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*** Official THE ALAMO Discussion Thread

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#1 of 26 OFFLINE   Larry Bevil

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Posted April 06 2004 - 04:05 PM

I have read several articles to the effect that this movie is a complete re-write of the history of the Alamo, incorporating Disney concocted political correctness, as well as damaging the reputation of the main characters ie Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Jim Bowie, etc. I won't be wasting my money on this flick, either in the theater or on dvd.

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   Jasmine Meathe

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Posted April 07 2004 - 08:44 AM

Well I saw it last night and really enjoyed it. A lot better than I expected. Billy Bob, Quaid, Jason Patrick and Patrick Wilson were all great. I didn't get the sense of any political correctness - I thought the film did a great job of depicting the horrors and realities of war.

#3 of 26 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted April 07 2004 - 09:49 AM

Alamo movie filled with 'fairy tales'
Group says new film destroys memory of American heroes

Posted: April 6, 2004
10:30 p.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com

A new movie set to open this weekend entitled "The Alamo" is filled with revisionist history and political correctness, claims a pro-military nonprofit organization.

Posted Image
Billy Bob Thornton stars in 'The Alamo' (Touchstone Pictures)

In a statement, Freedom Alliance slammed Michael Eisner and Walt Disney Pictures, the film's maker, for rewriting history in the movie, which is scheduled to open April 9.

"The movie reads more like a Disney fairy tale and promotes a politically correct revisionist agenda aimed at destroying a traditional American hero," said B. Forrest Clayton, a Freedom Alliance visiting fellow.
Clayton says he obtained a screenplay of the film and found it to be "full of inaccuracies." He says Davy Crockett is portrayed as a "frightened wanderer" who wanted to escape "over the wall" in the dark of night during the historic battle, but felt paralyzed and trapped by his own underserved heroic reputation.
An unofficial website for the film calls it "a tale of a handful of men who stood up for their passion and ideals against an overwhelming force.

"In the spring of 1836, in the face of insurmountable odds, fewer than 200 ordinary men who believed in the future of Texas held the fort for 13 days against thousands of Mexican soldiers led by dictator Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna."

Freedom Alliance says the film has Crockett captured, bound and executed on his knees after the battle was over, "even though the historical evidence shows that he was killed fighting, in the thick of combat, during the battle."

Posted Image
1955 comic book: Fess Parker in Walt Disney's Davy Crockett at the Alamo

The group cites several historical witnesses who backed up the story of a heroic Crockett.

Said the group's statement: "The movie makers ignored these witnesses that corroborated Crockett's heroic death in combat and based his capture and execution in the film on a suspect portion of Jose Enrique De La Pena's supposed diary/memoir which handwriting expert Charles Hamilton proved was a forgery by John Laflin, aka John Lafitte, a prominent American forger of papers on American pirates and frontier heroes."

Disney also is criticized for portraying Gen. Sam Houston as a "venereal-diseased drunkard" and Col. William Barret Travis, commander of Texan forces at the Alamo, as a "deadbeat dad and serial adulterer."
In addition, says the group, Col. James Bowie, the Alamo defender famous for his knife-fighting skills, is portrayed as a land-swindling slave trader. The film reportedly has Crockett participating in a My Lai-style massacre in the Creek Indian War.

Freedom Alliance says in contrast, Manuel Castrillon, a Mexican general who attacked the Alamo, is portrayed as a "flawless, noble and brave hero."

"Heroes such as Davy Crockett must be vigorously defended by all patriotic Americans in the culture war. They represent Western culture. To sit back and allow them to be desecrated is an injustice to American students and a recipe for disaster for the future of the country," concluded Clayton.

A recent Variety article confirmed the film's perspective.
"'Alamo' is expected to deal with many of the historical complexities – including the Mexican point of view – that were glossed over in John Wayne's 1960 film," Variety reported. "Alamo heroes William Barret Travis' serial marital infidelities, Jim Bowie's slave trading and Davy Crockett's overall political incorrectness will also be addressed."

Richard Bruce Winders, curator of the Alamo museum, said moviegoers who expect a close remake of the John Wayne "Alamo" film will be disappointed. He says the new movie is more accurate and calls the 1960 classic film "real bad history."

"It's hard to believe that Hollywood would do a movie where there was so much historical information in it," he told the Associated Press. "If you're expecting a remake of John Wayne's movie, you're going to be pretty much surprised by what you'll see."

The movie is directed by John Lee Hancock. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Emilio Echevarría, Patrick Wilson and Jason Patric.

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#4 of 26 OFFLINE   BobbyPerry


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Posted April 07 2004 - 09:49 AM

I would agree with Jasmine-I was very impressed with the cast-Patrick Wilson from Angels in America and Billy Bob (Davy Crockett) were my personal favorites. It had a lot of depictions from the mexican side as well-which I thought was interesting and important to depict in the film. Additionally-the scenes of the sets were fantastic-and overall I thought the movie was a realistic look at war-with savageness and the poor conditions and also did a great job with the action even though it was PG 13. If anyone has any questions-please ask away!
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#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Bill J

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Posted April 08 2004 - 07:50 AM

At Rotten Tomatoes the negative reviews are starting to come in (12 out of 14 are negative). I'm not really surprised since this is probably the main reason it was delayed. I still plan on seeing it because I like historical films.

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   Larry Bevil

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Posted April 08 2004 - 04:33 PM

"I still plan on seeing it because I like historical films." Historical? Better watch it with tongue in cheek!

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted April 08 2004 - 04:56 PM

Larry, the article that Wayne posted at the top of the page seems much more biased against Eisner and Disney than The Alamo, and it seems like that may be the case for at least one of the articles you read as well. The article stated that the criticisms come from reading a screenplay of the movie, not the movie itself. The screenplay could have been a rough draft that went through revisions to make it more accurate. How about watching the movie instead of letting other people, who haven't even seen the final cut, form your opinion?

