The Extras

Discussion On All Aspects Of The Film.

Moderator: NefariousNed

The Extras

Postby Davy on Sat May 30, 2009 5:39 pm

Ok we know a little about the actors, the location, the film set etc. but what do we really know about or discussed about
the extras used by the thousands in the films battle scenes?

1. How many were actually used? Actual numbers.
2. What & how were they paid?
3. Where did they come from.
4. Where did they stay while shooting the scenes daily?
5. Who made all the uniforms for them?
6. Who trained them
7. How were they notified about working in the film.
8. What were they fed everyday, and how was that handled?
9. Bathroom facilities for that many thousands ... where?
10. How long did they work there?
11. How did they travel to the set everyday?
12. Are there any of them still alive, and can talk to us today about their experiences?

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6897
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Sat May 30, 2009 6:14 pm

Good topic thread, Davy! Yes indeed, it was the unsung 'grunts' that made the Alamo battle scenes so spectacular. I'm betting there must be at least hundreds of them yet living who'd have a tale, or two to tell themselves, if approached. Might even be the makings of a book, Mustang. ;)

It's funny how and where they will show up, too. Back in the Seventies, my brother Bruce worked with a guy who said his father worked on the filming of THE ALAMO as an extra and that he was the guy whose shirt gets torn off to be used as a white flag in the Mexican messenger scene.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby alamobill on Sat May 30, 2009 6:56 pm

As far as the uniforms for the extras they were supplied by Western Costume. Some of them had been used in previous Alamo movies
and some had to be made. Every once in a while you will see them for sale on ebay. I personally have about ten Mexican uniforms used in the movie. Board member Mustang has a few and I believe I remember seeing where Alamo Mo has a lancer uniform. Joe Mussso has quite a collection but the most complete collection of all is Ken Pruitt's. He has at least one of every type of Mexican uniform worn in the movie.
alamobill
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby Davy on Sat May 30, 2009 9:22 pm

Image

Speaking of Mo's Lancer uniform .. just yesterday Mo sent us a picture of his brother Roy
all gussied up in the Lancer uniform jacket its very ownself! :o :lol: Handsome devil ain't he?

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6897
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: The extras ..

Postby Seguin on Sun May 31, 2009 2:06 am

Good questions, Davy!

2. What & how were they paid?


And was there any difference in pay according to how many scenes you were in, and how prominent the extra was featured in the movie, such as important close up scenes?
And what if you had a very small speaking part (a small sentence or two)? Did they get payed extra for that?

- Great pic of Mo´s brother! He actually look like a Mexican gentleman in that jacket...
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16233
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Sun May 31, 2009 2:23 am

Seguin wrote:Good questions, Davy!

2. What & how were they paid?


And what if you had a very small speaking part (a small sentence or two)? Did they get payed extra for that?


Well, the 'gratuity for the boy' kid only had one word in the film ("Dinero"), so this no longer makes him an extra, but a paid actor. I believe Rich has noted elsewhere that he still lives in Brackettville. Rich, or John F., what's that kid's name again.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby TexianAtHeartII on Sun May 31, 2009 4:22 am

Davy wrote:Image

Speaking of Mo's Lancer uniform .. just yesterday Mo sent us a picture of his brother Roy
all gussied up in the Lancer uniform jacket its very ownself! :o :lol: Handsome devil ain't he?

Davy


MO's brother could almost pass for Carlos Arruza with that jacket and hat on.
TexianAtHeartII
 
Posts: 1304
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:26 am
Location: Westland, Mi

Re: The extras ..

Postby MUSTANG on Sun May 31, 2009 5:17 am

Ned, I think the boy's name was Rojelio Estrada but it's late and I'm getting old and my memory ain't what it used to be.

As for extras, I've been told by many that I've interviewed that they received $10.00/day. Bill Moody, a personal friend of Happy's and one of the richest men in Texas, only got $7.00/day as an extra. Most were from the local area so they went back home each night, only to return the next day if needed. Standing in their costumes all day, they got $10.00 if they worked and $10.00 even if they didn't. Of course, if they were a SAG member and had dialogue, they received more. Radio and newspaper advertising as well as the local employment office helped to "rustle up" the necessary extras.

As for stuntmen, they got paid based on how difficult the "gag" was. Falling off a horse, for example, was paid more than falling off a wall. But, they got paid each time they did the stunt, so if a scene took 3 takes, and they had to do the stunt 3 times, they got paid for 3 individual stunts. It's been said that some stuntmen, ruined a scene just so they could get paid a 2nd time.

