THE ALAMO and the Critics

Discussion On All Aspects Of The Film.

Moderator: NefariousNed

THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:44 pm

Let's face facts: John Wayne's THE ALAMO was not universally favored by the movie critics (like we cared, when we were young...or even now). But it's interesting to read the variance of opinions expressed in newspapers and magazines of the time, and even subsequently in film histories. For instance, the usually take-no-prisoners film critic and auteur-theorist Andrew Sarris, in his book, THE AMERICAN CINEMA, DIRECTORS AND DIRECTIONS 1929-1968, was not totally unkind about THE ALAMO when he briefly examined the career of John Wayne, the director:

"Rumor has it that the old master himself, John Ford, directed some of The Alamo. Nevertheless, Wayne's epic style reveals enough visual beauties amidst the oratorical bombast to encourage another try on a less pretentious scale. Unfortunately, The Green Berets seems like another trap."
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:22 pm

So true but who cares! :lol: It will always be my fave I think ... critics be damned! :twisted:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Davy wrote:So true but who cares! :lol: It will always be my fave I think ... critics be damned! :twisted:

Davy


I hear you Davy, but the criticism is also part of the story of the film. Here, for instance, is what TIME Magazine had to say in its November 7, 1960 issue:

"The Alamo (Batjac; United Artists), which is the first picture ever directed by Hollywood He-Man John Wayne, is also the biggest western ever made. Wayne & Co. have not quite managed to make it the worst. Shot in Todd-AO and exposed on color film that is practically fluorescent, the movie was produced on location in a $1,500,000 replica of the Alamo and the village around it, employs 1,500 horses and seven instantly recognizable human beings (Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Richard Boone, Frankie Avalon, Linda Cristal, Chill Wills). Released as a reserved-seat feature ($1.50-$3.50), it is said to have cost $12 million. Predicts one shrewd old Hollywood range rider, Director John (Stagecoach) Ford: "It will run forever.''

"In the case of The Alamo, forever is almost attained in one projection; the film runs three hours and 38 minutes, including an intermission. The first three hours, moreover, are as flat as Texas. Plenty happens: a seduction, an orgy, a murder, a battle royal in a barroom. But it all seems to have happened before, in some other John Wayne western, and in any case most of the action has nothing to do with the Alamo.

"When the film finally does get down to historical cases, it proves to be shamelessly inaccurate. Two leading characters. Colonel William B. Travis (Laurence Harvey) and Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark), are respectively nastified and sissified almost out of recognition for theatrical effect. The Mexican army, apparently in deference to the large Mexican movie market, is presented as a body of sensitive young men who look as though they all have college degrees and suffer every time they pull a trigger. And at one point, just in case the teen-agers don't dig all that ancient history. Singer Avalon jumps up and belts out a little rock 'n' roll.

"Worse yet is the phony backwoodsiness of much of the dialogue ("Yuh doan git lard less'n yuh boil the hawg"), and worst of all is the teary sentiment that blears every other frame of the film and wallows to a climax of blubbering bathos when a little girl, as the carnage at the Alamo concludes, turns to her mother and piteously inquires: "Mummy, where's Daddy?"

In so much movie there are bound to be a couple of good things. The gorgeously gory fracas at the finish is one of them, and John Wayne is the other. Nature clearly did not intend this man to be a director. But as Davy Crockett he demonstrates once again his superiority over the rest of Hollywood's strong, silent types in portraying the unaccommodated man—the natural ignobleman invested with the authority of size and the dignity of slow wits."
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby gtj222 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:28 pm

I have read that review many times in the past and I still do not understand the last line of the article. Is it suppose to be a compliment?
(But as Davy Crockett he demonstrates once again his superiority over the rest of Hollywood's strong, silent types in portraying the unaccommodated man—the natural ignobleman invested with the authority of size and the dignity of slow wits.")
What is the dignity of slow wits?? :roll:
Last edited by gtj222 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gtj222
 
Posts: 1991
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby marklemon on Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:44 pm

I am torn a bit on this issue. I realize that this is a forum celebrating the 1960 film, and so I will no doubt be in the distinct minority when I say that I largely agree with the review. Except for the odd statement concerning the Mexican Army, and the last sentence, I pretty much agree....

