The Alamo

4.0 8
Director: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon

Cast: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon


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In the early 1990's, MGM/UA released a triple-disc laserdisc box of the complete, restored 192 minute version of The Alamo which, for all of its flaws, is a fairly powerful and compelling movie, however one may feel about the actual historical event represented; that laserdisc box came with all manner of supplementary materials, and it was very impressive. But


In the early 1990's, MGM/UA released a triple-disc laserdisc box of the complete, restored 192 minute version of The Alamo which, for all of its flaws, is a fairly powerful and compelling movie, however one may feel about the actual historical event represented; that laserdisc box came with all manner of supplementary materials, and it was very impressive. But when the company issued The Alamo on DVD in late 2000, for reasons best known to themselves they used the edited 162 minute version, which is missing some key and very exciting scenes, and is generally a less impressive movie. The mastering is not quite a match for the triple-disc laser set, though it is superior to the image on the older double-disc 162 minute laser edition. The color is solid if not exactly rich, and the image reveals greater detail than the laser, mostly by virtue of the lack of the playback anomalies that marred laser. There are two supplementary features, a trailer and the documentary "John Wayne's The Alamo," which is sort of frustrating since the complete movie isn't here. The chaptering is adequate to the limitations of the source that was used, and the disc opens to the menu automatically.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A sprawling, long-winded, and unabashedly patriotic spectacle, John Wayne's The Alamo provides the definitive motion-picture representation of the 13-day siege that enabled Texas to secure its independence from Mexico. This 1960 epic, a deeply personal project that obsessed Wayne for years and sapped his personal fortune, plays fast-and-loose with historical reality; nonetheless, it admirably conveys the indomitable spirit of the martyred "Texicans" whose heroic defense of an old mission in San Antonio bought precious time for the burgeoning rebel army that ultimately defeated Mexican general Santa Anna. Wayne, who produced and directed the picture (reportedly with some assistance from his old friend and mentor, John Ford), plays Davy Crockett to Richard Widmark's Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey's William Travis. The battle scenes are lavishly mounted and impeccably staged, but there's more to The Alamo than gunsmoke and cannon fire: James Edward Grant's script is peppered with stirring odes to democracy, and Dimitri Tiomkin complements Wayne's images with one of his most evocative musical scores. MGM's latest DVD release presents the film in its traditional release version of 161 minutes; a longer cut -- the film's "roadshow" version -- appeared on laserdisc some years ago.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Since John Wayne was unable to persuade friend John Ford to direct the star's long-cherished project on the historic event, he decided to get behind the camera himself, with better results than might have been expected. Although overlong, especially in its current three-hour-plus running time, and, at times, clumsy in staging, composition, and pacing, the film remains an entertaining experience. This is especially true of the excellent battle scenes, at least some of which were directed by Ford with the second unit. There are also bright moments early on, as the three principals, Davy Crockett (Wayne), Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark), and Col. William Travis (Laurence Harvey), vie for leadership of the beleaguered force. There's also an oversupply of the kind of tiresome horseplay Wayne thought of as comedy. The cast, which includes many Western veterans such as Chill Wills and Ken Curtis, is solid. Cowboy icon Richard Boone, in particular, excels as tough Governor Sam Houston. On the other hand, Patrick Wayne and Frankie Avalon look as though they've just wandered in from a beach movie.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital, stereo, monaural]

Special Features

"John Wayne's The Alamo" documentary; Collectible booklet; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Col. David Crockett
Richard Widmark Col. James Bowie
Laurence Harvey Col. William Barrett Travis
Frankie Avalon Smitty
Richard Boone Gen. Sam Houston
Patrick Wayne Capt. James Butler Bonham
Carlos Arruza Lt. Reyes
Linda Cristal Flaca
Joan O'Brien Mrs. Dickinson
Chill Wills Beekeeper
Joseph Calleia Juan Sequin
Ken Curtis Capt. Almeron Dickinson
Jester Hairston Jethro
Veda Ann Borg Blind Nell Robertson
John Dierkes Jocko Robertson
Denver Pyle Gambler
Aissa Wayne Angelina Dickinson
Hank Worden Parson
Bill Daniel Col. Neill
Wesley Lau Emil Sande
Chuck Roberson Tennesseean
Olive Carey Mrs. Dennison
Ruben Padilla Gen. Santa Anna
William Henry Dr. Sutherland
Guinn "Big Boy" Williams Lt. Finn
Jack Pennick Sgt. Lightfoot
Carol Baxter Melinda, Texan Girl
Fred Graham Bearded Volunteer
Cy Malis Pete
Boyd "Red" Morgan Tennesseean
Gil Perkins Tennessean
Chuck Hayward Tennessean
Buff Brady Tennessean
Bill Shannon Tennessean
Ted White Tennessean
Bob Rose Tennessean
Jim Burk Tennessean
Mickey Finn Bowie's man
Dean Smith Bowie's man
George Ross Bowie's man
Big John Hamilton Bowie's Man
Robert H. Harris Bowie's man
Jim Wright Bowie's man
Leroy Johnson Bowie's man
Jim Walker Bowie's man
Jack Miller Bowie's man
Danny Borzage Bowie's man
Tap Canutt Bowie's man
Jack Williams Bowie's man
Alfred Taylor Bowie's man
Ed Carter Bowie's man
Miguel Garza Bowie's charro
Jerry Phillips Travis' man
Charles Sanders Travis' man
Jim Brewer Travis' man
Charles Akins Travis' man
Joe Jackson Travis' Man
Ronald Lee Travis' man
Joe Graham Travis' man
Rudy Robbins Tennessean

