8 Movies about the Battle of the Alamo (From 1915 to 2004)

Rediscovering some old toys at my parents’ house.

A year ago, I decided I was going to try to watch every movie about the Alamo ever made. Not quite there yet, but almost!

As someone currently producing a podcast on Davy Crockett, I take a particular interest in the Texas Revolution narrative and the battles that took place at the Alamo.

Watching a variety of movies that explored the Battle of the Alamo from different angles, I’ve had some time to think about what makes this particular series of dramatic events so special and memorable.

It comes down to this. There are very few American wars of epic proportion that seem to do well in the war epic genre.

The Revolutionary War is too tied up with the founding fathers and political ideology. The war of 1812 lacks a central conflict. The Mexican-American war just makes Americans look like the villains (We try to avoid that one). And from the Civil War onwards, the events that transpired are all two personal to be transformed into a war epic, as a genre of mythology.

Like Homer’s the Iliad, the Texas Revolution has the three key features a writer needs to construct a dramatic narrative : An aesthetically interesting setting, a dramatic conflict, and a unique resolution.

All great epics have all three.

The Iliad :
-Aesthetically interesting setting : Troy, an advanced civilization far away from home and protected by gods, goddesses, and allies from all over the mediterranean sea.
-Dramatic Conflict : War was started by an abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world. The war will be lost if the best warrior, Achilles, does settle his dispute with the most influential king on the side of the Greeks.
-Unique Resolution : We know that the Greeks will win through tricking the Trojans with the famous Trojan horse, but the narrative is resolved when the greatest warrior tragically loses his best friend and decides to rejoin the Greeks to avenge him.

The Alamo :
-Aesthetically interesting setting : An abandoned church/makeshift fort that looks ancient in American standards and a ragtag band of soldiers representing different walks of life in American society.
-Dramatic Conflict : Mexico, previously a republican government, is suddenly transformed into a dictatorship by a corrupt general and self proclaimed “Napoleon of the West.”
-Unique Resolution : The Texas Revolution will be won at a later time, but it will take the sacrifice of less than two hundred heroes to buy the main army more time and inspire the region to declare its independence.

Read : “Ok Google, who is Achilles? I listened to the Iliad with AI – it was way better than reading the book”

The Iliad, The Alamo, and other epics become immortal stories because they have these three important things going for them.

However, what I have come to realize after watching eight Alamo movies is that how settings, conflicts, and resolutions are exemplified makes or breaks the audience’s experience.

Here is my list of the eight that I saw. From an Alamo enthusiast’s perspective I enjoyed all of them. But I am approaching this review as a regular audience member which is why I was able to narrow my recommendations down to three. I am basing the “quality” of these movies based on how well they treated the three elements I outlined : setting, conflict, and resolution.

(Please also note that I made absolutely no considerations for historical accuracy.)

Ultimately this list will be useful if you are interested in the Alamo and want to kill two birds with one stone by watching a fun movie. Enjoy!

8 movies about the Alamo (and the 3 I recommend watching)

1.) Martyrs of the Alamo (1915)

  • Oldest surviving Alamo movie

  • Impressive battle sequences that were groundbreaking during the silent film era

  • Produced by DW Griffith, the director of Birth of a Nation

Setting

DW Griffith released two epic films in 1915. Birth of a Nation, which he directed, was both one of the most lucrative movies of all time and possibly the most controversial for its racial stereotypes. Martyrs of the Alamo, which he produced, is also unfortunately infused with racial ideology. The distinction between the good guys and the bad guys are established along racial lines. Later Alamo movies would included Tejanos among the defenders of the Alamo. But Martyrs of the Alamo depicts the Alamo as a struggle between “hardy American pioneers” and “petty Mexican officers.”

Conflict

The movie establishes the central conflict with the following title card :

The immediate cause of the Texas Revolution. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, elected president of Mexico in 1833, was shortly declared dictator by his army, ignoring the constitution of Mexico of 1824, which provided for a republican form of government.

It is pretty clear what is at stake. We know there is going to be a war against a tyrannical government. So to drive home this point, Martyrs of the Alamo opens with a village full of Mexican soldiers. As “Liberty-loving Americans who had built up the Texas colony” try to go about their everyday lives, Santa Anna’s soldiers, who occupy the land, show off their authority by harassing civilians.

Particular emphasis is put on Mexican soldiers making sexual advances toward the settler women. The men want to defend their wives’ dignity, but are afraid of the violent retribution from the unscrupulous government. The Texans have no choice, but to go underground and organize a secret militia.