To me, I look upon the film as a mainline connection with my childhood, and every time I watch it I sort of tap into that child-like wonder and affinity I had (and still have) for big "War" films with lots of fighting and shooting. But I cannot seriously say that it is anything more than a three-hour dose of nostalgia. True, there are some beautifully filmed scenes, and I absolutely love the score (minus the Avalon and Wills numbers) but for anyone who has a grownup's sensibility for great cinema, it just falls short, and for the very reasons cited in the review. You just have to wade through SO MUCH mediocre filler, to get to the very few watchable scenes. And while I suppose memorizing corny dialogue can be fun in a sense, it does not count as quality cinema. The slavish following and line-memorizing smacks of a western Rocky Horror Picture Show gathering, where the viewers constantly shout out the lines....

I wish it weren't so, as the cinematography and score are deserving of a much better film. But I'm sure there will be a barrage of protest against my saying this....I only ask those doing so, to look inwardly, and honestly ask themselves: Is it a truly great film? Is it even a very good one, based on the standards that have been set by some of the truly great Hollywood classics? Or are we using it as a warm and fuzzy vehicle to revisit a more simple, less-stressful time in our lives? I have asked myself this question, and the answer is No, no, and yes.....

All this being said, I will still continue to watch it, but I'll be aware of why I am doing so...
"The truth shall set you free...but first it will piss you off!"
User avatar
marklemon
 
Posts: 2521
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:50 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby gtj222 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:19 am

Mark,
I do not think it is a great film by any means. Most of the characters are cartoonish and it is loaded with speeches and silly stuff. I turn away when ever someone breaks out into song, but it stars John Wayne and it is the ALAMO and it came out when I was nine years old. I must have seen it a hundred times at that age. Staying in the theater all day and into the night ....I read once that at that age whatever you form an attachment to, it stays with you for life.
It (along with the The Last Command) was the only Alamo movie I had to feed my Alamo addiction until 2004 came along. I still think the music score is one of the best. Is it a great movie? No. I think because it is the Alamo and John Wayne we love it like you love a bad sibling. We ignore the bad things and cling to the good ones.
gtj222
 
Posts: 1991
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:52 am

Fact is its a personal thing about this film ... some like it for their own reasons .. some simply do not. I really do not care if ANYBODY else likes this film, or for what reason they do, or do not ... I like it ... for many good reasons I like it ... for my ownself, and frankly with me ... I'm the one that counts ... & not someone elses expectations! I am sure we could all pick each others personal fave films to pieces ... no matter what film it is, or the reasons for doing so ... I simply do not care to do so. Sail on brothers ... I will watch one of my fave films in the meantime! :D

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:57 am

In one of my film appreciation courses at Penn State in the sixties -- a time when the only Films (capital F) worthy of study had subtitles and were directed by Godard, Fellini, Truffaux or Kurosawa and anybody who liked John Wayne's The Alamo was an embarrassment to the class, a very intelligent and wise professor (Stephen A. Schlow) told us, "It is O.K. to like a bad Film and not like a good Film." I've felt fine about my love for The Alamo ever since then and will defend it (and the ability of the Film to stimulate that love) against all comers.

Mark's own support for the quality of the film is that he continues to watch it. Mark, have you watched Casablanca as many times?
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Seguin on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:09 am

What is the dignity of slow wits?? :roll:


I wish I knew. I read it as a funny remark. I don´t think Wayne in the movie, or the real Crockett for that matter, comes across as slow witted.

No, I don´t think it´s not a great movie. For me it has a lot to do with the nostalgia of having watched it as a kid, and it does have the greatest western actor of its time in it, John Wayne, not to mention The Alamo and the great music by Tiomkin.

Watching it as an adult, it does seem a bit too sentimental in places, such as in the birthday party scene, a scene I could easily do without, and Chill Wills does behave too much like a cartoon character than an ordinary person ("That ain´t no way to fight a war!"), but I guess that´s what Wayne wanted him to play like.
But instead of dissecting it scene by scene, I prefer to focus on the good parts. After all, it´s a John Wayne movie, and it´s about the Alamo, and it has great music, and it does contain some great scenes. That´s enough for me to watch it from time to time.
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16678
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby marklemon on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:39 am

RLC-GTT wrote:In one of my film appreciation courses at Penn State in the sixties -- a time when the only Films (capital F) worthy of study had subtitles and were directed by Godard, Fellini, Truffaux or Kurosawa and anybody who liked John Wayne's The Alamo was an embarrassment to the class, a very intelligent and wise professor (Stephen A. Schlow) told us, "It is O.K. to like a bad Film and not like a good Film." I've felt fine about my love for The Alamo ever since then and will defend it (and the ability of the Film to stimulate that love) against all comers.

