USA Today - 03/02/1990
"...[With a] great score...[and a] magnificent climactic battle scene..."
Total Film - 08/01/2000
"...The battle scenes are fine, the Duke is as watchable as ever..."
The Duke directs (with the uncredited help of his friend and mentor John Ford) this flag-waving spectacular about the courageous struggle by 182 American heroes to defend a small Catholic mission to the death and eventually win Texas with the help of Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and Sam Houston. The restored, widescreen edition of Wayne's epic is at the original length and includes the theatrical trailer. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Song ("Green Leaves of Summer"). Academy Awards: Best Sound.
THE ALAMO is John's Wayne's patriotic, pro-American recounting of the famous siege at a Texas fort. For 13 days in 1836, a group of Americans, led by Sam Houston, fought 7,000 Mexican soldiers to retain control of the Alamo and to wrest Texas from Mexico and make it part of the United States.
Big Battles |
Classic Fight Scenes |
Theatrical Release |
True Story |
Film was cut by about 30 minutes after its Los Angeles premiere, and it is that cut version that is often available on video. (The original time was 193 minutes, and the video is 161.) The restored version contains extra footage, previously unseen.
Although Wayne directed (this was his first time at the helm), there is supposition that John Ford, who was on the set, might have assisted with some of the filming. There is also a possibility that the final battle scene, which received critical acclaim, might be attributable to second-unit director Cliff Lyons.
There is much historical research on the period suggesting that some of the heroes of the Alamo might not have been so heroic--particularly Davy Crockett, who allegedly surrendered, was alcoholic, and beat his wife.
The film was shot in Texas, in 12 days, near the actual location of the Alamo, although Wayne had originally thought of filming in Mexico.