The story of president Andrew Jackson from his early years, the film begins when he meets Rachel Donaldson Robards. The plot concentrates on the scandal concerning the legality of their marriage and how they overcame the difficulties.
During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.
During the Texas War of Independence of 1836 American frontiersman and pioneer Jim Bowie pleads for caution with the rebellious Texicans.They don't heed his advice since he's a Mexican citizen,married to the daughter of the Mexican vice-governor of the province and a friend to General Santa Anna since the days they had fought together for Mexico's independence.After serving as president for 22 years,Santa Anna has become too powerful and arrogant.He rules Mexico with an iron fist and he would not allow Texas to self-govern.Bowie sides with the Texans in their bid for independence and urges a cautious strategy,given Santa Anna's power and cunning.Despite the disagreement between the Texicans and Bowie regarding the right strategy they ask Bowie to lead them in a last ditch stand, at Alamo, against General Santa Anna's numerically superior forces.Written by
Shoulder to shoulder they wrote the proudest chapter in the history of Texas. For these were the men --- Jim Bowie, Davy Crocckett and the rest --- who held a mighty army at bay from within the battered walls of...THE ALAMO! See more »
Made in spite by Yates, well shot and mounted, replete with an excellent cast, 'The Last Command' still remains good value even if it rather pales besides Wayne's grandiose epic of just a few years later. The much underrated Hayden is superb as "big Jim Bowie" and Hunnicutt equally as good as Davy Crockett. Hayden has the ability to appear gentle, naive, rugged and brusque all at once - something few other actors, with perhaps the exception of Spencer Tracy, managed. Unfortunately Crockett and his 29 men don't appear until some way in. With only Hayden's latent dynamism really keeping things afloat, the first half an hour of the film is rather talkative in exposition, and it drags somewhat. Consuela de Quesada (Anna Marie Alberghetti) is a limp romantic foil to Bowie - I for one would be happy to have seen her written out and the structure tightened through her absence. Ernest Borgnine plays his small role with gusto - his confrontation with Bowie a standout scene in a film full of fighting, although his later genial acceptance of Bowie's superiority as a man is perhaps emphasised by the script too much for comfort.
Steiner's music (and especially the superb title song) goes a long way in making events move smoothly towards the climax. For it's the Alamo Battle the bums on seats will have come to see, and here it is done well (although again not *as* well as Wayne would manage with considerable more time and resources later (although any comparison isn't too much to the present film's detriment).
In short this is well worth seeing, and it provides a contemporarily staged contrast to the better-known epic which was to follow. I'd still like to see an historically accurate account of the events at the mission, though...
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