In 1836, a small band of soldiers sacrifice their lives in hopeless combat against a massive army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new Republic of Texas.

Director:

John Wayne

Writer:

James Edward Grant (original screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Col. Davy Crockett
Richard Widmark ... Col. Jim Bowie
Laurence Harvey ... Colonel William Barret Travis
Frankie Avalon ... Smitty
Patrick Wayne ... Capt. James Butler Bonham
Linda Cristal ... Flaca
Joan O'Brien ... Mrs. Sue Dickinson
Chill Wills ... Beekeeper
Joseph Calleia ... Juan Seguin
Ken Curtis ... Capt. Almeron Dickinson
Carlos Arruza Carlos Arruza ... Lt. Reyes
Jester Hairston ... Jethro
Veda Ann Borg ... Blind Nell Robertson
John Dierkes ... Jocko Robertson
Denver Pyle ... Thimblerig (the Gambler)
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Storyline

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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Mission That Became a Fortress, The Fortress That Became a Shrine See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne originally wanted to cast James Arness as Sam Houston. However Arness did not turn up for an interview with Wayne, so Richard Boone was cast instead. Wayne never really forgave Arness for not showing up. See more »

Goofs

At 1:01:49, 'Flaca' introduces Juan Sequin to Crockett as the alcalde (mayor) of San Antonio. Up to the start of the siege, the mayor of San Antonio was Francisco Antonio Ruíz. Sequin was mayor 1834. See more »

Quotes

Davy Crockett: It was like I was empty. Well, I'm not empty anymore. That's what's important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what's wrong for what's right even though you get walloped for saying that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don't change the truth none. There's right and there's wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you're living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but ...
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Alternate Versions

After its LA premiere the film was cut by approximately 26 minutes. It wasn't until 1992 that these scenes were restored for release on LaserDisc and VHS. As of April 2007 all DVD releases feature the shorter general release version. The following scenes were added back:
  • The original overture, intermission, theatrical trailer, and end themes;
  • The "Jefferson Speech" extended between Col. Travis & Cap. Dickinson;
  • The death of Emil Sand;
  • Conversation between Col. Travis & Col. Bowie regarding Col. Fannin;
  • The death of the Parson and Scotty;
  • Crockett's prayer following Parson's & Scotty's death;
  • The "Philosophical Debate" when the Alamo defenders talk about God;
  • More complete "Gunpowder Raid" scene;
  • Crockett's night with Senora;
  • Senora's brief scene with a fleeing young woman;
  • Birthday Party for Dickson's child;
  • Bonham's original report to Travis;
  • A slightly different Crockett death scene.
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Connections

Version of The Alamo (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Tennessee Babe
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Sung by an off screen chorus
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User Reviews

 
The 'Battle Cry' that broke Santa Anna's back!
2 July 2000 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 October 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Alamo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) (1993 video release) | (1967 re-release) | (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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