Mark's own support for the quality of the film is that he continues to watch it. Mark, have you watched Casablanca as many times?


Rich,
Well, I knew I'd get blasted... That's fine....it's a childhood attachment of mine also. But what everyone seems to be missing is that I watch the darned thing as well! And I'll continue to love it (sort of) because it and a few other films are what got me into the subject in the first place. Maybe it's as simple as saying it's a bad film, but a good movie....

But as a serious student of the cinematic arts Rich ( as I know you are), surely when you say you like it, it's not because you seriously think it has the highest standards of the craft, but rather because you loved it as a kid and it still gets to you much as it did when you were a kid....yes, or no?
I suppose that we can like something that is bad, for any number of reasons, but I suspect that most of them center around some visceral response that the thing awakens in us. I'm not saying that's wrong. I'm only asking that we see clearly why we have this addiction to a very uneven film...but a good movie.
Mark
"The truth shall set you free...but first it will piss you off!"
User avatar
marklemon
 
Posts: 2521
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:50 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby gtj222 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:57 am

Mark,
Warts and all it makes me feel good. Some of it is pure corny. I would say it is a movie that was made with the heart and soul of John Wayne and it is the ALAMO. That is why we like it. It is not a great movie, but it is an entertaining movie. It has a lot of flaws, but so does Walt Disney's Davy Crockett and because we grew up on it we still love it inspite of its flaws.
Last edited by gtj222 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
gtj222
 
Posts: 1991
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby MUSTANG on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:07 am

Why do we feel we have to defend why we like a particular movie? No matter what film we watch, if it brings enjoyment, stimulates senses, and personally enriches the movie-going experience, that is sufficient. Who cares why, only that it does.
User avatar
MUSTANG
 
Posts: 1940
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:18 am

MUSTANG wrote:Why do we feel we have to defend why we like a particular movie? No matter what film we watch, if it brings enjoyment, stimulates senses, and personally enriches the movie-going experience, that is sufficient. Who cares why, only that it does.


Amen brother ... as I said ... I like it ... that's enuff for me! :o :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:25 am

marklemon wrote:Rich,
Well, I knew I'd get blasted...


...and you knew it would be me. lol.

marklemon wrote:But what everyone seems to be missing is that I watch the darned thing as well!...


I don't miss this, or I wouldn't keep bugging you.


marklemon wrote:But as a serious student of the cinematic arts Rich ( as I know you are), surely when you say you like it, it's not because you seriously think it has the highest standards of the craft, but rather because you loved it as a kid and it still gets to you much as it did when you were a kid....yes, or no?


Absolutely yes. This is true. But there's more.

marklemon wrote:I suppose that we can like something that is bad, for any number of reasons, but I suspect that most of them center around some visceral response that the thing awakens in us. I'm not saying that's wrong. I'm only asking that we see clearly why we have this addiction to a very uneven film...but a good movie.
Mark


"...a very uneven film...but a good movie." Excellent. It is indeed a very uneven film, and that IMO was Wayne's directing. He clearly was no artist like Ford, and that's what it would have taken to *create* a unified work of cinematic art. If I were to really disect the movie as a work of cinematic art, it fails miserably on many counts (the imbecilic birthday party scene; much of the Cantina falderall; the preachy speeches -- all heavy-handed directing) and succeeds greatly in others (all action scenes; Bowie's wife's death scene; the battle and the ending -- all as good as any scenes in any Film).

