Which Alamo Movie Do You Prefer?


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bulltaco
July 22, 2007, 11:15 AM
I'm watching the John Wayne movie from 1960 right now. I remember seeing it at the theater when I was about 7 years old. I think this version is way better than the version from 2004 starring Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Quaid. I love the weaponry like Jim Bowie's pepperbox rifle and of course that knife. Musical score was outstanding too. Everytime I watch it I keep thinking the Texicans might win the siege this time!

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Vonderek
July 22, 2007, 12:26 PM
Yeah, I always get a kick out of Frankie Avalon decked out in buckskins and coonskin hat.

Brutalmisfit90
July 22, 2007, 12:26 PM
I'd have to say i prefer the John Wayne version, but Billy Bob didn't do too bad on the remake

Regolith
July 22, 2007, 12:34 PM
I think the only one I've seen was the John Wayne one, and the only reason I saw that one was because my father liked to watch all the old westerns when I was younger, particular the John Wayne ones.

MinnMooney
July 22, 2007, 12:34 PM
My opinion is that the Billy Bob Thorton version was really bad.

Fess Parker as Daniel Boone is the Daniel Boone. I grew up with Fess playing D. Boone and when he put just the right amount of black powder in ol' Bess and touched off that round that nailed the cannon operator - that made the movie for me.

enfield
July 22, 2007, 01:06 PM
I'll take the Duke.

happy old sailor
July 22, 2007, 01:44 PM
i was in San Antonio in the 60s for a pistol tournament. i asked a local where the Alamo was. go to this street and turn left. k, i did that and drove to the edge of town. no alamo. i stopped at a gas station and asked. i went back the way i came, watching on my right and there it was. i parked, walked over. it was totally differnt than the movie set, as those things tend to be. first thing was the wall was about waist high and the yard about like my own. there was the church so i stepped inside. for an Alamo buff, it was well worth it. after a bit, i stepped back outside and stopped a few minutes gazing out and envisioning me indide and thousands of uniformed troops firing at me. no thanks.

if you happen down that way, you gotta visit it. win/lose, John Wayne or not, it is definitely worth a looksee.

joab
July 22, 2007, 02:05 PM
Even at a young age putting a coonskin cap on Big Jake and calling him Davey Crockett didn't do it for me

Billy Bob's portrayal was more historically accurate as was the movie in general.
No watered down versions of what were truly unkempt men who smelled bad
A visit to the close quartered Alamo puts that into a little more significant light

I loved Duke but he did make some Presleyesque movies, this one of those in my opinion

I have been to the Alamo once and found the name of my ancestor who died there
It had an overwhelmingly sad feel to it,not at all what I expected to feel.
I couldn't stay long

gaweidert
July 22, 2007, 02:27 PM
I grew up to Fess Parker as Davey Crockett. We were kids (I was 9 at the time) when our parents took us to see the John Wayne version at the drive-in. First words out of our mouths were "That's not Davey Crockett!".

I have been to tha Alamo twice. First time in late 2001. I have to admit it was quite a disappointment. Sitting in the middle of the city like it does it looses a lot of the athmosphere of what really happened there. Best show about the Alamo I ever saw was the Steve Spielberg TV show Amazing Stories. 16 year old Texan gets shoved out a door during the battle and winds up in modern San Antonio. After a few adventures he finds out what really happens there and makes up his mind to go back in.

GRB
July 22, 2007, 02:34 PM
was in San Antonio in the 60s for a pistol tournament. i asked a local where the Alamo was. go to this street and turn left. k, i did that and drove to the edge of town. no alamo. i stopped at a gas station and asked. i went back the way i came, watching on my right and there it was. i parked, walked over. it was totally differnt than the movie set, as those things tend to be. first thing was the wall was about waist high and the yard about like my own. there was the church so i stepped inside. for an Alamo buff, it was well worth it. after a bit, i stepped back outside and stopped a few minutes gazing out and envisioning me indide and thousands of uniformed troops firing at me. no thanks. Most of the original Alamo is not standing any longer.

USMC - Retired
July 22, 2007, 02:46 PM
"Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat. The same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step, or his first baby shaves, and makes his first sound like a man. Some words can give you a feeling that make your heart warm. Republic is one of those words."

That speach alone is enough to make the John Wayne version come out on top. Of course I'm a big Duke fan so I liked it anyway but that speach hits ya right above the bread basket and just left of center.

Carl
July 22, 2007, 03:04 PM
I have yet to see the John Wayne version, but this scene in the Billy Bob version always was my favorite.

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808402862/video/2966205/20040331/100/2966205-100-wmv-s.5923111-127240,2966205-300-wmv-s.5923112-127240,2966205-56-rnv-s.5923113-127240,2966205-100-rnv-s.5923114-127240,2966205-300-rnv-s.5923115-127240,2966205-56-wmv-s.5923110-127240

Cannonball888
July 22, 2007, 03:31 PM
I like the John Wayne version better. Every time I see Billy Bob Thornton I'm expecting him to slash someone with a lawnmower blade.