Rolly Harper was contracted to do the catering for the movie. each of his food wagons was painted a different color and each Mexican soldier was served at the wagon that matched the color of his uniform. Box lunches were given out. They also had a commisary.
User avatar
MUSTANG
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby Seguin on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:21 am

$10 a day does´nt sound too bad. I found a money calculator on the net and typed in $10 in 1959 and got this result:

Current data is only available till 2008. In 2008, $10.00 from 1959 is worth:
$73.84 using the Consumer Price Index
$58.99 using the GDP deflator
using value of consumer bundle
$89.91 using the unskilled wage
$163.78 using the nominal GDP per capita
$281.58 using the relative share of GDP

- Now, the question is which figure to rely upon. Maybe the unskilled wage figure?

Another (inflation) calculator told me that an item worth $10 in 1959 would cost $73.28 in 2009.
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16233
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:27 am

Seguin wrote:Another (inflation) calculator told me that an item worth $10 in 1959 would cost $73.28 in 2009.

All that, plus great chow and the opportunity of firing rocks at those pesky Texans, ay Mustang? ;)
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby MUSTANG on Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:14 am

Nefarious wrote:
Seguin wrote:Another (inflation) calculator told me that an item worth $10 in 1959 would cost $73.28 in 2009.

All that, plus great chow and the opportunity of firing rocks at those pesky Texans, ay Mustang? ;)



AY!
User avatar
MUSTANG
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby AlamoMo on Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:53 am

Thanks for posting Roy's photo in the lancer jacket from the film Davy
well my brother he is some smart looking dude !!!!!!!!!!!

Mind you it put me to shame that Roy at 70 could fit the jacket and
I could not !!!!!!!!!!!!

:oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:

Mo
Do This Mean What I Think It Do ??, " It Do "
User avatar
AlamoMo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:26 pm
Location: Aberystwyth Mid Wales UK

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:33 pm

Better late, than never, here's the obituary for Rosita Fernandez who appeared as one of the dancers in THE ALAMO. OUESTIONS: Which dancer was she, exactly, Mustang, Rich, Frank, or anybody? Can someone perhaps do a screen capture of her? Does she appear in SPIRIT OF THE ALAMO television special? At any rate, it's kind of neat that the bridge at the Arenson River Theater on the Riverwalk in San Antonio is named after her.

Rosita Fernandez, noted Tejano singer
By Associated Press | May 7, 2006

Image

SAN ANTONIO -- Singer Rosita Fernandez, an important contributor to the Texas-border musical genre of Tejano, died Tuesday. She was
88.

Ms. Fernandez veered toward ''canciones romanticas," songs that often were accompanied by sophisticated orchestral arrangements. She
also specialized in boleros, an Afro-Hispanic genre with a slow, smooth delivery and a more urban rhythm, said California-based ethno-
musicologist Manuel Pena.

She sang for generations of San Antonians at the Arneson River Theater. A bridge was named for her there, which she said was symbolic
of her work being a bridge between Mexico and the United States.

Image
The Rosita Bridge by the Arenson River Theater during the Christmas Parade of Lights


Deborah Vargas, assistant professor of Chicano Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine, said Ms. Fernandez also ventured
fearlessly into radio, television, and film and appeared with John Wayne in ''The Alamo."

A little more on Rosita Fernandez...

Rosita Fernández was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, while her father, a captain in the Mexican Army, was riding in pursuit of Pancho
Villa in 1916. While Rosita was still a child, her family moved to San Antonio, where her maternal uncles earned their living as the Trio
San Miguel. Young Rosita was recruited to sing with her uncles, and in 1932 won a radio singing contest which launched a long career
in radio, and from 1949, in television too. Rosita made four motion pictures and many sound recordings, but she was perhaps best
known in San Antonio for the 26 seasons she spent as star performer of the summer-long Fiesta Noche del Rio in that city.

...Television credits included portraying Juan Seguin's mother in the
PBS' "Seguin"...
Image
The Seguin family at home. (Henry Darrow, far left., Rosita Fernandez
(with back to the camera) A. Martinez with arm around Rose Portillo,
center. Danny de la Paz, as Cruz Arrocha, sits on bench beneath window.