There are many ways a director can depict why you wouldn’t want to live in a tyrannical government. Martyrs of the Alamo chooses this theme that can also be found in Braveheart (1995), the war epic about Scotland’s fight for independence. If you watch that Academy Award winning blockbuster, you will find that the settings are almost identical. A standing army disrupts the lives of liberty-loving civilians. The victims are willing to tolerate the tyranny for awhile, but the breaking point is when the women are treated as sexual objects. William Wallace played by Mel Gibson doesn’t fight back until his wife is harassed by an English soldier.

Resolution

Santa Anna tries to seize the Americans’ weapons, but they are able to deceive him by hiding their guns under floor boards. Martyrs of the Alamo makes it look like San Antonio, the town of liberty loving Americans, is some sort of home base. Thinking he has the town under control, he leaves and puts his number two in charge. This is a big mistake. The Texans who were plotting an attack the whole time invade the town with outside support. Soon after, the Americans have complete control of the Alamo and the town around it, Santa Anna finds out and sends all of his forces to overtake the Americans.

The Alamo is surrounded by an overwhelming force. Heroes like Davy Crockett, William Barret Travis, and James Bowie hold off the Mexican forces just long enough for Sam Houston to sign the declaration of Texas Independence.

The Alamo is invaded and all of its defenders are killed, but not before a made up character named “Silent” Smith escapes through a secret passageway. He hires himself to the Mexican army as a game hunter and pretends to be deaf. Through his guise, he is able to gather intelligence about Santa Anna’s plans. He informs Sam Houston and the movie concludes with the Texans’ victory at San Jacinto, the capture of Santa Anna, and his signing of the document which officially acknowledges Texas as free and independent.

The movie ends with “Silent” Smith and his love interest mourning the loss of the sole surviving widow of the Alamo.


2.) Heroes of the Alamo (1937)

  • Unique take on the Alamo narrative using Captain Dickinson as the main character

  • A true “talkie” classic with few action scenes and a lot of dialogue that establishes context

  • Includes a scene of Davy Crockett trying to escape

Setting

Heroes of the Alamo establishes three distinct settings : The homestead of Al Dickinson, the political endeavors of Stephen F. Austin, and the Tyrannical life style of Santa Anna.

Cutting between the various stories, we are introduced to the different world views that will play a role in the conflict.

Al Dickinson, an experienced soldier, just wants to settle down with his wife to raise a family.

Stephen F. Austin works hard as governor of the region of Texas to promote the general welfare of the Texans. He tries to alleviate the tensions that the immigrants have with their adopted government.

On the other hand, Santa Anna far away in Mexico City represses any opposition against his will, executing political opponents and refusing to sympathize with the needs of the Texan settlers.

Conflict

Right from the outset of Heroes of the Alamo, settlers who risked everything to immigrate to Mexico are being turned away and told that the border is now closed to future Americans.

This situation infuriates the settlers and many of them push for independence, but Stephen F. Austin pleas for moderation. He asks his fellow Texans to consider Statehood. And he would be overruled if it isn’t for Al Dickinson who wants to try every option available before turning to violence.

However, when Stephen F. Austin meets with Santa Anna to discuss statehood his suggestion just makes the dictator suspicious of his intentions. Santa Anna has Stephen F. Austin arrested and he continues his xenophobic policies.

Resolution

Throughout Heroes of the Alamo, it is striking how little action scenes there are, but this just makes the siege of the Alamo all the more exciting. During the battle, Al Dickinson has a chance to say a final farewell to his wife. Susanna, his wife, had refused to leave him behind at the Alamo even at the risk of her own death. The battle scene culminates with the dramatic demise of Al Dickinson. Surprisingly, the movie depicts Davy Crockett trying to escape, an alternative image that would cause controversy many years later.

At the end of the battle, Santa Anna chooses to spare the life of Susanna Dickinson so that she can warn her fellow Texans that there is no hope. In the final scene of Heroes of the Alamo, in one single long take and in a dramatic monologue, Susanna, contrary to the wishes of Santa Anna, urges the Texans to fight on so that her husband’s sacrifice will have not been done in vain.


3.) Davy Crockett : King of the Wild Frontier (1955)

  • The most famous depiction of the Alamo featuring iconic actor, Fess Parker

  • Arguably Disney’s most successful and lucrative film ever

  • A film which begins with the life of Davy Crockett

Setting

Davy Crockett after many years of adventure fighting Indians, River pirates, and rival congressman sets out on just one other adventure. He reads up the Texas Revolution in a newspaper, about fellow Americans in need of help. While on his way to the Alamo with his best friend, Russel, he befriends a Louisiana swindler and Indian outcast. The band of four learns that the Alamo has already been surrounded by thousands of Alamo troops, but they persist anyway.

