Why I Did Not Like The Alamo (1960)

I was convinced that I had read somewhere that The Alamo, produced and directed by and starring John Wayne,  was a great movie. Well… It isn’t. It is bordering the ridiculous. There is dialogue in this movie that would fill me with shame if I had written it, I’d probably even be tempted to shoot myself. No, seriously… Horrible. Corny and just plain insufferable. It’s always great when you laugh during 50% of a movie that isn’t meant to be funny (I mean, just look at the picture).

The story? Texas fighting for its independence from Mexico… A minority against a majority. A hopeless battle. You won’t shed one tear but be annoyed those gits  didn’t die any earlier.

It doesn’t even deserve a proper review. Or maybe I’m just lazy. No, honestly, this was BAD.

Remember the Alamo! I will….

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12 thoughts on “Why I Did Not Like The Alamo (1960)

  1. warmoviebuff says:

    Be careful if you ever visit Texas, they’ll be waiting for you! Your review is a little harsh. It would have been highly unorthodox for this movie to have been different given the time period it was made in. It is classic patriotic BS. The dialogue and acting are no worse than many war movies from the late fifties. It is also a good example of a vanity project (by Wayne). Reminiscent of Tom Cruise’s “Valkyrie” in that respect. However, I agree that it is very overrated by many (it is #61 on the Military History magazine’s list of the Greatest 100!) That ranking is shockingly high because the movie is not critically acclaimed (so do not feel lonesome) – it gets only a 54% on Rotten Tomatoes.

    It’s a bit unfair to denigrate the men who fought and died for independence at the Alamo. It is not their fault they were portayed by the likes of Frankie Avalon (!). However, the defense of an indefensible position was militarily foolish and they gave their lives for nothing other than to get the rest of the Texans fired up for revenge. The movie certainly does not make that clear (for obvious reasons).

    BTW there is strong evidence that Crockett was taken captive and executed along with other prisoners. Oh, and does the movie mention that Travis had abandoned his wife and kids?

    • Hehe… Texans… I’m prepared, watch out. I’m rather amazed, they weren’t angry about this depiction. I didn’t mean the real men, I meant the actors… It is insufferable and shows that there were certainly more Americans on that Jury than Europeans. And I have seen tons of movies of that period and earlier with good dialogue. He wasn’t a writer and probably did a lot of writing himself. As fo Valkyrie… You can not comapre a donkey with a horse, please…

      • warmoviebuff says:

        Do you seriously think a Texan could be offended by a John Wayne movie? It was state law that every Texan had to kiss his ass if he was encountered on the street.
        I am not comparing the quality of The Alamo to Valkyrie. I am comparing the reasons for making them – the ego of a major star. You could argue there was a market for the Alamo, but not much of one for Valkyrie.

      • I don’t know, you are talking to a European. Valkyrie was a huge success in Europe and almost rehabilitated Cruise’s reputation.

  2. warmoviebuff says:

    I do not dispute that, but I would argue that Cruise was not aiming at the European audience. The movie did not break $100 million and barely covered its costs.

  3. Guy Savage says:

    Not crazy about John Wayne, but I do like The Searchers a lot.

  4. Anthony says:

    I will admit that John Wayne’s “The Alamo” was a bit long-winded. As a historian, the movie was filled with plenty of inaccuracies. However, I think overall, it is highly motivating and inspiring. There were few slow scenes, but the movie kept my interest, and moved along quite well. It did tell the story of the early struggle of the Texas fight for Independence, and those who feel that they died for nothing have a lot to learn about courage and facing overwhelming odds when fighting for what you believe in. Santa Anna was a ruthless dictator and was determined to crush all opposition. (The Generalissimo was not going to take prisoners…remember Goliad?) If you study History, you would know that the Texans did not want Independence, at first, only to have a voice in the Mexican government. Stephen Austin, went to Mexico City to discuss petitions begging for equal rights, but was thrown into a dungeon for 18 months. When released, Austin went back to Texas and said there was no way to deal with this dictator, the only course was to fight for freedom. Think about the American Revolution…Americans do not take to living under tyranny, but will fight to the death, for freedom…Those who disagree with this should also disagree with the American Revolution…we’d still be British subjects…

    • Thanks for your comment. I am not very familiar with this part of American history. I think the main problem I had with the movie was really not the story but some of the dialogue. I think John Wayne was probably too entangled with it. It wouldn’t have needed that much altering to be good – for me. I know it already is for others. If it was a book I would say it needed some serious editing.
      I would never deny those men were courageous and that it mirrors the best of the American spirit.

  5. Carlos says:

    Hi,

    Just saw this. I share the opinion that many dialogues are naive. However, at least for two things this is a great movie:
    1) Music is amazing
    2) The night before the final battle, somebody asks Wayne in what is he thinking. He just replies that he is not thinking, he is just remembering. I have always thought that this is a great quote. And probably if we know that we are going to die the next day, we would all remember our life and we would not think in anything else.

    Regards (and sorry for my english, I am from Spain)

    • I think I liked the music but I can’t remember the last quote. By then he had lost me. there was this moment when he speaks to a woman and it’s so awfully corny, that ruined the movie for me. But thanks for your comment, I’ll pay attention should I ever watch it again. Knowing that they died it gives that quote another meaning.
      No need to apologize, I think your English is great.

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