I don't know about the VD part, but according to this (go to the bottom of the page), Houston had a drinking problem. As for Travis, this and this states that he left his pregnant wife and son in 1831 to pursue a life in Texas, where he went around the block a number of times.

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Robert TX

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Posted April 09 2004 - 02:18 AM

I saw a preview on Wednesday night. This movie is a "Must Miss."

#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Jasmine Meathe

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Posted April 09 2004 - 03:51 AM

I would definitely agree that the action was great for a PG-13 rating. The final battle was very powerful. It really brought the whole movie home for me.

#10 of 26 OFFLINE   Ed Moroughan

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Posted April 09 2004 - 04:20 AM

As for Crockett being executed and not fighting to the death, there was a Discovery Channel show of "Unsolved History" that claimed that Santa Anna's #2 guy wrote a diary in prison that, Crockett was brought to Santa Anna who had him executed like a common criminal. I'm not an Alamo scholar but who else other than the Mexicans could have saw this happen and survive? And in the end does it matter how he died?

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted April 09 2004 - 06:51 AM

Good point. It reminds me of when Pearl Harbor came out people wanted to make a big deal out of whether or not kids were playing baseball and if women were washing clothes.Posted Image
...When you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H


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Posted April 09 2004 - 11:38 AM

It doesn't matter as far as Crockett's standing as a hero, but it isn't the truth and shouldn't be stated as such. The diary has been proven a forgery. Nothing else suggests he died in that manner. For an interesting discussion of whether Crockett's manner of death matters, see the Deep Space Nine episode "Once More Unto the Breach," from the seventh season.

#13 of 26 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted April 09 2004 - 12:20 PM

This thread is now designated the Official Discussion Thread for "The Alamo" please, post all comments, links to outside reviews, film and box office discussion items to this thread.

All HTF member film reviews of "The Alamo" should be posted to the Official Review Thread.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


#14 of 26 OFFLINE   ThomasC


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Posted April 09 2004 - 01:07 PM

"It's amazing what a little harmony will do." Posted Image

I think a(n) extended/director's cut on DVD might be the remedy to help this film, because I felt that I didn't know the characters as well as I should've, and the reasoning for the battle wasn't explained very well. Alamo buffs probably wouldn't notice, but I knew very little about the Alamo before I saw it, so I think a longer cut might help explain things better.

#15 of 26 OFFLINE   Tommy B

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Posted April 10 2004 - 08:11 AM

Fellas, I know the true story of the Alamo very well; I've more than a shelf of books on the subject and I keep current with the latest writings and theories. And I'm here to tell you that the picture is very true to what really happened, so far as we know what happened. And on subjects which are controversial, such as whether Crockett was taken alive and then murdered, the picture takes a reasonable stand. Of course there are dramatic licenses taken but I must say that the picture exceeded my expectations, both in terms of historical accuracy and entertainment.

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   Ernest Rister

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Posted April 10 2004 - 10:50 AM

I hate it when nitpickers attack the license of a scene and ignore the context. Davy Crockett goes down fighting in the film, not with his hands, but with his mind and heart. Not going to spoil probably the best scene in the film, but I wonder if the people who are complaining about the movie have actually seen it. (cough *Passion of the Christ* cough)

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   Chris Farmer

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Posted April 10 2004 - 06:35 PM

Movie was good, but not truly great. It's strange, because I can't really think of anything off the top of my head that they could have truly improved, but it wasn't as hard hitting as it should have been. The characters were reasonably well developed, the battle scenes were as good as can be done for PG-13, it even supplied a decent context for where the battle fit in the overall struggle for Texas independence. But I didn't really feel all that much afterwards. And this comes from a person who grew up in and around San Antonio and knows the story quite well. Visited it numerous times for school field trips, seen the IMAX film, the usual drill, so this ought to have been pretty rousing for me.

#18 of 26 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 12 2004 - 01:53 AM

Agreeing with Tommy and Ernest, I find it amusing that the most historically accurate (so far) movie of the Alamo, is criticized for not so much for inaccuracies, but for representing some of the heroes as men who were both complex and less than perfect. I’d like to read what this ‘Freedom Alliance’ has to say about the John Wayne movie.
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#19 of 26 OFFLINE   MichaelW


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Posted April 12 2004 - 03:46 AM

I don't know who this "freedom alliance" is, but... it's pretty well known that Hancock (director) set out to make the most historically accurate version of the Alamo to-date and most experts who have seen the film agree that it is. He had numerous historical experts on site throughout the whole movie. There are a number of places in the movie that are contentious because there seems to be a division over what happened, but Hancock sooner or later had to make a stand on some of these in order to make the movie: Was Crockett exectuted or did he die fighting at the Alamo... was there a line drawn in the sand... was Bowie standing up when he was killed... all of these are very controversial issues that historians disagree on. I, personally, liked the Alamo a great deal - but have refrained from commenting on it as I feel I was predisposed to like it based on my feelings for Texas History. (Much like civil war buffs were probably predisposed to like Gods and Generals - a movie I didn't care for very much). To each his own... but the movie was definitely not a "rewrite of history" - it however, was a rewrite of some of the past movies which were not historically accurate.
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#20 of 26 OFFLINE   BobbyPerry


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Posted April 12 2004 - 09:03 AM

I think it did a great job of accurately reflecting the history of the Alamo while keeping it entertaining to us as viewers. I found myself laughing at some parts (like with Davy Crockett) which was surprising-but I was very impressed with the film portrayal of how everyone was affected the war and the brutalities of it.
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