With much difficulty, Davy Crockett and his companions ride past the Mexican encampments and into the Alamo. They are immediately greeted by the leadership there : William Barrett Travis who is struggling to keep the morale of the men up and James Bowie, the main commander who is ill in bed.

Conflict

Jim Bowie informs Davy Crockett that the Alamo garrison needs more men and supplies to hold off the Mexican army while “Houston reorganizes him army.” If they cannot hold off Santa Anna, the Texas cause will be lost. Davy Crockett offers to try sneak out of the fort to look for more reinforcements, but James Bowie would rather have him at the Alamo to improve the morale of the troops.

Under the leadership of James Bowie and with the the renewed spirit that Davy Crockett’s presence brings, the Texans hold off the Mexican army while they wait for reinforcements.

Resolution

The leadership of the Alamo find out that the reinforcements they were hoping for will not be coming.

James Bowie opens up to the volunteer soldiers and let’s them know they are free to abandon the fort with no shame. He draws a line in the sand with his sword and asks that the soldiers who wish to stay to cross over. Davy Crockett is first to cross the line and the others follow.

The night before the siege is very sobering. The soldiers who decide not to leave have given up all hope of coming out of the fort alive. Davy Crockett, accepting his fate, performs a song to comfort his fellow defenders.

In the morning the Mexican soldiers invade the Alamo. Every single man goes down fighting. Davy Crockett is the very last man standing. The scene fades to an image of the lonestar state flag and an apparent last journal entry from Davy Crockett, “Liberty and Independence forever.”

Ending on this note, Davy Crockett’s moral character, as opposed to the Texas Revolution, is emphasized.

Read : “Davy Crockett Timeline from 1786 to 1836 and beyond”


4.) The Last Command (1955)

  • A story told through the perspective of James Bowie

  • Footage would be recycled in The Alamo : Thirteen days to glory

  • Produced after an argument between Republic Studio’s founder and John Wayne

Setting

James Bowie, a loyal Mexican citizen, rides into town one day and finds that it is eerily quiet. Upon entering a tavern, he learns that a lawyer, William Barret Travis, was arrested by the local governor. The Texans are divided on how to deal with Mexico’s heavy handed government. Bowie, who is related to Santa Anna by marriage, urges the dictator to return to the 1824 constitution guaranteeing civil rights to all Mexican citizens.

Meanwhile, Jeb, a young optimistic independence advocate, falls in love with the niece of an important Mexican leader who sympathizes with the Texans. She resists Jeb’s advances and becomes infatuated with James Bowie. This side story makes room for a potential romance, when we find that Bowie’s wife and children have fallen ill and died. Despite the love triangle, James Bowie is Jeb’s role model and mentor throughout the movie.

Conflict

James Bowie is able to persuade Santa Anna to release Stephen F. Austin from prison, but he is unable to stop him from trying to repress dissension through violent means.

When Santa Anna tries to confiscate the Texans’ weapons and learns that the Texas Legislature will be closed, he decides he has no choice, but to join the side of the rebels.

As the Alamo defenders prepare for battle, James Bowie must temper William Barret Travis’s rash leadership style. He also becomes ill and must delegate tasks to the less competent leaders.

Resolution

Even during the siege of the Alamo, James Bowie tries to persuade Santa Anna to end his tyrannical rule and make peace with the Texans. Santa Anna, while respecting James Bowie, calls for the final assault of the Alamo anyway.

Before the last day of the siege, James Bowie, asks Jeb to deliver a letter to General Houston. Jeb wants to stay behind with the other defenders, but the older mentor persuades him to sneak outside the walls.

During the Siege of the Alamo, the defenders fight to the very last man. James Bowie, who was restricted to his bedroom, is perhaps the last man to die fighting.

After the siege, Santa Anna rides through the camp in triumph. But yet, his countenance is somewhat melancholy making us think that he is mourning the loss of his friend, James Bowie.

Sam Houston receives the letter from Jeb and informs his men of the loss at the Alamo. Just as he finishes his speech, a carriage carrying the female survivors of the Alamo arrives at the camp. Jeb finds his love interest, the niece of the Mexican citizen turned separatist, and then they embrace each other.