Image

Image

Fan Shrine to Rosita Fernandez in the Mi Tierra Restaurant in El Mercado, San Antonio, Texas.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby alamobill on Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:01 pm

I remember there were a couple of dancers who had speaking roles in "The Spirit of the Alamo" and I thought one of them may have been Rosita Fernandez. However, after just viewing the video, neither one of them were Rosita. It's funny how even "The Spirit of the Alamo" had errors. First of all, John Wayne states the movie set is located in Bexar County, when in reality, it is in Kinney County. Also, Wayne makes the statement that they have finished the movie and the truth is, they had not yet filmed the final assault. They taped "The Spirit of th Alamo" when they did so that the compound would still be intact. You can see where part of the palisade is open (probably to get camera equipment in) and there are also three cannons at the palisade (which never appeared in the movie). It looks like they removed a lot of the props from the compound when they taped "The Spirit....". I do like the version of the deguello when the camera is panning all around the compound. In addition to the trumpet, there are violins mixed in. Also, when they pan the town, the background music is a jazzier version of "The Ballad of the Alamo".
alamobill
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby alamobill on Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:13 pm

I may have to retract part of my previous post about the filming being finished. Technically, when "The Spirit of the Alamo" aired on television, the movie had been completed. But, when they taped it, the movie had not been completed yet.
alamobill
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:33 pm

alamobill wrote:I may have to retract part of my previous post about the filming being finished. Technically, when "The Spirit of the Alamo" aired on television, the movie had been completed. But, when they taped it, the movie had not been completed yet.


That statement was, of course, planned. Wayne was creating a major promotional piece for his movie -- even included its 3-day shooting schedule as part of the film's production schedule (unheard of then -- or since). It was planned to appear like a giant wrap party, but the whole thing was staged.

I think one of the women with the on-camera dialogue in "Spirit..." was indeed Rosita Fernandez. Why do you think not, Alamobill? It is definitely hard to understand what they say. On the TV production, they didn't have the Hollywood movie luxury of being able to record the voice with no background sound and adding it later in the mix, so the girls sort of get overpowered.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17540
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby alamobill on Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:12 am

Rich, I rewatched the segment of the "The Spirit of the Alamo" where the two dancers speak. It is hard to understand them because of the background noise, but I'm almost positive that the first dancer says her name is Hilda Jimenez. She also introduces the second dancer and the best I can make out, her name name is something like Emil Landes.
alamobill
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby zapadore on Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:46 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:
alamobill wrote:I may have to retract part of my previous post about the filming being finished. Technically, when "The Spirit of the Alamo" aired on television, the movie had been completed. But, when they taped it, the movie had not been completed yet.


That statement was, of course, planned. Wayne was creating a major promotional piece for his movie -- even included its 3-day shooting schedule as part of the film's production schedule (unheard of then -- or since). It was planned to appear like a giant wrap party, but the whole thing was staged.

I think one of the women with the on-camera dialogue in "Spirit..." was indeed Rosita Fernandez. Why do you think not, Alamobill? It is definitely hard to understand what they say. On the TV production, they didn't have the Hollywood movie luxury of being able to record the voice with no background sound and adding it later in the mix, so the girls sort of get overpowered.


Rich,...one of the ladies name was 'Emma Hernandez' - true story,...I ended up teaching her grandson in my 4th grade class at a private school in SA....we were watching the final assault as part of Texas History...when the boy spoke up "My grandma is in that movie"...I told him "yeah sure...have her stop by"......guess what?...Two days later and older, yet spirited lady comes to my class room with a yellowing 8x10 of her next to the Duke in the cantina...along with a photo album of pics from the set!....Needless to say I was served up a royal dish of crow that day!!!!!!!!! I inivted her to the next Alamo society meeting where I,..along with Bill C. introduced her to the crowd.....I told everyone,.. "I'll never doubt that boy's word again!"........Small World eh Rich?
zapadore
 

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:24 pm

Nice story, zapadore.

Okay, as far as I can gather, after several listenings, this is the 'dialogue continuity' for that scene in SPIRIT OF THE ALAMO.

HILDA RAMIREZ: My name is Hilda Ramirez. My people came to San Antonio in 1804. My Great-Grandmother Contencion was a dancer in the cantina and she danced for Santa Anna's soldiers. You could say I'm following in her footsteps, because in our movie, I dance for Santa Anna's troops. Emma Hernandez, her Great-Grandfather was a blacksmith for Santa Anna's cavalry.

EMMA HERNANDEZ: I dance in the movie too.

HILDA RAMIREZ: You know, a lot of Mexicans in San Antonio, they were for the independence of Texas. My Great-Grandmother, she was one of them.

EMMA HERNANDEZ: Not in my family My Great-Grandfather Manuel, the way he saw it, even though he didn't like Santa Anna being a dictator, he was still the president of Mexico, he had to follow him. After all, Mexico was his country and he was for it. Just like now, America is our country and we are for it.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby zapadore on Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:04 pm

Emma brought the dress she wore at the dance audition as well to the Alamo Society meeting there at the IMAX!...Nice lady!
zapadore
 

Re: The extras ..