I have often used the "Obit. on the Frizbee" scene (as I once dubbed it) as an example of fine filmmaking, my definition of which is when all the associated crafts (acting, blocking, lighting, writing, directing, camera angles, music, symbolism...) are pulling together without pretension in order to communicate the scene. Lighting is naturalistically presented as pools of warm light (motivated by the campfires and torches) in the midst of cold metalic blues (motivated by moonlight, and yet not the typical Clothier moonlight but a more austere shade). Blocking (which is determined by the director) moves characters in and out of the warm light with the emotions of the scene. I.E. Travis is standing in a harsh rimlight of blue/white light when he reads the letter but steps into the warm firelight to apologize. The actor's voice goes from harsh and brittle to soft and smooth. Travis' harsh tone and attitude is enhanced by "sneaking out" the soft music when he walks up in the background and demands to see the letter. His harsh words are without musical softening. Then Tiomkin "sneaks" it back in as Travis reads the letter and then comes up to apologize. And SOMEBODY in command changed Crockett's scripted line, "The little lady, Jim. She wouldn't like it" to "The little lady, Jim. She won't like it." Which makes Bowie's sudden stop all the more poignant. All way cool Film.

It is this high quality workmanship that makes The Alamo so much more than just a movie.

"...it's not because you seriously think it has the highest standards of the craft, but rather because you loved it as a kid and it still gets to you much as it did when you were a kid...." Far far more than just this.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:22 am

I pretty much agree with most of you: Wayne's THE ALAMO is indeed fault-ridden, and some of the observations made in the reviews are spot-on, but nevertheless it's an important film in our lives and one we rarely get tired of watching.

The point I'm trying to make in this thread is that the critical reception THE ALAMO received in 1960, and even afterwards, HAS to be taken into consideration if we are to give this film a complete historical analysis. It didn't help when Russell Birdwell's intense publicity campaign---which all but declared that if you don't like THE ALAMO you're an enemy of the state---turned off a lot of people who hadn't even seen the film, not to mention some reviewers. Yet many major media reviwers were pretty fair to the film even while criticizing parts of it. For instance, this one from The New York Times:



Movie Review
The Alamo (1960)
October 27, 1960
Screen: John Wayne's 3-Hour Remembrance of 'The Alamo':He Produces and Stars in Film at Rivoli
By BOSLEY CROWTHER
Published: October 27, 1960

JUST as if there never was a movie called "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier" or a fellow name of Fess Parker, who educated a whole generation of youngsters to the coonskin cap five years ago, John Wayne has dared to make a picture entitled "The Alamo" in which he, not Mr. Parker, is king of the wild frontier. What's more, he has dared to costume it so that the coonskin cap becomes but an occasional item of his personal adornment. And he never once kills a b'ar.

How this complete rearrangement of frontier iconography is likely to hit that generation of youngsters who still have those coonskin caps on their closet shelves is a speculation that scares us. Is the whole warp and weft of their belief in American history likely to be shredded? Or have the profound maturing influences of the last five years prepared them to accept a Davy Crockett, according to Mr. Wayne?

Whatever the case, we can assure you that the main character in "The Alamo" is much less a convincing figure from history than he is a recreation of Mr. Wayne. He is the tall, easy, leather-skinned outdoorsman who has taken adversities in stride, from "Stagecoach" to "The Horse Soldiers"—and in pretty much the same sardonic way. "The Alamo," for all its bigness—and big and long it certainly is!—is but another beleaguered blockhouse Western. It opened last night at the Rivoli.

As a three-hour-and-twelve-minute picture (not counting intermission), in color and Todd-AO, produced on location in Texas, with a Dimitri Tiomkin musical score, it cannot help but have certain moments and even long image-crowded passages by which the audience is piercingly affected and visually overwhelmed.

Such moments, for instance, when a bearded warrior is seen standing in the dust with the bombarded Alamo behind him, his blind wife by his side, or when an aged Negro slave is given his freedom and elects to stay with his former owner in the doomed fort. And the long image-crowded passages pop in time and again through the almost hour-long duration of the account of the attack on the Alamo.

There are dazzling graphic arrangements of panoramic views of the Mexican army of General Santa Anna, gathering for the attack, arriving in companies and battalions like athletes at the opening of the Olympic Games; bone-crushing sequences showing warm bodies hurling themselves against the walls; scenes of old-fashioned battle that fairly choke you with their clouds of smoke and dust.