I was in San Antonio in 1981. While I was there the city permanently banned Ozzy Osbourne for urinating on the Alamo a day before his concert.

Geno
July 22, 2007, 03:34 PM
I just finished watching the John Wayne version about an hour ago. It is the best.

James T Thomas
July 22, 2007, 04:11 PM
I havn't viewed the current version, but the John Wayne depiction was memorable. Very poignant. It portrayed the loss and sacrifice of men and family so well.

I had visited my son in May to celebrate his graduation from the USAF BMT
in Lackland AF Base. When my son was released for off base leave, we toured the Alamo. It was our first time. I enjoyed that much more than, say, any theme or amusement park, and knowing that those brave men sacrificed their lives made the place sanctified.

I had read somewhere else that a current singer celebrity had disrespected the Alamo somehow, and I find it brings anger to me that people can be so contemptable. It is a good thing I had not witnessed such a thing while I was there.

Something I hadn't realized until I visited was that there was representation of many of our states by the fighters there, and many from my home state of Pennsylvania too.

Now, when I hear of illegal Mexicans stating how this is their land, I want to reach for my Pennsylvania rifle!

MICHAEL T
July 22, 2007, 04:34 PM
The last Command from about 1955 or 56 is the best one.(This was after Fess Parker as Davey Crockett) Is about Bowie and the Alamo. Then John Wayne.
The last one was the worst Alamo movie ever made .

bulltaco
July 22, 2007, 05:59 PM
I gotta say that the John Wayne Alamo movie is my choice. The musical score and the supporting cast make it for me. Chill Wills as Beekeeper and Denver Pyle as Thimblerig. Ken Curtis who use to play Festus on Gunsmoke as Captain Dickinson. He sings a song to his character's daughter. Then there's Laurence Harvey as Travis and James Widmark as Jim Bowie. Frankie Avalon and Richard Boone as General Sam Houston.

I will say I liked Billy Bob Thorton's character telling the Mexicans, "I must warn you, I'm a screamer" as they prepared to execute him, in the 2004 version.

It is not often that several larger-than life characters meet their end in one event such as the Alamo. It is definitely hallowed ground. As an American History fan, the Alamo is one place on my list to visit before I get too old to travel. The Little Bighorn battlefield is another.

What's the attraction of "Last Stands"?

bulltaco
July 22, 2007, 06:01 PM
What was the typical arms carried by the soldiers? Brown Bess musket. Kentucky (Pennsylvania) rifles? Cold steel for sure.

oneshooter
July 22, 2007, 06:23 PM
The Mexicans used Brown Bess smoothbore muskets. The Texicans used whatever they had, Longrifles, both smoothbore and rifled, muskets, fowling guns, pistols, knives and swords.:evil:

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas


I did like the Nock Volly Gun that Jim Bowie had in the J.W. version.

bthest86
July 22, 2007, 06:29 PM
I will say I liked Billy Bob Thorton's character telling the Mexicans, "I must warn you, I'm a screamer" as they prepared to execute him, in the 2004 version.

I kind of cringed at that scene. 90% of the people who watched it totally didn't understand the term "screamer" and thought he was telling the Mexicans that he was going to squeal like a little girl while they killed him.

bulltaco
July 22, 2007, 06:53 PM
Did Davy Crockett really survive the final assault of the Alamo. I read/heard that a diary or journal of one of Santa Anna's officers recorded an account of the execution of some prisoners that survived after the Mexican stormed the fortifications. Davy Crockett being one of them. Was this factual or was this liberty taken by the scriptwriters?

Silver Bullet
July 22, 2007, 08:07 PM
For anybody interested in the historical events that led up to the battle at the Alamo, I would recommend this thread:

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=139745

which contains a terrific scholarly discussion from The Firing Line members well versed in Texas history.

If thatís not enough, that thread also contains an amazing response by one of the TFL members (post #50) to a post (#46) made by a new poster (probably a socialist elitist) who thought he could jump in and buffalo everyone with his revisionist version of events. ahenryís response is still my favorite of any thread on TFL or THR. Donít mess with Texas.

Pevey
July 23, 2007, 08:17 AM
I live less than ten miles away from the John Wayne Alamo set in Brackettville. Time has kinda worn it down some but they have a museum and western town set out there and still do some filming. Mainly independant stuff but there has been some major productions through the years. The locals talk about the stars that have passed though the years, Wayne (untouchable), Richard Boone (drunken jerk), Jimmy Stewart (nice man) and many more. Yes, the locals have lots of stories about that movie. A river scene was filmed within a half a mile of my house. All pretty cool stuff for someone who grew up with that movie.

Here's a link to the Alamo Village website.

http://www.homestead.com/thealamovillage/AlamoVillage.html

Katigroszek
July 23, 2007, 08:44 AM
I have yet too see a good movie of Alamo. Those that I have seen correspond with what one of the english film direstors once said - "patos and vaseline".