Postby Davy on Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:52 pm

zapadore wrote:Emma brought the dress she wore at the dance audition as well to the Alamo Society meeting there
at the IMAX!...Nice lady!


Image

Teresa and Willie 'El Curro' Champion! :o :lol:

Cool stuff indeed! :o :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6897
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: The extras ..

Postby zapadore on Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:26 pm

Nefarious wrote:Nice story, zapadore.

Okay, as far as I can gather, after several listenings, this is the 'dialogue continuity' for that scene in SPIRIT OF THE ALAMO.

HILDA RAMIREZ: My name is Hilda Ramirez. My people came to San Antonio in 1804. My Great-Grandmother Contencion was a dancer in the cantina and she danced for Santa Anna's soldiers. You could say I'm following in her footsteps, because in our movie, I dance for Santa Anna's troops. Emma Hernandez, her Great-Grandfather was a blacksmith for Santa Anna's cavalry.

EMMA HERNANDEZ: I dance in the movie too.

HILDA RAMIREZ: You know, a lot of Mexicans in San Antonio, they were for the independence of Texas. My Great-Grandmother, she was one of them.

EMMA HERNANDEZ: Not in my family My Great-Grandfather Manuel, the way he saw it, even though he didn't like Santa Anna being a dictator, he was still the president of Mexico, he had to follow him. After all, Mexico was his country and he was for it. Just like now, America is our country and we are for it.


No 'story' Ned....actually happened....her grandson was a student of mine at Holy Rosary Catholic School there in SA......4th grade....BIll C. can confirm about Emma's presentation at the IMAX that year.....
zapadore
 

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:49 am

Never thought otherwise, zap.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:08 am

Image
A couple more photos of Rosita Fernandez, dancer in THE ALAMO.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:08 am

Image
Rosita Fernandez, dancer in THE ALAMO.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby Seguin on Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:19 am

Nice looking woman!
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16233
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: The extras ..

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:41 am

Image
John Quinn by the palisade? Looks like too many gabions.
The "OUTSIDE THE ALAMO, Songs of Ned Huthmacher Performed by John Beland" CD Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OutsideTheAlamo/
User avatar
NefariousNed
Moderator
 
Posts: 51497
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby patio on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:41 pm

Hello to all...my family (with the exception of my sister, who was a toddler at the time) were lucky enough to
have been cast as extras in the movie. My Mother and two younger brothers were on set almost every day for
three months. I was 13 at the time and my folks thought school was more important, so my involvement on
the set was limited. My Dad was in the Air Force and was able to get one day in.

We lived on Ft. Clark then, 5 or 6 houses down the street from where The Duke lived. It was a truly unique
experience to live around so many of the stars and character actors who were part of so many of Wayne's
films. My parents hosted a cocktail party one night which was attended by damn near every big name in the
movie, including Richard Boone, who gave my brothers and I "Paladin" business cards with his autograph on
the back (if you don't know who Paladin is, you're too young!) Talk about being star struck!

My Mom is the pretty lady standing just behind Veda Ann Borg's shoulder as she speaks to Davy about being
from Tennessee; my two brothers are the two Mexican kids who are playing in the street as the Mexican
cavalry comes blowing in to Bexar...they jump up, one loses his hat and goes back to pick it up (ad libbed)
and they jump into some building windows and pull the shutters. I was generally in the background and they
had to keep reminding me to remove my glasses (I'm very nearsighted!)

We got paid $10.00 a day, which to me was huge. The Alamo was the reason the three of us got Social
Security cards as kids. As I remember the food was very good, served cafeteria style outdoors. I don't
remember going to the bathroom!

Finding this site has stirred up a lot of memories for me. I expect my brothers will probably be signing on
soon.

Have to get back to work now but it is great to know so many people take such an interest in this movie.
Thank ya'll!
patio
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:42 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:02 pm

Wow! Cool information and memories, Patio. Welcome to you (and your brothers). I'm Rich Curilla and also live
at Fort Clark, in a section that wasn't here back in those days. I have been permanently employed by Alamo Village
since 1988, worked five summers here in the late sixties and first visited from Pennsylvania with my folks in June
of 1961 after having seen the movie thirteen times. :shock: I well know the camera angle with your two brothers
running for the building. It was right behind the Cantina and still looks pretty much the same. All of us on the forum
will love hearing further memories from you and your brothers.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17540
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby Davy on Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:34 pm

Same here Patio ... please brung it on brother! We are all ears to hear it from you all! :o :lol: I am just another
55 year old youngster that watched too many Westerns (including The Alamo when it was brought out!) as a kiddo,
and it ruined me good for this crap we see nowadays! :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6897
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: The extras ..