Like Davy Crockett : King of the Wild Frontier, the bravery and values of one man is emphasized over the historical consequences of his actions. Jeb and his love interest have both been inspired by a great man.


5.) The Alamo (1960)

  • Directed by and starring John Wayne

  • First Alamo movie to win an Oscar

  • Uncredited scenes directed by John Ford

Setting

The Alamo establishes Texas as a land representing the simple hopes and dreams of the characters it portrays.

The monologues from the lead characters of Davy Crockett, James Bowie, and William Barrett Travis express the motivations of the various groups participating in the Texas Revolution.

Davy Crockett, a man known for his way with words, is unable to express consistently why he came to Texas. But somehow he was drawn to the land. And throughout the story he continues to search for meaning.

James Bowie is a man who has fallen in love with the people as much as the land. Texas is his adopted homeland, a place where people live for today.

William Barret Travis, full of ambition, sees Texas as a bright new opportunity to found a new republican government.

All of these men for one reason or another view Texas as the physical manifestation of their dreams.

Conflict

However, The Alamo establishes its overarching conflict, before any of its larger than life characters are introduced. Utilizing a title slate that we have seen in every Alamo movie up until this point,

“Generalissimo Santa Anna was sweeping north across Mexico toward them, crushing all who opposed his tyrannical rule. They now faced the decision that all men in all times must face…the eternal choice of men…to endure oppression or to resist.”

The oppression is very rarely referenced throughout the movie. It is the willingness of the various characters to resist and risk dying that is really emphasized. We assume that the extent of potential oppression must match their will to resist.

Resolution

Men with different dreams are able to set aside their differences and rally behind a common cause. They die at the Alamo, but their dreams are remembered forever.


6.) Viva Max (1969)

  • The only comedy movie about the Alamo

  • A film about a Mexican army recapturing the Alamo in Modern times

  • Impressive performance by John Astin

Setting

Mexican soldiers, led by a quirky general, cross over the Mexico-American border under the guise that they are going to be participating in a parade for George Washington’s birthday.

Taking place in the 1960s, the Mexican army returns to Texas one hundred and thirty years after the Texas Revolution and discovers a thriving yet ignorant community.

The small band of Mexican soldiers are horrified to find out the the General is in fact planning on re-capturing the Alamo.

Conflict

Having prepared for a parade, the mexican soldiers did not bring bullets for their guns. After the re-capturing of the Alamo, the prideful Texans try to keep the farce under wraps. They call up the national guard to entice the Mexican soldiers to evacuate the Alamo. They are also told to engage without ammunition.

We find out the real reason the general re-captured the Alamo. His pride was hurt after his girlfriend scoffs at his leadership abilities. “A friend of mine, a woman, she told me the men do not respect me. She said they would not follow me even into a whorehouse!”

Within the walls of the Alamo, the national guard and the Mexican troops face off, both without bullets in their guns. The national guard, fearing for their lives, surrender after the General’s lieutenant fires a gun into the air. The general is overwhelmed with joy after his “military victory.” But later on, when he finds that the only reason his men did not abandon him was out of fear of the lieutenant, he decides it is impossible to earn the respect of his soldiers. He decides to raise the white flag over the wall of the Alamo.

Resolution

The Mexican soldiers cautiously emerge from the alamo, but this time they are met by the state militia. Another standoff ensues. This time blood is shed when the commander of the militia fires his gun and hits the general on the shoulder. The wounded general feeling a sense of indignation that he would be fired upon while raising the white flag, scolds the leader of the militia. The Mexican soldiers also advance from behind and the militiamen retreat. This time General Max’s soldier stand behind him bravely without threat of violence.

The conflict between an army general, the national guard, the state militia, and San Antonio’s police department allows the General and his soldiers to march back toward the Mexican border without any repercussions. Ultimately the general acquires the respect from his soldiers that he was seeking.

Read : Viva Max : The comedy that should have won an Oscar”


7.) The Alamo : Thirteen Days to Glory (1987)

  • Early acting role of Alec Baldwin

  • Only Alamo movie that focuses on William Barret Travis

  • Shot on the same location of John Wayne’s The Alamo

Setting

The Alamo : Thirteen days to Glory focuses on the aspirations of William Barret Travis as he tries to make Texas a free and independent nation. The movie opens with the celebration of George Washington’s birthday. As Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett let loose with the other revolutionaries, a sober William Barret Travis ponders how he will rally such a rowdy group of undisciplined volunteers.

