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The Alamo (1960)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, History | 27 October 1960 (UK)
Trailer
3:11 | Trailer
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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Mission That Became a Fortress, The Fortress That Became a Shrine 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:

The Alamo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
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

Charlton Heston, then a moderate Democrat, turned down the role of Jim Bowie because he feared the critical response to the movie. However, later in life Heston turned around and wholeheartedly embraced right-wing Republican politics, also changing his mind about not accepting the part and saying that it was "a huge mistake". See more »

Goofs

The Mexican final assault on the Alamo was fought at night just before dawn between 5:00am and 6:30am, not during the late morning daytime. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Sam Houston: Travis, I've never been able to like you. But you are one of the very few men I would trust with the life of Texas.
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 »


Soundtracks

Here's to the Ladies
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Performed separately by Frankie Avalon and Chill Wills (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Overwhelming and breathtaking retelling based on notorious battle performed , written , produced and well directed by John Wayne
30 January 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Big-budgeted and interesting rendition about the mythic mission El Alamo with impressive battles and all-star-cast . Epic western upon the state of Texas's fight for independence in 1836 . The usual band of diverse personalities including Davy Crockett (John Wayne) , Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark) , Colonel William Travis (Laurence Harvey) defend a small fort against very big Mexican raiding party commanded by general Santa Anna . Previously meeting final tragedy , they contend with each other and finally understand the meaning of life and come to respect each other . It's until the spectacular crushing spotlight of total slaughter hoping arrival of Sam Houston (Richard Boone) when the movie comes alive at all . It was a troubled issue but with millions dollars budget weighing heavy in the conscience of the producer/screenwriter James Edward Grant and also producer/director John Wayne , helped by John Ford , led to big success and achieved the wished box office . Lavish production features an impeccable musical score by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin , including the famous strains of 'Deguello' and colorful cinematography by William H. Clothier , John Ford's usual ; besides has an incredible number extras for the Mexican army .

Film is correctly based on historic events . The stalwart but tragic defense has become one of American history's most often repeated legends,although historical research has revealed a few facts that go unmentioned. For instance, Sam Houston , commander in chief of the Texas forces,never felt that the crumbling mission could stand up to a siege,and ordered frontiersman Jim Bowie to destroy . He didn't ,however, and rescinded the order and sent attorney turned colonel William B.Travis to defend it. The force that remained in the mission the date the siege began,is estimated at between 182 .Of these less than 20 were actually Texans,the rest including Bowie and another frontier legend,Davy Crokett were volunteers . Early all of them believed that reinforcements were only a short time away . Santa Anna Launched a pre-dawn attack . To the strains of ¨deguello¨a battle march indicating that no quarter would be given,or no prisoners taken,some 1800 Mexicans troops stormed the fort . They were thrown back by the cannon and rifles of the defenders,they rushed again,and were repulsed a second time.Eventually Santa Anna sent another wave of troops who broke the outer defenses and forced the Texans to retreat,fighting hand to hand . When the fighting was over,there were no survivors among the defenders . The myth that the garrison fought to the last man ,however isn't quite accurate,since the evidence indicates that Davy Crockett and several others were captured and possibly tortured , then executed . That they died bravely has never been disputed. William Travis who at least according to legend, invited all who would stay and die with him to cross the line in the dirt, fell near a cannon at the north wall . And Jim Bowie,already deathly ill from a sickness that had recently claimed wife and children,fought from his sickbed near the main gate . Like many others among the defenders Bowie was armed with the formidable hunting knife named for him. The legendary defense served as a rallying point for the beleaguered Texas . Although Santa Anna , who lost at least 600 of some 3000 troops against a force of less than 200 , referred as a small affair , the valor of the defenders gave the surviving Texan troops something to remember and thus they did,six weeks later at San Jacinto , but a new battle cry had been added to the annals of American history : ¨Remember the Alamo¨ .


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