Postby AlamoMo on Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:53 pm

Tim M. Cumiskey who has just joined the forum has sent me some memories of his time
on the Alamo film set as one of the young extras Duke used in the film, I sent Tim some
photographs and asked a couple of questions and below are some of his replies and he
has asked me to post them on his behalf and he has promised that soon he will log in and
post some more himself

So here you go folks please enjoy they make wonderful reading.


Thanks Mo –

I was an extra in the ALAMO for about 3 and a half months as an 11 year old. My brother and I were directed in one scene by the Duke himself. Just the two of us in the scene.

Your site brought back several great memories. As crazy as it sounds, it even brought back the remembrance of the smells surrounding the shooting of the picture. After the shooting concluded, I auditioned for, and got a speaking part in the Spirit of the Alamo TV program that was shown in 1960 where I read the "Thirteen Days of Glory" sitting on the Alamo wall. A young Mexican classmate of mine then read the same story in Spanish.

I am astonished that so many people still have an interest in what I consider to be one of the highlights of my youth. I look forward to adding some insight to the behind the scenes questions that you and your members may have. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always remember.

Glad to be part of this wonderful group. As far as the pic of the Duke and the people in the group. I cannot remember their names, but they were part of group of families that lived on Fort Clark as did most of the Air Force families that were stationed at Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, Texas. This was due to the fact that the base did not offer on-base housing and Ft. Clark was like living in a resort. I am the young man in the pic (11 years old) and my Mother Leona, is the attractive brunette woman to the Duke's right (left in the pic) She is still with us and a spry 91 years young! She is so thrilled that John called her. She has a copy of the original ALAMO program from the premier. It's really in very good shape I will try and take some pics of it and send it to you.

Fort Clark and Brackettville was the best place that we lived throughout our family's many moves while my Father was in the Air Force. I'm sure that you may have seen the massive swimming pool (if they still have it) on the fort...it was almost two American football fields long and about 75 yards wide. Spring fed by the natural spring water on the fort. (Very cold when they would drain the pool and the refill it) Great western history there in Brackettville, and we felt very privileged to move there after my Father was transferred to the base in Del Rio. We had an absolute blast living there.

There were still wikiups (stick framed Indian dwellings) that had withstood the weather and arrowheads, tomahawk heads, spear heads laying all over the land around the area. I had a very large collection of these items until my Mother (in one of her "too much weight for the move" moments) decided that these mementos were needless junk. God, do I wish I still had those priceless pieces of history today!

We were taught very early in our lives in Texas that when you were walking around, to always look before you step...especially in Brackettville. In that region, as you well know, there is every type of insect, snake, scorpion, tarantula, Gila monsters, etc. that could be under your feet in a second! That's how I found most of my arrowhead collection!! I was simply trying not to step on something that I would regret later.

John Wayne’s Temporary Home At Fort Clarke Brackettville.

Thanks for the pic...our family lived just down the street from this house. If memory serves me correctly, we were about 6 or 7 houses down from this house. As you faced the house, we would have been to the right, around the corner on the west side of the parade grounds. Duke's house was directly across from the tennis courts. (don't know if the courts are still there or not) Widmark, Boone and some of the rest of the cast lived in the homes down the street from us and that bordered the parade grounds. These were homes that belonged to some affluent Texas families that used them for summer homes, etc. so they were fully furnished. As hot as the weather is in Brackettville, these homes, as you probably noticed were constructed with 18 inch stone blocks and these stones helped to keep these homes insulted from the heat. Since these homes, at that time, were not centrally air conditioned, most had window air conditioners and just two or three units could cool these homes nicely.

It was interesting that even though people in the city knew that John Wayne and the other celebs were living at the Fort, that people did not gather around in front of the homes waiting to get a glimpse of the "Stars!" Brackettville only had about 2000 people living there in the late '50's and most of them had other things to do like taking care of their ranches and businesses, As most of the families living on the Fort were Air Force families, the majority of the population of the Fort residents were busy protecting the country on a daily basis. Kids, like us, were busy with school and playing around the Fort until they opened up, what we called the HQ (Headquarters) building for the casting office to get us signed up as extras for the movie. Then the real fun began.

The Battle Scenes & Al Ybarra.

