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The Alamo (1960)

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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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They stood firing until they could stand no longer...156 MEN AGAINST A RAGING ARMY OF 7000! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 October 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Alamo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,262,932
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An 1836 memoir by a Mexican officer present at the battle, José Enrique de la Peña, throws some doubt on the popular version of the fate of Davy Crockett. The movie depicts the widely held version that he died in battle, but the de la Peña memoir describes Crockett as one of seven survivors who were tortured and executed at the end of the battle. But there is no corroboration of this event, and Alamo purists tend to discount this version in favor of the more heroic story. See more »

Goofs

The Battle of the Alamo was fought at night, not during daytime. See more »

Quotes

Smitty: So many times every day you stop and give thanks, but mostly I don't catch on what you're thanking the Lord for. I mean, there's nothing special.
Parson: I give thanks for the time and for the place.
Smitty: The time and the place, Parson?
Parson: The time to live and the place to die. That's all any man gets. No more, no less.
See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Why Me? (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

El Degüello
Mexican bugle call
Arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Mixed Bag
2 September 2009 | by FightingWesternerSee all my reviews

I think that even people who love this movie have to admit that The Alamo is the ultimate self-indulgent John Wayne vanity project. It's a three hour film produced by, directed by, and starring the Duke alongside a cast of thousands.

The first half certainly lives up to the self-indulgent label with endless scenes of Wayne and pals getting drunk, mouthing off, and punching one another; Jim Bowie and Colonel Travis' constant bickering, leading to Bowie's quitting at least twice; and a fairly useless subplot with Davey Crockett romancing a pretty young Mexican widow. (She was pretty hot.)

Instead of all that, we should have rode a bit with Santa Anna and/or visited some of the other battles and skirmishes that led up to the siege at the Alamo.

I thought that Richard Widmark was miscast as Jim Bowie. My preference would have been that Widmark and Richard Boone switch roles with Boone as Bowie and Widmark as Sam Houston, though I'll admit that it would be awfully hard to see Richard Boone cry like a baby in the scene where Bowie finds out his wife has died.

The second half is much better with great scenes of macho speech-making and awesome battle sequences that put the climaxes to other films I recently watched (Custer Of The West, El Condor, Two Mules For Sister Sara) to shame. Overall, the second part makes the movie worth watching.

I would be doing a great disservice if I didn't mention the excellent score by Dimitri Tiomkin.


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