5.1/10
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9 user 12 critic

The Road to Fort Alamo (1964)

La strada per Forte Alamo (original title)
Not Rated | | Western | 10 July 1966 (USA)
A lone rider comes across a dying soldier, the victim of an Indian attack, who gives him a paper authorizing the payment of $150,000 to the U.S. Army. The rider gathers some colleagues who ... See full summary »

Director:

Mario Bava (as John Old)

Writers:

Lorenzo Gicca Palli (screenplay) (as Vincent Thomas), Francesco Prosperi (screenplay) (as Charles Price) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ken Clark ... Bill Mannerly / Bud Massidy
Jany Clair Jany Clair ... Janet
Michel Lemoine ... Kid Carson
Andreina Paul Andreina Paul ... Mrs. Collins
Alberto Cevenini Alberto Cevenini ... Slim Kincaid (as Kirk Bert)
Gustavo De Nardo ... Sergeant Warwick / Sergeant Carter (as Dean Ardow)
Antonio Gradoli Antonio Gradoli ... Captain Hull / Captain Hollis (as Anthony Gradwell)
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Storyline

A lone rider comes across a dying soldier, the victim of an Indian attack, who gives him a paper authorizing the payment of $150,000 to the U.S. Army. The rider gathers some colleagues who disguise themselves as soldiers and who take the paper to a bank. They get the money but a shoot-out occurs, an old woman is killed, and the gang acrimoniously splits up. Later some members of the gang meet up with some real U.S. Cavalry soldiers and together they must fight off new Indian attacks. Written by dinky-4 of Minneapolis

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The adventure... the violence... of the savage West! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian

Release Date:

10 July 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Road to Fort Alamo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[surrounded by Ozark Indians]
Bud Massedy: We've no hope at all.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Way To Alamo
Performed by Tony Wendell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Remarkably Unremarkable
19 December 2008 | by SquonkamaticSee all my reviews

I think the thing that impressed me the most about Mario Bava's first spaghetti western outing here is how utterly pedestrian most of the proceedings were. Another distinguished commentator here has it right: This is the Italo western boys before the spaghetti idiom was truly established dressing up in their snappy cavalry duds & playing cowboys and Indians just like we used to do out at the sandlot near my cousin's summer house, only we didn't have such nice costumes.

Ken Clark is a decent enough he-man leading heroic noble Shatterhand type, apparently roaming the west looking for trouble to straighten out. He finds it when a young novice finds himself taken by a card shark (the priceless Gerard Herter, Max from CALTIKI) and the two have to fight their way out of town & take up with a band of rogues who are targeting a bank to knock over. For reasons that escape me they find themselves mistaken for cavalry officers and join up with a U.S. Army element sent to the region to pacify the local Indian tribes so that the nice Caucasian people can build towns, railroads, brothels, and prosper without having to take the local Natives into consideration.

It's pretty much the usual stuff for a low budget early 1960s western and indeed the story is decidedly lacking on the traditional spaghetti western histrionics, which many fans may be disappointed by. I however got a kick out of seeing Mario Bava constrained to a pretty straight forward story, complete with a heroic ride to the rescue at the end with the bugles & everything. If it sounds like a let down, students of Bava's unique visual style will actually be pleased with a series of nighttime scenes obviously filmed on a sound stage with that traditional Bava artsy minimalism emphasizing color and texture over rugged authenticity. This was made in the period before Sergios Leone and Corbucci more or less invented the spaghetti aesthetic, qualifying it more as a Euro western than a proper spaghetti outing. The film is also somewhat unique in that like Joe Lacey's FURY OF THE APACHES it actually involves the Native American peoples -- albeit somewhat clumsily and in a stereotypical fashion -- rather than swarthy Pistoleros shooting at Clint Eastwood's mule.

I found it to be a fascinating movie perfect for a snowed in Saturday afternoon, though some may question how convinced Bava was of his own artistic vision for the movie. It's more sort of a compromise between his KILL BABY KILL cinematics and traditionalist Oater mentalities, with some truly stunning shots framed when seen in the proper widescreen ratio. The one thing I kept thinking is that here is a surprisingly ordinary low budget western that's been photographed like a Gothic study in spots, and the rather bloodless nature of the goings on mean that it's a rare example of an Italo western that was meant for all ages rather than a grim cartoon for adults. I kind of like it, and found it a much more rewarding viewing experience than Bava's 1970 final spaghetti ROY COLT & WINCHESTER JACK, though fans of the genre will probably prefer his NEBRASKA JIM.

6/10


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