Wow...what a memento! That is so cool that you were able to retrieve one of the original outfits. I wish I had been able to retrieve the buckskin outfit that I was issued on my first day on the set. I felt like I was the envy of every boy on the set until they took it away about a week later to give me a different look. I was so mad! I was living every boy's dream of being Davy Crockett.

A story about Al Ybarra. My Mother, Father and our family got to know Mr. Ybarra pretty well before the actual filming started. In fact, he came to our home on Fort Clark on a couple of occasions for dinner and drinks. My family was never shy about meeting new people (we were an Air Force family) and my Mother was, and still is a very good cook! We moved almost every summer to a new location so we had to meet new people all the time. My older brother Pat & I went to several different schools from 1st grade through 12th grade. (Me...I went to 10 different schools) Anyway...back to Mr. Ybarra! Since Mr. Ybarra was on-site before most of the stars showed up at Fort Clark and was there by himself our family sort of adopted him. He was a quiet, very pleasant man. I do remember his voice was almost a voice of someone that was just coming off a bad sore throat...very hoarse, almost forced, if you know what I mean. He spoke out of the side of his mouth with a slight lisp.

I had already developed an interest in art and so he was kind enough to show me some of the scene renderings that he had already created for the film. He also allowed me to hang around him on the set and I would watch him take a large drawing pad and a pencil and create different scenes that were on the shooting schedule for the next day or so.

One in particular, one of the first I watched him draw, was of a battle scene. He would start by drawing several ovals both large and small, the larger ones being in the foreground of the picture and the smaller ones would get smaller and smaller as he would go further back on the page. Then, unbelievable to me, his hand would begin moving so fast on the page drawing more circles and what appeared to me as scribbling all over the page until suddenly you would start to see faces of yelling Mexican soldiers with the tall stovepipe hats on them with muskets fixed with bayonets charging the fort. Cannon blasts hitting the ground all around them, lancers on horseback galloping toward the fort, and soldiers either falling or laying on the battlefield. He added more detail to the picture with each stroke of the pencil. I was absolutely mesmerized and amazed at how quickly this scene developed in his head and was transferred to paper by his very talented hand. This took him no more than about 30 to 40 minutes. He was an amazingly talented and very nice person. He kept in touch with my Mom & Dad for about a year after the filming ended, always asking about our family. It was truly a thrill for me to watch him work his magic.


A couple of stories that you may, or may not know. When they first began construction of the set, they had built hugh adobe brick forms. I do not know the exact number of bricks that they could pour in just one form but it looked enormous to me, being only 11 years old. My guess is that each form could make at least 200 to 300 bricks or more in one pour. Then they would let the forms bake in the sun until dry and then they would take them out and repeat the same process over and over.

During the time when they were first starting this process, there was a terrific thunderstorm that seemed to last for several days. Needless to say, that all that work went to waste as the bricks that were almost ready to harvest were washed away with the downpour. This put the production at risk of being delayed.

Once the walls of the town and the Alamo mission were completed they were then plastered with thick white plaster. When this was done, I can remember, you could barely look at the walls when the sun was shining as they were so brilliant white that it would hurt your eyes. Then came the special effects guys. They put any broken and unused adobe bricks on top of the walls. They would strap tanks on their backs (knapsack style) that they filled with water and each tank could be pumped. (just like a garden sprayer) Then with a small sledgehammer in one hand and the sprayer end of the hose that was attached to the tanks on their backs, they set out to do their thing. They would spray the adobe bricks with water and let the muddy residue drip down the sides of the walls. When they decided it was time, they would simply take the sledge and knock a hole in the plaster. By the time they were done, the mission and the town looked like it had been there for hundreds of years. It was an amazing transformation!

The mission set it self, especially the church itself, was very impressive. Imagine yourself as an 11 year old boy that had watched every episode of Walt Disney's Davy Crockett series on a 10" Magnavox black & white television...and now you are standing in front of a full size replica of the ALAMO wearing a buckskin outfit just like Davy Crockett's!! (I hated it when they made me give up that outfit for another one) WOW...what a thrill! It was like going back to 1836! The mission was an exact replica of all the pictures that I had ever seen of the Alamo.

I did get to watch most of the battle scenes and some of the first scenes when the Mexican Army Lancers were first invading the city of San Antonio. I only wished that I could have been old enough to take part in the actual battle scenes. A couple of funny stories come to mind.

