Remembering the Alamo Movies

westernsThis April, Touchstone Pictures (a subsidiary of Disney) released a $75 million-plus film The Alamo, which reinterpreted this most famous of frontier battles.

Disney initiated the first great Alamo craze in 1954 with its TV and movie portrayals of Davy Crockett, but it remains to be seen if lightning can strike twice for the house that Walt built. Even the most ambitious Alamo film to date, John Wayne’s 1960 The Alamo, was a critical and financial flop.

The Alamo has proven a difficult story for filmmakers to tell, and for obvious reasons—you trap your heroes in a fort for 12 days without much happening, save long conversations on patriotism, and then kill them off in an ending that everybody knows is coming. Still, that has not stopped Hollywood from retelling the tale from a variety of angles. The following pictorial offers a survey of Alamo movies during the last century. If you want to know more, pick up a copy of Frank Thompson’s Alamo Movies.

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