But this horrendous representation of the last battle for the Alamo comes after two hours of slogging through some rather sticky Western clichés. The old mission must be defended against the Mexican army coming north. Something to do with freedom. Gen. Sam Houston gives the word. Col. William Travis, the commander, is a tough, snobbish martinet. Jim Bowie hates and distrusts him. Davy Crockett is not quite sure. There are other complicating factors—women, children and such. But, in the end, the fort must be defended, and that's what everybody does.

As his own producer and director, Mr. Wayne has unfortunately let his desire to make a "big" picture burden him with dialogue. His action scenes are usually vivid, his talk scenes are long and usually dull. A passing romance with a Mexican beauty (Linda Cristal) only cloys the first part of the film. Some roistering and brawling sequences, especially those involving Chill Wills, have a hearty vitality about them, but go too far on the farcical side.

Laurence Harvey's Colonel Travis is a solid, consistent character, though perhaps a bit too foppish. He might be good in another frame. Richard Widmark's snarling Jim Bowie is a grown-up Dead End Kid. He is more troublesome than Santa Anna.

Mr. Wills is the best man in the cast. At least, he stands by tradition. He lives in a coonskin cap. And he talks a little bit like Fess Parker. You can kill his body but you can't kill his soul.

You don't feel that way about the fellow performed by Mr. Wayne.
Last edited by garyzaboly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:48 am

PS: Even the kids of 1960 could be harsh critics of parts of THE ALAMO. I remember seeing it for the first time in early 1961 with four classmates in the palatial Loews 175th Street theatre, and after Bowie receives the letter about his wife, 10-year-old Johnny Riordan said to me, "When is the f''ing fighting going to begin?!" He said it as they raised the morning flag over the mound in the center of the compound. I never forgot that. Also never forgot Riordan walking home with me afterwards, endlessly talking about the film as kids usually do after a movie. One of his critiques: "It was bloody but not as bloody as THE VIKINGS. You gotta see THE VIKINGS!"

All I know is, I went back to see THE ALAMO at least another 4 times, and again at least 5 times on its 1967 re-release, once in 1968, and once in 1970, before it finally appeared on TV in 1971.
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby AlamoMo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:18 pm

Fair comments all a round.

Some I agree with some I don't !!

All I know is that when my older brother took me to see it
at the age of 7 it left it's mark on me and then at the age
of 14 in 1967 when it was re-released helping my late father
who was the projectionist at one of our local cinemas show
it, I remember it being shown twice a day ( in the afternoon
and in the evening ) and the long queues it attracted over
the two weeks it was on and some people coming out of the
afternoon screening and joining the queue for the evening
screening so the cinema owner rebooked it twice again over
the next 6 years for a week at a time and it was always well
attended.

Again it's been one of the most popular films shown on our
television channels here in the UK and mostly shown around
the Christmas period.

All I know is that it is a very special film to me hence starting
this forum not just for it's 50th anniversary but for the film in
general and for others out there to whom this film is also special.

Regards

Mo
Do This Mean What I Think It Do ??, " It Do "
User avatar
AlamoMo
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2550
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:26 pm
Location: Aberystwyth Mid Wales UK

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:21 pm

I agree brother ... its amazing that we analyze this film to such a degree when it fact its rather like "comfort food" such as cookies (i.e. Oreos) ... we do not analyze these that way ... we just accept that they makes us feel good, & they taste good ... much like the Alamo film ... it feels good, and its fun ... in short its an emotional draw as much as any "tech" reason for liking the film.

I curious how many of us. if we were looked at in this technical way as "people" would pass muster? :o :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Rob on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:54 pm

Davy wrote:I curious how many of us. if we were looked at in this technical way as "people" would pass muster? :o :lol:
Davy


None of us, I dare say :cry: I'm glad God isn't going to be using such a harsh set of criteria when judging us :) , but wouldn't it make a heck of a website?! :D :lol:
This is it, Crockett, they've breached the North Wall, we gotta'...
User avatar
Rob
 
Posts: 827
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:50 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:57 pm

I remember sitting so many times through THE SECRET INVASION, a Roger Corman World War II film that was double-featured with THE ALAMO on the latter's re-release in 1967, so I could have repeated viewings of the main feature, that to this day I can still whistle INVASION's theme music.

