Tim tells us about how the scene above came about:
I will reciprocate with this little story about this scene. My brother and I were in the actual Alamo set along with the other extras and the guy that was in charge of all of the extras came over and said, "Tim, Dan come with me." We followed him along the road from the Alamo to the town set and then he took us to the wardrobe building where they took back the costumes that we had on and gave us some white linen pants and shirts and the the Mexican serapes and straw hats.
At this point the guy that had taken us there had not told us what we were going to do, nor did he tell us where we were going to do it. Next they took us over where a lady with a very large bag of makeup took some very dark makeup out of that bag and proceeded to cover our faces and hands (the only skin that was showing in these new costumes) After that, the same guy that had come to get us led us down the entire length of the street that runs in back of the Cantina. When we got to about 1/2 of the way down the street we started to see more people and the camera and lighting gear set at the farthest end of the street. We simply thought that as usual that we would be stuck in the background of another shot.
Little did I know that the next 20 minutes of my life was going to be very exciting. As we got closer to where the camera crew was set up, we also saw the Duke in his Director's chair get up and start walking towards us. When he finally got to us he smiled and asked us how we were doing and then crouched down, put his hand on each of shoulders and proceeded to tell us what we were there to do. He asked us our names and then said..."Tim...when I say action, I want you to point down the street (the same direction that we had just come from) and then I want you to turn around and run up and jump into that window and shut both shutter in back of you. Do you think you can do that? Of course, I said..."yes sir!" (Having an Air Force officer for a Father, anything less than "yes sir" would have gotten me in trouble, even though my Father was 30 miles away at the base in Del Rio.) He then turned to my brother and said, "Dan...all I want you to do is turn toward the gate opening over there and run through the opening...some men will shut the gate behind you." Can you do that? Of course another "yes sir" was in order.
Then he said..."now we're gonna practice what I just told you, OK?" And yet another "yes sir" rang out, only this time it was in stereo!
So here we go...time for the run through. Everything went very well on the very quick run through, so now they are cueing the Lancers that had gathered at the end of the street to get ready for the ACTION command. Duke goes in and says a couple of things to the crew and then he goes back and sits in his chair. LIGHTS...SPEED...CAMERA and ACTION!
Now at this point, I was very confident that everything would go off without a hitch...Hell...we had just practiced this very simple task and I looked like a graceful gazelle jumping into that window on the practice run. All my younger brother had to do was turn around to his left and run through an opening... what could go wrong? This was going to be a one-take shot!
ACTION...I point down the street with my right arm and turn just as I had done in practice...my brother for some unknown reason, decided that his right had suddenly become his left and turned right into me, knocking my straw hat off of my head. I started to bolt for the window, and then I thought I should probably go back and get my hat before performing another stellar Barishinikov leap into the window. When I got into the window I thought..."well we really messed that one up!" I wanted to pop my brother for messing up the scene. Much to my surprise, and to my delight, I heard Duke yell out..."Cut...print that one! As badly as I had thought we messed up his scene...he was delighted with us and proceeded to come up and pick both of us up and hug us and said that we had done a great job..."Thanks boys!" Off to the next scene.
I guess we had saved him time and money with a one-shot scene and had given him the excitement and fear that two young boys would have in seeing the enemy galloping down the street toward them. I wish I could say that we planned it that way...it was just a good mistake for us! What a thrill to have been directed by this giant American movie star that I so admired! And to be the main focus of the scene...double whammy! I will never forget it...I can tell you that!
A large crowd of extras were always around when the scenes were being shot and for this scene it was no different. The crowd for this scene was in back of the Cantina, out of the shot range. My Mother was one of them and she had no idea that the two little Mexican boys that had just done that scene were none other than her own sons. We had been in different clothes when she had last seen us in the morning. We walked up to her and said, "Hi Mom" and her jaw dropped. She said that she had no idea when watching the scene, that those boys had been the two of us. We thought is was really funny. I have a pic of us and will try and post it as soon as I can figure out how to do so.
This is truly a blast from the past for me.
REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
Do This Mean What I Think It Do ??, " It Do "