Technical Credits
John Wayne Director,Producer
Frank Beetson Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Clothier Cinematographer
Nate H. Edwards Production Manager
Victor A. Gangelin Set Decoration/Design
Stuart Gilmore Editor
James Edward Grant Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Fred Hynes Sound/Sound Designer
Ann Peck Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert E. Relyea Asst. Director
Robert Saunders Asst. Director
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer
Paul Francis Webster Score Composer,Songwriter
Alfred Ybarra Art Director
Lee Zavitz Special Effects

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Main Title [2:57]
2. No Army For Texas [5:09]
3. A God-Fearing Man [2:39]
4. A New Home [3:24]
5. Third-Hand Rumors [4:46]
6. Parson and the Boy [3:25]
7. Crockett Meets Travis [7:04]
8. "Republic!" [3:51]
9. Overdressed Riff-Raff [4:15]
10. "A Woman In Trouble" [6:38]
11. Bowie's Mexico [5:17]
12. The Church Arsenal [5:46]
13. Lying For a Cause [:22]
14. "Chastise!" [5:36]
15. The Tree Stump Speech [5:03]
16. Gallant Tennesseans [5:15]
17. The Short Way to War [4:21]
18. No Such Cannon [6:01]
19. 15 Men, All Sober [3:22]
20. No Insubordination [5:01]
21. The Morning After [6:20]
22. Message In a Hat [4:16]
23. Food Run [6:43]
24. Bring Home the Beef [4:21]
25. "No Woman Ever Lived..." [:50]
26. Attack! [4:11]
27. Blessed Be the Dead [8:52]
28. No Help, No Surrender [3:48]
29. News for General Sam [1:04]
30. The Longest Night [5:29]
31. Battle to the Death [3:05]
32. The Last Soldier's Wife [5:31]


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The Alamo 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Forget for a moment that this movie is not as accurate as historians would have liked. What you have then is a grand, colorful, rousing spectacular that serves as the forerunner to movies like ''Saving Private Ryan'' and ''The Patriot.'' What ''The Alamo'' lacks in historical accuracy it more than makes up for in design. The sets, including a re-created Alamo fort and chapel, are spectacular. The uniforms for the Mexican army are elaborate. The script itself is typical John Wayne, and expounds with his personal political philosophies, but the cast is outstanding, with Richard Widmark (as James Bowie) and Lawrence Harvey (as Travis) serving as perfect foils for John Wayne's Davy Crockett, as well as for each other. All in all, this is splendid entertainment, and the Bonus Features, including a 40-minute ''making of'' feature add additional insight into John Wayne and the creation of this classic epic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Wayne¿s conviction was so firmly steeped in his production of 'The Alamo' that he went out on his own to direct this lumbering fictional account of the slaughter of 187 men at the Texas landmark after every major studio in Hollywood turned him down. The resulting film is a sprawling and unabashed flag waver that quite simply fails to get the patriotic juices flowing. Wayne plays Davy Crockett as something of a Disney-fied fun-loving frontiersman who¿s not above a good brawl. Laurence Harvey needs less starch in his britches as the rigid Col. William Travis. Richard Widmark as Jim Bowie is left to veer between Wayne and Harvey in a performance that can only be described as unsympathetic. Richard Boone, Chill Wills and (oh, you gotta be kiddin' me) Frankie Avalon are in it too. Frankie doesn't sing. No expense was spared in this brick-by-brick recreation of the Alamo. The laserdisc version contained the original director's cut of 'The Alamo'. This DVD is the standard theater release version. There's no entrance, exit or intermission music and the aspect ratio is misframed at roughly 2:25:1. Colors are generally rich and vibrant but during scenes taking place at night they tend to become a muddy, grainy mess. The scene in which Crockett is confronted by Travis in the saloon is riddled with age related artifacts and a faded camera negative that looks as though it were dragged by four wild horse through the Texas deluge. The audio is 5.1 but strident in spots and remarkable muffled in others. Extras include ¿The Making Of The Alamo¿ featurette - but it has been edited for DVD - presumably because, like the film, it just was not possible to digitally compress all that information on one side of a DVD. So why didn't MGM do a 2-disc or flipper disc for this film?!?! Go figure. Perhaps with the remake of 'The Alamo' getting ready to debut on DVD we'll see MGM go back to their vaults and revisit this Western saga.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Alamo was the realization of a years long dream of John Wayne and it shows. From the meticulous recreation of the Alamo compound and San Antonio de Bexar (from original drawings & plans) to authentic period costumes to outstanding casting. The only drawback to production was writer James Edward Grant's script. Another was the later editing that took many of the best scenes. One of which was my favorite: the parson's death scene. I'm looking forward to seeing a DVD special edition of the director's cut along with the trailer and complete featurette.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
macktractor More than 1 year ago
I recently visited the Alamo and wanted to see an older version movie of what happened-this was good.
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