successfully conceal their arms when Santa Anna issues a proclamation confiscating all weapons. With these arms the Texans attack the Alamo, a combined mission and fort, and capture it. Santa Anna, in whose absence they made their successful assault, starts back to San Antonio with 6,000 men. The Alamo is besieged and after ten days of fighting and desperate resistance, it is captured. Only Silent Smith, who had been sent to Sam Houston for help, Mrs. Dickinson and her baby and the old soldier's daughter are spared. Mother and child are sent to inform their countrymen of ... Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | War | Western


Not Rated

Did You Know?


Although the participation of Douglas Fairbanks in this film, in an uncredited role as "Joe" / "Texan Soldier" is documented in the American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1911-1920, it is based on a reference found in the New York Times 22 November 1915, but not in any review of the film itself. Since Fairbanks was a leading player on the New York stage at this time, and about to make his screen debut as the star of The Lamb, such an uncredited and unidentifiable bit is unlikely, but not impossible. Nowhere in the film is Fairbanks visible today, nor is there any character named "Joe". A Negro servant, obviously an unidentified white actor in black makeup, is prominent in a couple of scenes and might be Fairbanks, just experimenting, anonymously, with working in front of the camera, at the same Los Angeles studio (Fine Arts) for whom he was about to film "The Lamb", but this is a long shot. See more »


Version of The Alamo (1960) See more »

User Reviews

The Birth of Another Nation
10 September 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

With its subtitle "The Birth of Texas" taking up most of the screen, it's obvious "Martyrs of the Alamo" was made to ride the coattails of D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" (1915), which was already an astonishing success. Mr. Griffith is credited as a supervisor, and it looks like his story ideas and suggestions were taken into account. However, Griffith did not personally direct this knock-off. The creativity of Griffith's work with cameraman Billy Bitzer is not evident. Director Christy Cabanne is good at motioning the cast, but the camera positions are relatively staid.

Still, as the film progresses, you will see some increasingly good movement of personage forward and backward.

Mr. Cabanne would soon find success directing the soon popular Douglas Fairbanks, who appears here in "black-face". As for the story, it's about as historically accurate as you might expect for the time (meaning not very). Like most "war" films, the view is subjective. You wouldn't expect many U.S.-made World War II films to be pro-German, and "Martyrs of the Alamo" is not pro-Mexican. What really hurts is that the fictionalization adds nothing to the characters. Griffith's historical epics made up characters and situations that were much more interesting and entertaining.

One line says it all - "An inveterate drug fiend, the Dictator of Mexico (was) also famous for his shameful orgies."

***** Martyrs of the Alamo (11/21/15) Christy Cabanne ~ Sam de Grasse, Allan Sears, Walter Long, Alfred Paget

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None | English

Release Date:

21 November 1915 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Birth of Texas See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fine Arts Film Company See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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