The first happened during the lancers invasion. Wayne was directing the scene as usual and the scene was this, and is in the movie. The Lancer's rode in and were surrounding what was left of the citizens of SA. Wayne wanted to show the brutality that Santa Ana was know for for the sympathizers of the resistance. So he directed them to jump down off of there horses and start pushing the people back into a circle with their lances. They rehearsed the scene about 2 times and each time Wayne would tell them that they need to show a little more aggression with the way they were pushing the people back. Well...these Mexicans did not want to really hurt anyone so they were a little timid in their actions toward their fellow extras. This forced Wayne to scream an expletive and then jump down off of his Director's lift chair and take one of the Lancer's lance away from him and he proceeded to knock the guy down by putting the lance right in the middle of his chest. As he was doing that the Mexican Director that the Duke had hired to do some of the translation for him was screaming everything that Wayne was saying as he was knocking this poor little Mexican to the ground. I don't know if the Mexican Director was repeating everything he was saying verbatim, but I am sure that there were some curse words stuck in there somewhere but at that time I did not know any dirty words in Spanish. (I will admit that as I have gotten older, I have learned many!) Anyway...the look on this poor guys face when Wayne was towering over him was priceless. These guys were costing him daylight and money and he wanted them to know that. He got their respect after that.

No shots had yet been fired on the set as of yet. It was now time to shoot the first attack of the Alamo. This would be the first time that these Mexicans would be issued ammo and would be able to shoot their weapons. You could see the anticipation and eagerness to shoot this scene on everyone's faces. This was going to be fun! The scene took hours to set up. Each unit of the Mexican army had to be put in place. You will note in the movie that same colour uniforms were bunched together in the attack. Wayne and the Mexican Director with bullhorns in hand, yelling out directions to the troops and to the Alamo defenders. The scene was now set and the cameras ready to roll. "Action" was called. Shots rang out...cannons going off...and the troops began a slow march toward the front wall of the Alamo. The smell of gun powder filled the air and volleys of musket shots were blasting from the top wall of the fort. The troops kept marching and the shots kept coming...yet nobody...and I mean nobody was falling. This was too much fun...who wanted to die and just lay on the ground! Wayne began yelling, "Cut God Dammit...CUT! The Mexican Director again repeating everything he was saying.

Now they had to re-issue ammo...reset charges, and rest the troops to re-shoot the scene. This is taking a tremendous amount of time and we're "burnin' daylight!" OK...now we're ready again. "Action" is called again. BANG, BOOM the shots again rang out...almost all of the troops went down all at once! Again, Wayne is yelling..."CUT GDI...CUT!" Again the Mexican Director is cursing right along with the Duke! The scene is reset. "Action" is again called and now the scene seems to be progressing smoothly except that the troops all seem to be falling in the same area and on top of each other. Here we go again! "CUT"...more cursing! Reset! "ACTION" The scene was now shot properly.

Now the next scene, if you will remember was the scene where the men of the ALAMO were standing on the wall after the first battle and commenting about how brave the soldiers were. The next scene is a shot of the ambulance wagons and the Mexican women grieving for the dead and wounded on the battlefield. Again...how much fun was it for these poor Mexican guys who had the day before been bussed in from across the border in Del Rio and then outfitted with these great uniforms and given a musket and ammo to play war in this epic movie? This was real fun...and they were getting fed and paid for doing this!

Anyway...these guys are supposed to be dead or wounded and it's supposed to be a solemn time with all the death and destruction that just took place and these guys are laying on the ground and laughing and smiling. Needless to say that the DUKE did not think that this was funny at all and literally jumped off of the Directors lift chair and grabbed this poor guy and literally lifted him off of the ground and told them what he wanted in no uncertain terms...again, the Mexican Director repeating every word (I think) to this guy. Needless to say, everyone of the dead and wounded extras got the message! The scene was shot and printed.

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!

Tim M. Cumiskey
Frisco, Texas USA
Do This Mean What I Think It Do ??, " It Do "
User avatar
AlamoMo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:26 pm
Location: Aberystwyth Mid Wales UK

Re: The extras ..

Postby AlamoMo on Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:17 pm

For those of you have read Tim's Waynamo memories you
will see that he took part in the T V Special " The Spirit Of
The Alamo ".
filmed on the actual set.

Our good friend Rick Hassler did some screen captures of Tim taking
part in the T V Special and here he is in all his glory:

Image

Image

Image

Image
Do This Mean What I Think It Do ??, " It Do "
User avatar
AlamoMo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2536
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:26 pm
Location: Aberystwyth Mid Wales UK

Re: The extras ..

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:25 am

Lon Tinkle: "Of course, history depends on what side you're for."

Tim: "There were only a-hundred and eighty defenders of the Alamo and more than five thousand horse and
foot soldiers in General Santa Anna's army."