BuntlineSpecial
July 23, 2007, 11:56 AM
I preferr the John Wayne version. I did not even bother to see the BillyBob Thorton version, as I heard they were going to extend the "Surrendered and executed" myth - the Hollywood media does not want us to have heroes anymore (sigh).
Wayne said is Alamo movie would be a testimant to the American spirit. I think it was. I have not seen any of the other Alamo movies equal it.

Dain Bramage
July 23, 2007, 12:01 PM
Most of the original Alamo is not standing any longer.


That's right. As San Antonio grew up into a city, they put a road through the original courtyard of the mission. The main building, the "shrine", continued to be useful and served several purposes throughout the years. This allowed it to survive until its historical significance could be appreciated, and it was preserved in the early 20th century.

The shrine and a row of barracks were the only original buildings left. The adjoining city block was turned into a nice park, and low stone walls were put around the perimeter. Most people assume this was the original courtyard, but it is not.

The famous facade of the shrine, now facing the street, wasn't meant to greet visitors as they approached the mission. It actually faced inward into the original courtyard, assuming the focus of mission life as standard practise of the time.

The current layout is "inside-out" from the days of the siege and final battle. This is rapidly evident from the dioramas on display inside the museum. Also evident, but less clear to most people, is that when driving past the Alamo, they're enjoying a smooth, paved ride over the ground where Travis, Crockett, and many brave men died.

Art Eatman
July 23, 2007, 12:24 PM
Hard not to enjoy a John Wayne flick. But for historical accuracy, the version that played (is playing?) at the Imax in San Antonio is probably the best.

A buddy of mine had a bit part during the making of the Imax film. Small cast, insofar as extras, so sometime he was a Texican and sometimes a Mexican. He got killed in various takes, both roles. In one scene, he killed himself. :D Ah, editing!

During the filming at Bracketville, they all were waiting around for the light to be just right for continuity. Texicans on the walls, Mexicans down below. Somebody yelled out, "More taste!" The other side responded (of course) with, "Less filling!" It escalated. They should have rolled the cameras; Miller Brewing would probably have paid enough to finance the movie!

Boone wasn't the only drunk. I got to BSing one day with Jim Wilson, who likes to tell cop stories. The old sheriff at Del Rio had a routine of driving past the local bars near closing time, just checking, and then stopping in at the country club for a final nightcap at closing time. One night, three drunks came in, cursing rather loudly. The sheriff admonished them, to no avail. When one drunk sassed him the sheriff laid his gunbarrel up side the guy's head. Another of the drunks asked, "Do you know who that is?" "No, and I don't care. You don't talk like that when there are ladies present."

"That's Richard Widmark!"

"Well, when he wakes up, you tell Mr. Trademark that around here, we don't talk like that when there are ladies present."

The next day at Bracketville, they had to glue hair on Widmark's head to cover the little shaved area around the stitches...

Moral: Be careful how you talk when there are ladies present.

:D, Art

skua44
July 23, 2007, 02:35 PM
For good cinema I prefer the Duke version. For historical accuracy (as far as anyone knows) I like the BIlly Bob version. I have read the de la Pena (Lt. Col. in Mex. army) diary and it is worth reading whether you believe it to be absolutely factual or not. de la Pena makes the point several times that many of the officers were incensed at the way the campaign was being run. Such as, the Goliad massacre was considered a disgrace, the frontal storming of the Alamo was a waste of troops and Santa Anna didn't have the authority to grant independence to Texas after the defeat at San Jacinto, among other things
Oh yeah, Ozzie is lucky he was caught by a cop. Texans don't take kindly to such behavior.

22LongRifle
July 23, 2007, 04:22 PM
I've got the serise of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett on DVD last Christmas! I bet me and my son sat down and watched it for two days straight. He would play with my groung hog possibles bag and I would clean my Crockett Rifle!

As far as the movie is concerned, I like the newer one. It showed the larger than life historical players as real men.

"Out from the mountain tops of Tennesse.........."
"got any bar meat meat Davy?"

22lr

BigG
July 24, 2007, 08:33 AM
Duke, by a country mile. I have reviews of both

John Wayne THE ALAMO (http://www.epinions.com/content_89489444484)

Billy Bob Thornton THE ALAMO (http://www.epinions.com/content_184875650692)

McCall911
July 24, 2007, 08:51 AM
The Duke is a sentimental favorite of mine, as is his co-star Richard Widmark (who is still living BTW!) Widmark could be a real bada$$ in some of his movies. The knife-fighting scene in one of his half-forgotten Westerns called The Last Wagon is one of my favorites of all time--and it was all him!

Rich K
July 24, 2007, 09:02 AM
The Duke.

Landlocked Pirate
July 24, 2007, 10:04 AM
The John Wayne version is one of my favorite movies and contains one of my favorite all-time movie scenes: Col. Travis shocks Crockett and Bowie as well as the Mexicans when he cuts the surrender demand short by lighting the cannon fuse! An inspiring and patriotic film. I've never bothered with the BillyBob version.

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