The true story of the small party of soldiers that defended the Alamo from thousands of enemy soldiers at the start of the Mexican-American War.
The Alamo (1960)
Directed by John Wayne
Written by James Edward Grant
Starring John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey,
Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Linda Cristal, Chill Wills,
Joan O'Brien, Jester Hairston, Richard Boone
Oscar Wins - Best Sound Mixing
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Chill Wills), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song (The Green Leaves of Summer), Best Original Score (Dimitri Tiomkin)
After immersing myself in John Wayne for the past few weeks, I'll admit I was intimidated by The Alamo's runtime. But I shouldn't have been. Despite a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Alamo scored a Best Picture nomination in 1961, and it remains an emotionally resonant retelling of Texas's greatest story. I may be a bit biased as I do live in San Antonio myself, but this is an American story at heart. It's a story of sacrifice, brotherhood, loyalty, and the pursuit of liberty. Most of all, it's a true story that not a lot of people outside of Texas actually know about.
In 1836, less than two hundred militia stood between the gargantuan Mexican army of General Santa Anna and the gathering of Texas rebels led by General Sam Houston. The soldiers at the Alamo were all massacred as the Mexicans rode them down, but they stood tall and proud to the last man to buy Houston enough time to mobilize and lead his army to victory, a victory that led to Texas becoming an independent nation and eventually a part of the United States. For a first time director, John Wayne delivers a poignant retelling of this story and does a fine job of portraying Davy Crockett. While I do wish that more of the film had focused on the battle itself instead of some unnecessary padding, I did enjoy the final product.
The Alamo is a great film that I think is highly underestimated by a lot of critics and should be considered a highlight in Wayne's filmography. It's well-acted, beautifully filmed, and will evoke a sense of national pride, especially if you're a Texan.