Tim's buddy: "Habia mas que seiscientos extranjeros en el Alamo, y solo mil-quatrocientos soldados en el
ejercito de General Santa Anna."

:D
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17540
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby alamobill on Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:47 am

What a pleasure to read Tim's experiences on the movie set. What a thrill it must have been to witness first
hand the filming and all that went on behind the scenes. I was ten years old in 1959 and have often thought
great it would have been just to have been on the set, much less to have had a role in the movie. Thanks to
Tim and Mo for posting these priceless memories.
alamobill
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 11:58 pm

Re: The extras ..

Postby Tim M. Cumiskey on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:30 am

To answer some of your questions about the extras.

I worked as an extra for about three and one half months as an 11 year old. I was paid $6.45 per day, Adults $12.00 per day. My Mother knew how to drive a buggy and for a couple of days was paid $12.00 extra dollars to do so. We were fed two times per day once in the morning as we had to be on set at the crack of dawn and then once in the afternoon. The extras that stayed for any night shooting were fed a third time. I do not remember the catering company that Batjac Productions hired but the food to me secondary...I was in a John Wayne movie! Mostly box lunches and something to drink.

The Mexicans that were bussed in from across the border from Del Rio and who were outfitted to make up Santa Ana's Army actually camped out on or around the set. It really made for a great historical picture in your mind...all of the Mexican soldiers sitting and sleeping around campfires at night. They seem to take it all in stride...playing guitars and singing songs in their native langauage. But sleeping out on the prairie at night during that time had to be very uncomfortable. I can tell you that during the shooting of the movie the nights and the mornings were bitterly cold, with mild fall days. The weather during most of the days was very pleasant and I am sure that Wayne picked that exact time of year specifically because he knew that it would be very mild and cool.

The buckskins and wool outfits, as well as the women's costumes worn by both stars and extras would have been very uncomfortable if they had shot the movie during the summer in Bracketville. I lived there and I can tell you that when it was summer there, all you wanted to do was be in some type of water all day. Tempatures could, and still can easily reach 100 degrees from May through September.

If I remember correctly, there were several buildings designated as restrooms. Most of them were supplied with port-a-potties in them to keep them from accidently being filmed during shooting. I don't remember ever having a problem with finding one when it was necessary.

Most of the other extras were citizens of Bracketville and surrounding towns. The soldiers were trained to march by one of Wayne's character actors who was once an actual Sgt. in the Army. I cannot think of his name but he was in almost every Wayne movie I had ever seen. The men that rode the horses in the Mexican army were local Mexican ranch workers that knew how to handle horses. I believe that they may have been paid extra for doing this. Of course, only the stuntmen did any of the actual dangerous riding stunts.

We lived on Ft. Clark in Brackettville, everyone in the town knew about signing up to be an extra because the local newspaper let us all know when, and where to sign up. Batjac Productions set up an office at Ft. Clark and the entire city showed up. Of course there was a scramble for some of us, including my me to get our Social Security cards, since you needed one in order to get into the extra pool.

Most residents simply drove out to the Shahan ranch each morning and then parked in a designated area to get to the set. Then walked into the town set, into the wardrobe building and picked up your outfit for the day. Since most of the people that were in the movie were residences of Bracketville, they simply went home at night. Other people camped out around the set just as the Mexicans did each night.

Hope this answered some of your questions.

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!

Tim M. Cumiskey
Tim M. Cumiskey
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:57 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:49 am

Tim, are you sure that the Mexicans that were brought over from Mexico camped overnight and not just the locals?
My understanding from Happy Shahan was that the only way Wayne was allowed to bring them across en masse was
that they sleep in Mexico every night. He said that was the way they got them around needing a visa -- did it all the
time for ranch workers. I'm not questioning the camp-outs, just whether they were the Mexican Mexicans or local
Mexicans. Just curious.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17540
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:51 am

P.S. -- Your anecdotes are wonderful. Keep 'em coming. When is the last time you visited Alamo Village?
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17540
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby Tim M. Cumiskey on Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:29 am

You may be correct about them being local legal Mexicans. All I know is that when we were leaving for the night it was
really cool seeing them sitting by the fires still wearing their uniforms and gear.

Tim
Tim M. Cumiskey
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:57 am

Re: The extras ..

Postby zapadore on Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:49 am

Tim,
How did you get picked to do the reading for the TV special?
zapadore
 

Re: The extras ..

Postby MUSTANG on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:55 pm

Alright Tim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Way to go! And keep em' coming.
User avatar
MUSTANG
 
Posts: 1930
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 am

Next

Return to The Alamo ( 1960 )

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest