The Alamo (2004)

The Alamo (2004)

Dennis QuaidBilly Bob ThorntonEmilio EchevarríaJason Patric
John Lee Hancock


The Alamo (2004) is a English,Spanish movie. John Lee Hancock has directed this movie. Dennis Quaid,Billy Bob Thornton,Emilio Echevarría,Jason Patric are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2004. The Alamo (2004) is considered one of the best Drama,History,War,Western movie in India and around the world.

Historical drama detailing the 1835-36 Texas revolution before, during, and after the famous siege of the Alamo (February 23-March 6, 1836) where 183 Texans (American-born Texans) and Tejanos (Mexican-born Texans) commanded by Colonel Travis, along with Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie, were besieged in an abandoned mission outside San Antonio by a Mexican army of nearly 2,000 men under the personal command of the dictator of Mexico, General Santa Anna, as well as detailing the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836) where General Sam Houston's rag-tag army of Texans took on and defeated Santa Anna's army which led to the Independence of Texas.


The Alamo (2004) Reviews

  • A Perfect Blend Of History and Hollywood


    After writing a phd dissertation and spending months doing research on the Alamo at The DRT library and across Texas, I became convinced that I might not live long enough to see a theatrical release that would finally do the history justice. The IMAX Alamo film is very good along historical lines, but due to budget limitations not to mention physiological IMAX constraints, it did not capture the scope and depth of the event. But make no mistake about it - this Alamo film does both. The Alamo's major participants are three dimensional flesh and blood mirror images of those one will find in their diaries, letters, books and first hand accounts of those who knew them. Even the Mexican dictator, Antonio Lopez Miguel De Santa Anna, is no longer a cardboard demon - he anticipates what Mexico will become without the stern hand that must come down to crush "the American pirates." Also, for the first time, the Tejanos who fought against their brothers and sisters in the Texas cause are well represented. The battle sequences culled from Santa Anna's own battle plans and the accounts of those who carried them out and those who survived, leave no nuance to the imagination and vividly demonstrate that even a chaotic retreat can turn into an unmanageable enemy force, overwhelming the west and north walls of the Alamo. The bloodbath, fury, chaos and desperation pulls the viewer into the center of a swirling vortex of courage and carnage. Patrick Wilson is his superb as Colonel William Barret Travis, the defacto commandante of the doomed fortress. For once, the multi emotional Travis is captured with all of the guilt ridden memories of his humiliating trial in Alabama, and the indecision that plagues his early confrontations with his sceptical Texan force. The ennui and angst of command did take a toll. But Travis' courage and conviction converge in a heart wrenching moment in front of his command, making the case for death with purpose. Jason Patric makes one wicked Jim Bowie and the fact that the Congress of the U.S is still trying to unravel some of his land swindles initiated almost two centuries ago underscores his portrayal. Bowie's legendary prowess in brawling, bilking and beating those around him is well known and Patrick's every move makes you instantly and consistently aware that Bowie was every bit the bad ass. But Bowie was also a romantic of epic proportions and flashbacks to his tragic marriage to Ursula Verimendi give a poignant underpinning to his deadliness. Billy Bob Thornton steals the show as David Crockett - but then - how could he miss? As Dennis Quaid said; "Billy Bob is David Crockett - A hillbilly actor playing a hillbilly actor." Thornton's performance is staggering. A self proclaimed over achiever and withering self critic, Thornton understands the very human David Crockett of his autobiography and letters, juxtaposed with the Davy Crockett of legends. It is a harrowing performance - particularly when Crockett realizes the Alamo is doomed. "David Crockett might drop over these walls and take his chances," he confides to Bowie. But Davy Crockett, the legend cannot. "People expect things," he tells Bowie. "I've been on these walls all my life." There is a palor and sadness that is worked beautifully by the modest film score. The photography paints Greek tragedy. These were and are real people. Many, many fans of the John Wayne ALAMO miss the overblown (but fun) saintliness of the celluloid 60's epic.For some, THE ALAMO 2004 is filled with defenders who were too human, historical facts be damned. But when Micajah Autrey and David die, I couldn't help but feel the pain of retrospection they both felt at that horrible moment. Add to this a wealth of metaphysical angst that is a subscript of this masterpiece. Tejano Catholic Voodoo guarantees the time, place and purpose of Bowie's demise. "Did it matter?" a dying Bowie asks a doomed Travis. "Buck's" face is a mask of hope and despair. These men will die not knowing if giving their lives will matter to anyone but themselves. Director John Lee Hancock does a marvelous job with subtleties that encompass great portions of Travis, Bowie and Crockett 's personality in particular. Did Crockett intentionally hit Santa Anna's epaulet? A second viewing revealed a gold reflection in the pupil of David's eye as he fires. How did Crockett die? He dies going down swinging inside the Alamo Church - but you never see his body. He dies a second time as one who refused to surrender. But you never see his body. ...And in the beginning of the film as you see the bodies of the defenders being carted away, you see Bowie and Travis, but not Crockett's. The last scene of the film is not a replay of the Crockett fiddle scene. There he is, playing over a nighttime San Antonio, alone - with no one in sight - and Billy Bob's "David" satisfied and almost bemused face in the final scene. What a gorgeous shot and a perfect way of tipping the hat to legend as well as a establishing while questioning the nature of immortality. When history is relevance and universal, what more could we ask? I feel for the people who made this movie. In this climate of blind nationalism - embracing history not despite of its flaws but because of them will not garner the recognition this film so richly deserves. There are those that truly appreciate your efforts and applaud you for THE ALAMO fim I've waited to see all of my life. This one like the real battle, will be remembered. Thank you so much!

  • Surprised at the negative reviews


    I've rarely been as surprised by the reviews I've read here - or disagreed with them more - than I was for this film. Most of the ones here are negative and call this film boring, poorly done and lacking in character development. I am very easily bored. At just over 2 hours, I found this film captivating. Poorly done? John Lee Hancock's film is one of the most effectively produced I can remember. Not one moment of this film was shot on a sound stage. They took 50 acres in Texas and actually rebuilt the entire city of San Antonio de Behar and the Alamo and shot the entire movie in situ. But the most amazing aspect of these reviews is the repeated accusation of lack of character development. I came away from this film understanding for the first time who William Barrett Travis, David Crockett, James Bowie and Sam Houston really were. The human underneath the legend as it were. David Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton) has a great line in this movie: "If it were just me, simple David from Tennessee, I might go over that wall one night and take my chances. But this Davy Crockett feller - people are watching him". Lack of character development? I don't think so. The piece de resistance, though, and the one that made me take fingers to keys and write this review (something I almost never do) was the review which claims there was no tribute given to Tejano assistance in the Texas Revolution. Did this person see the same film I did? Or did he/she take a bathroom break every time Juan Seguin's character was on screen? The PRIMARY thing I learned from this historically accurate-as-possible-when-making-a-movie film was ... ta da .... the involvement of the Tejanos! I had never really considered before that there was a brother-against-brother aspect to the Alamo, but it was very implicit in this film. Ignore the negative reviews, particularly if you are a history buff, and see this film.

  • I think I will probably have to settle for what I am now.


    The Alamo is directed by John Lee Hancock, who co-writes with Leslie Bohem and Stephen Gaghan. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Emilio Echevarria and Jordi Molla. Music is scored by Carter Burwell and Dean Semler is the cinematographer. Story is a recreation of The Battle of the Alamo that ran for 13 days during the Texas Revolution of 1836. On release it was met with disdain at worst, indifference at best, and now historically it stands as the second biggest box office failure behind Cutthroat Island. The pre release word of mouth wasn't good, and with "difficulties" of the financial and creative kind leading to Ron Howard leaving the directors chair-and Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke bowing out of roles for two of the main characters, the film has never had an equal footing from which to try and sell itself as a worthy epic. Yet if there is a western styled war film most likely to improve with age, then Hancock's Alamo is it. You see, in time it's hoped that people can embrace that this take on the Alamo legend thrives on humanistic depth, telling it not as a "hooray" hero piece, but as it was, men doomed to die. And more pertinent, men who "knew" that in all probability, they were waiting for death to come. Now that's a hard sell. It's highly unlikely that we will ever get an Alamo film to please everyone, because ultimately the story is a sombre one, an unforgiving 13 days of sadness and bitter disappointments. No matter how it gets dressed up, with Duke Wayne bravado or otherwise, this was a futile engagement. There's no chest beating stirring of the emotions for the outcome of this battle, for example such as the British being allowed to withdraw gracefully from Rorke's Drift, this is bleak history. It was a bold approach by Hancock and his team, to strip away the glitter and paint it in fallible humanistic greys. Heroic pop culture characters like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie are not defined by glory rah rah rah, but by being men dealing with the harsh realities of war as best they can. It's telling that when Crockett turns up at the Alamo, he is genuinely stunned to learn that the fighting is not over, his plans for a comfortable life in politics vanquished the moment he sets foot upon Alamo turf. Hancock should be roundly applauded for having the courage to craft such an honest depiction of the siege, and it's not as if we aren't warned about it, either in history as fact, or during the downbeat opening five minutes of film! So a film rich with in depth characterisations, then, but also a picture layered over with considerable technical skill. Hancock himself only really misfires by having a tacked on coda that shows Houston defeating Santa Anna and gaining his surrender. Who made the decision for this "uplift" I'm not sure, but it feels forced and doesn't have the impact intended. It would have been more telling and poignant to just have a title card flash up to tell us that Houston defeated Santa Anna in 18 minutes. We don't need to see a hurried recreation, the sombre mood needed to be kept up right to the last end credit rolled. For that's the true pain of The Battle of the Alamo. However, Hancock gets mostly great performances from his leading cast members (Thornton hugely impressive as Crockett) and shoots his battle scenes with brutal distinction. His overhead shots are superb, especially as the Mexican army attacks for the final and telling time. The 100s of soldiers swarming over The Alamo looks like ants converging on a desert oasis, the hopelessness of the defenders of Mission San Antonio de Valero is never more evident than it is here. Semler and Burwell aid the mood considerably. The former is inspired by much of the film being set at night, utilising fires and candle lights to enforce the shadows (of death) hanging around the characters, while the textured brown, red and yellow hues used for the landscape gives off a parched beauty that lends one to understand why these men fight for the land they occupy. Burwell scores it evocatively, where tender swirls of emotion sit neatly along side the more broad action strains of the brass variety. The lavish sets and costuming, including some tremendous hats, are all good on production value, to round out a tip top production. It cries out for revisits by those who dismissed it so casually back on its release. Certainly I myself found it helped considerably knowing now that this was not some rousing spectacle, but that it's a detailed character story leading up to a sad and inevitable conclusion. That coda and some under nourished support characters stop it from being a fully formed classic from the genre, but that aside, it's still one terrific and thoughtful piece of film making. 9/10

