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The Alamo (1960)

aka The Alamo

"The screen’s 12 million dollar spectacle! Thousands in the Cast! Years in the making!"

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 167 mins · English, Español

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Cast:

Small Col. Davy Crockett
Small Jim Bowie
Small Col. William Travis
Small Smitty
Small Capt. James Butler Bonham
Small Flaca
No_movie_poster Mrs. Sue Dickinson
Small Beekeeper
Small Juan Seguin
No_movie_poster Capt. Almeron Dickinson
No_movie_poster Lt. Reyes
No_movie_poster Jethro
Small Blind Nell Robertson
No_movie_poster Jocko Robertson
Small Thimblerig (the Gambler)

Crew:

No_movie_poster Dimitri Tiomkin Original Music Composer
Small John Wayne Director
No_movie_poster Stuart Gilmore Editor
No_movie_poster William H. Clothier Director of Photography
No_movie_poster James Edward Grant Screenplay
Small John Wayne Production

Taglines:

"The screen’s 12 million dollar spectacle! Thousands in the Cast! Years in the making!"

Plot:

The film depicts the Battle of the Alamo and the events leading up to it. Sam Houston leads the forces fighting for Texas independence and needs time to build an army. The opposing Mexican forces, led by General Santa Anna, are numerically stronger and also better armed and trained. Nevertheless, the Texans have spirit and morale remains generally high.

Lieutenant Colonel William Travis is tasked with defending the Alamo, a former mission just outside San Antonio. Jim Bowie arrives with reinforcements, and the defenders dig in. Meanwhile, Davy Crockett arrives in San Antonio with a company of men from Tennessee. Crockett meets with Travis, and after Travis informs him of the direness of the situation, Crockett and his men join forces with the Alamo garrison.

Santa Anna's armies arrive and surround the fort. The siege begins. Santa Anna demands surrender; Travis replies with a cannon shot.

In a nighttime raid, the Texans sabotage the Mexicans' biggest cannon. The Texans maintain high hopes as they are told a strong force led by Colonel James Fannin is on its way to break the siege. Crockett, however, sensing an imminent attack, sends one of his younger men, Smitty, to ask Houston for help. Crockett knows this will perhaps save Smitty's life.

The Mexicans invade the Alamo. The defenders hold out and kill hundreds of charging Mexican soldiers, further boosting morale, although the Texans' own losses are not insignificant. Bowie sustains a leg wound. Morale drops when Travis tells his men that the Fannin's reinforcements have been ambushed and, after surrendering, slaughtered by the Mexicans.

Travis chooses to stay with his command and defend the Alamo, but he gives the other defenders the option of leaving. Crockett, Bowie and their men prepare to leave, but a speech of encouragement by Travis convinces them to stay and fight to the end.

On the thirteenth day of the siege, Santa Anna's artillery bombards the Alamo and kills or wounds several Texans. The entire Mexican army sweeps forward, attacking on all sides. The defenders kill dozens of charging Mexicans, but the attack is overwhelming. The Mexicans blast a hole in the Alamo wall and soldiers swarm through. Travis tries to rally the men but is shot and killed. Crockett leads the Texans in the final defense of the fort. The Mexicans take heavy losses, but swarm through and overwhelm the Texans. The Texans retreat to their final defensive positions. Crockett is killed in the chaos when he is run through by a lance and then blown up as he ignites the powder magazine. Bowie, in bed with his wound, kills several Mexicans but is bayoneted and dies. As the last Texan is killed, the Mexican soldiers discover the hiding place of the wife and child of Texan defender Captain Dickinson. The battle is over and the Mexicans have won.

Santa Anna observes the carnage and provides safe passage for Mrs. Dickinson and her child. Smitty returns too late, watching from a distance. He takes off his hat in respect and then escorts Mrs. Dickinson away from the battlefield.

The subplot follows the conflict existing among the strong-willed personalities of Travis, Bowie and Crockett. Travis stubbornly defends his decisions as commander of the garrison against the suggestions of the other two - particularly Bowie with whom the most bitter conflict develops- as well as trying to maintain discipline amongst a force made up primarily of independent-minded frontiersmen and settlers. Crockett, well liked by both Bowie and Travis, eventually becomes a mediator between the other two as Bowie constantly threatens to withdraw his men rather than deal with Travis. Despite their personal conflicts, all three learn to subordinate their differences and in the end bind themselves together in an act of bravery to defend the fort against inevitable defeat.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1960-10-24 : United States of America