Meanwhile, a side love story ensues between a young Texan and a Mexican woman from a well to do family. This plot is similar to The Last Command minus the love triangle.

Conflict

Difference of personality and visions between William Barret Travis and Jim Bowie threatens to dismantle the Texan leadership.

Santa Anna occupies the town and instantly becomes infatuated with a young woman. As the siege of the Alamo persists, Santa Anna marries the woman. Preoccupied with his amorous exploits, he delegates his responsibilities to his inferiors. When they don’t meet his expectations, he threatens violence.

Resolution

In the last moments of the battle, William Barret Travis and James Bowie put aside their differences.

The wife of Captain Dickinson produces a Texan flag to be raised over the palisades. This inspires the defenders of the Alamo.

After the siege is complete, Susanna Dickinson schools Santa Anna in democratic values.


8.) The Alamo (2004)

  • Probably the most historically accurate depiction of the Alamo yet

  • Impressive performance by Billy Bob Thornton in the role of Davy Crockett

  • Most recent Alamo movie

Setting

The movie begins with the aftermath of the siege. The audience already knows that the defenders of the Alamo will all be killed.

Cut backwards in time : a partially inebriated Sam Houston tries to draw Washington politicians to the Texas cause. The only person he is able to have a meaningful conversation with is Davy Crockett. Davy Crockett is honored as a guest during a performance of a play inspired by his life, “The Lion of the West.”

Meanwhile, James Bowie and William Barret Travis prepare for conflict with Santa Anna who is already mobilizing his troops. The Texans debate whether they can negotiate with the infamous dictator. It becomes apparent that the Texans must form their own government, but do they have enough time?

Conflict

Since we already know that the Alamo will fall to Santa Anna, the big question is if the sacrifices made at the Alamo will be in vain. It becomes apparent very quickly that none of the Alamo defenders were interested in sacrificing their lives for Texas Independence.

When Davy Crockett arrives at the Alamo he thinks the fighting is already over. William Barret Travis plans on starting a new life with his son after the war is over. James Bowie, whose family recently died, doesn’t seem to care whether he lives or not.

Throughout the siege, the characters must come to terms with their own mortality.

After the siege is over and Sam Houston learns that the Alamo has fallen, he must lead an impatient army eager to seek revenge as soon as possible. Houston resists threats of dessertion and waits for the perfect time to engage with the Mexican army.

Resolution

At the battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna’s lack of foresight and impatience leads him to make a strategic blunder that will cost him the war.

The Texans catch the Mexican army off guard while they are resting in a field. The Mexican army is obliterated and Santa Anna is captured. Many of the Texans want to hang Santa Anna for his treachery at the Alamo, but Sam Houston is more interested in making sure that the sacrifices made at the Alamo were not in vain. The Texans force Santa Anna to sign a document acknowledging Texas Independence.

Ultimately the sacrifices made at the Alamo bought Sam Houston’s army the time he needed to win the war.


Brian’s Alamo Movie Review

Brian A. Crandall with his Alamo Toys

Brian A. Crandall with his Alamo Toys

As promised here are the three Alamo movies that I would recommend watching and the ones that fell short of a good viewing experience :

Recommended Alamo Movies

2.) Heroes of the Alamo (1937)

The pacing of the movie might be a little slow and sometimes the acting is a bit corny, but the most important standard in this review is if the director told an interesting story. The Heroes of the Alamo breaks from tradition by using characters that are almost always in the background of the story as the main focus. The big stumbling block of most historical dramas as they get tied up trying to do certain iconic figures justice. Instead Heroes of the Alamo uses the survivor, Susanna Dickinson, as the character that provides not only the narrative spine of the movie, but the emotional stimulus as well. Susanna Dickinson in all other Alamo movies is used merely as a symbol of Texan defiance. Heroes of the Alamo doesn’t shed that theme, but also humanizes Susanna.

In addition, something that almost every Alamo movie seems to lack — the audience gets a sense of what is at stake if the Texans fail. Other directors just assume we should know and that makes for bad story development.

(Martyrs of the Alamo might establish what is at stake, but the movie does so in a very short sighted way.)

In Heroes of the Alamo, the motivations of the characters are clear. And unlike other Alamo movies, when those motivations change we get the sense that they are changing into new people.

In a way the movie is a “coming of age” story for both Susanna Dickinson and for Texas. The ending demonstrates this growth with an eloquent long take that is more mature than the other alamo movies.

6.) Viva Max (1969)

Speaking of maturity, Viva Max is the complete opposite. And that is okay.