  • A very good film that did not deserve negative reviews!


    I really don't understand the mostly venomous reviews for this film. It was the most historically accurate film ever made on the subject and the acting, for the most part,was exemplary; although, I must admit it is far from my favorite performance by Quaid. But Thornton, Patric, and Wilson were tremendous; I cannot imagine anyone else playing those 3 roles as well as they did! It is a sad commentary on the preferences of our society in general when a film this good and on this type of subject does so poorly. I hate to pose this question, but could it be due to a Texas/war backlash due to our current administration and the Iraq situation? Or as a movie-going public, do we prefer to be "dumbed-down" these days? Anyway, I highly recommend this film!

  • Excellent film that stands up to stupefying rancor


    Having kept an eye on this film since before it began production, I have been amazed at the viciousness of the invective that has been hurled its way. Reviews, both professional and amateur, have tended to offer viewpoints whose stunning ignorance have been nearly matched by their astonishing arrogance. This film has suffered much at the hands of pencilneck journalists who just couldn't wait to write some endlessly clever variation on 'forget the Alamo.' Precious few, Roger Ebert chief among them, seem to have understood the film. Much of the vitriol is because it is a Disney film; while much is because it has to do with Texas. Both, largely because of their successes, seem to attract critics who allow decency and fairness to fall victim to their vindictiveness. I fear, however, that we live in such a cynical age, that the notion of men voluntarily giving up their lives in defense of freedom is so difficult to comprehend that it is met with derision. Disney did not help matters with their poor handling of this film's publicity. I attend many movies, and I saw the trailer once. Where was the media blitz, as Touchstone did with Ladder 49? A predatory press gleefully playing up pre-release difficulties was met largely with silence. Disney seemed to have had no faith in the film, or at least no clue as to how to market it. Their loss. Literally. Fortunately, their campaign for the DVD was somewhat better. As for the film itself, it is the most historically accurate version of the Alamo story – though that isn't saying much. For those for whom historical accuracy is a litmus test, there is still much over which to nitpick. But, as is the responsibility of a popular culture interpretation of historical events, director Hancock fully captures the spirit of what was going on at that particular time and in that particular place. Hancock and crew did a stellar job in lovingly recreating the world of 1836 Texians – American and European immigrants, as well as native Tejanos – uniting in revolt against an oppressive regime in an effort to gain independence, as well as a sovereign government attempting to enforce law and order on its frontiers. The principals, the tempestuous Houston, the celebrated Crockett, the fearsome Bowie, and the young, unproven Travis are portrayed as real humans rather than as demigods. Each has his obstacles to overcome, and each shows significant growth as their fates are played out. For those who make the ultimate sacrifice, their heroism is made all the more real by this emphasis on their humanity. The actors, particularly Thornton in an Oscar-worthy role, as well as Patric, Wilson, and the marvelous Emilio Echevarría as Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, are to be commended for their interpretations of these enigmatic characters. A major bonus of the DVD is the commentary by professional historian Stephen L. Hardin and military adviser Alan C. Huffines -- particularly useful for those who cannot wrap their minds around the differences between popular culture, history, and art. Hancock has provided us with a thoughtful, intelligent, deliberate, and often subtle film for adults, certainly an explanation for the film's lack of box-office success. Even Burwell's score suffers from these 'shortcomings.' Comparisons to John Wayne's 1960 The Alamo are as inevitable as they are pointless, but anyone expecting that film's heavy-handedness may be disappointed. It is like comparing 2004's The Passion of the Christ to 1961's King of Kings – they are not remakes, but variations on a theme, each with their unique points of view, merits, and shortcomings. The film's biggest fault is that, even if one didn't know that it was cut by about a third by negative test audience reactions, it is still apparent that it suffers from these cuts. This is a complex, epic story that demands epic treatment. I abhor criticizing a film for what it is not rather than what it is, but I join many others in sincerely hoping that a director's cut DVD will be forthcoming, so we can see Hancock's vision as it was intended. Where do I cast my vote?


Hot Search