This movie is full of interesting characters that offer social commentary on traditional interpretations of history.

Given that the movie is a sort of alternative history flick, it has the advantage of concealing its resolution. As an audience we have absolutely no idea how this one is going to end.

Viva Max unravels its plot in a humorous and thought provoking way which is why I highly recommend it.

8.) The Alamo (2004)

This movie is well thought out in that they tell us the ending right from the beginning. We know that the Alamo will fall, so there is no need to feel suspense as to whether the defenders will succeed or not. This buys more time for character development.

While the movie utilizes a pretty typical interpretation of the events that took place at the Alamo, the interesting characters make it worth watching. We care about the lives of Davy Crockett, William Barret Travis, and James Bowie so that our heart throbs for them the whole time.

Finally the movie doesn’t seem to glorify violence in the way that the other Alamo movies do. That means less cheesy action sequences and more time to reflect on the existential theme of being trapped in a place for a time and knowing you will never escape.

Alamo Movie Fails

1.) Martyrs of the Alamo (1915)

While Martyrs of the Alamo might be significant to film history, the spectacle of the action scenes does little for modern audiences. Its one-dimensional characters just made me annoyed. It is also hard to get around the director’s tendency to depict the Mexican soldiers as sex crazed criminals. This theme doesn’t just come up once and it makes me think that its constance occurrence must be based on some weird complex.

On the other hand, if you are a student of film history, knock yourself out.

3.) Davy Crockett : King of the Wild Frontier (1955)

Davy Crockett : King of the Wild Frontier was made for kids. We can’t expect a very nuanced story given the target. Nevertheless, this movie assumes too much even for a very young audience. There are good and bad guys, but we don’t really know why they are fighting. The goal is “liberty and independence” forever. I suppose that is referring to the present state of America at the time. For this movie to endure for future generations, it would have made sense for the director to express more clearly why Davy Crockett was the first one to cross over the line.

4.) The Last Command (1955)

In the The Last Command, James Bowie is depicted as the squarest hero who ever lived. Like Dickinson in Heroes of the Alamo he does everything he possibly can do to avoid bloodshed. Both protagonists are frankly one dimensional, but while Dickinson in Heroes of the Alamo has a bunch of other archetypes to balance out the story, The Last Command exhausts us with Dad lectures on how to be a good person.

James Bowie always does the right thing and he is never tempted to do otherwise. He is depicted as the savior of the Alamo which overshadows every other character in the movie.

Poor character development plus bad cinematography and horrible music makes for a bad movie experience.

5.) The Alamo (1960)

I feel sort of bad putting this in the “Alamo fail” pile. The Alamo was indeed John Wayne’s masterpiece as a director. But John Wayne is a famous actor, not a famous director, for a reason.

While the Alamo has a lot of social currency, it has that flaw present in almost all Alamo movies. It assumes too much. We are expected to see the Alamo has a crucial symbolic location, but the director doesn’t really do the work to make us think this way. In other words, if we are invested in the story before we watch the movie this won’t be a problem; however, if we are a typical audience member we have to just assume that if the Texans lose a lot of bad stuff will go down.

What is at stake? John Wayne does a horrible job of explaining. It is like he is making a movie for someone who holds all of the same values. He is literally making a movie for himself. If he wanted to make it a movie about the importance of liberty, he should have done that with powerful imagery. He wasn’t able to do so. And this is the difference between a pro and amateur director.

Nevertheless, the imagery is iconic and it is a fun experience if you are interested in John Wayne or the Alamo.

Sorry if this review is offensive. But I was basing this all on setting, conflict, and resolution. Unfortunately John Wayne fell short in at least two of these categories.

7.) The Alamo : Thirteen Days to Glory (1987)

I don’t have much to say about this movie. Frankly speaking it was REALLY hard to get through. I wanted to buy it on iTunes. I’m lucky I just rented it.

This movies makes all of the fatal mistakes for Alamo movies and historical dramas in general.

The story tells history instead of showing it.

The director just assumes we should care about the conflict.

The characters aren’t characters — just vehicles to deliver lines about the narrative.

The movie doesn’t bring any new angle to the Alamo drama. It uses all of the typical plot points.

It was boring to watch.

And Alec Baldwin was William Barret Travis ;)


Alamo Related Movies

Here are some other “Alamo Movies” I watched, but cut from this blog post. They all used the Alamo in their narrative, but since the battle of the Alamo was not their focal point it wouldn’t make sense for me to add them to the main list. But they are related!