Anyway, below is a Texas newspaper's review of THE ALAMO (Dallas Morning News, November 3, 1960):
Attachments
alamo review.gif
alamo review.gif (158.91 KiB) Viewed 9542 times
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:28 pm

How many of them so-called critics will be remembered as long as THE ALAMO? How many of them are even remembered now?
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: 52990
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:48 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:26 pm

Not all critics and film historians were one-sided about THE ALAMO. Some even applauded John Wayne's direction. Consider this from Hollywood in the Sixties by John Baxter (1972, p. 105):

"Portions of The Alamo (1960), directed with surprising aplomb by John Wayne (John Ford helped briefly, but his footage was never used), combined spectacle with a feeling for character, capturing the mythological force of Davy Crockett and Sam Houston. Despite a style recalling the tableaux of DeMille, The Alamo shows visual flair, and a realisation that, in this field, old ideas are best. Hawksian night sequences set half-lit figures against a steely blackness, and a shot of Wayne's Crockett and his mountain boys riding through waist-high grass from which startled birds erupt evokes an untouched, uncorrupted world of legendary heroes."
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:14 pm

Nefarious wrote:How many of them so-called critics will be remembered as long as THE ALAMO? How many of them are even remembered now?


Yowazaa! :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby gtj222 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:18 pm

"....a shot of Wayne's Crockett and his mountain boys riding through waist-high grass from which startled birds erupt evokes an untouched, uncorrupted world of legendary heroes."

One of my favorite scenes from the movie. It really moves me. :D
gtj222
 
Posts: 1991
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:13 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby marklemon on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:54 pm

Guys, understand what I'm saying....
If the Alamo were a car, then we'd have to judge it in the context of its pro's and con's compared to other motor vehicles.
If it lacked pickup, and had bad compression, brakes, as well as needing CV joints, it would fall short in comparison with other vehicles without those issues.
BUT, if you first got laid in the back seat of the thing, you'd always have a soft spot in your heart for them, and probably even want one in your garage, just to bring back the feeling now and then....
The Alamo is a film, so we have to judge it in relation to other films, plain and simple. And as a film it largely falls short.
But as movie, or "comfort food" as Davy correctly calls it, it fits the bill, and more.....like I said, I like the damned thing in spite of its flaws. I just in no way call it a great film......and so with this in mind, I have to largely agree with the reviewers. They weren't judging it as a popcorn muncher, or "comfort food," but as a work of the cinematic arts against standards like "Gone With the Wind," "Wuthering Heights," "Citizen Kane,""Casablanca," and others. So really, they were correct. That we love it in spite of its flaws is a separate issue entirely. We love it for the way it made, and continues to make us feel.......... 's all I'm sayin'.
"The truth shall set you free...but first it will piss you off!"
User avatar
marklemon
 
Posts: 2521
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:50 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:06 am

marklemon wrote:Guys, understand what I'm saying....
If the Alamo were a car, then we'd have to judge it in the context of its pro's and con's compared to other motor vehicles.
If it lacked pickup, and had bad compression, brakes, as well as needing CV joints, it would fall short in comparison with other vehicles without those issues.
BUT, if you first got laid in the back seat of the thing, you'd always have a soft spot in your heart for them, and probably even want one in your garage, just to bring back the feeling now and then....
The Alamo is a film, so we have to judge it in relation to other films, plain and simple. And as a film it largely falls short.
But as movie, or "comfort food" as Davy correctly calls it, it fits the bill, and more.....like I said, I like the damned thing in spite of its flaws. I just in no way call it a great film......and so with this in mind, I have to largely agree with the reviewers. They weren't judging it as a popcorn muncher, or "comfort food," but as a work of the cinematic arts against standards like "Gone With the Wind," "Wuthering Heights," "Citizen Kane,""Casablanca," and others. So really, they were correct. That we love it in spite of its flaws is a separate issue entirely. We love it for the way it made, and continues to make us feel.......... 's all I'm sayin'.


Sometimes that's enuff to make it great! :D

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Seguin on Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:35 am

I guess the conclusion is, that it´s not a great movie, but we all love it just the same! ;)
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16678
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby zapadore on Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:16 pm

............."And the beat goes oooooooon,....the beat goes ooooooonnnn"!............What about that other classic 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes'? :lol: .............ok boys play nicely now! ;)
zapadore
 

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:45 am

gtj222 wrote:"....a shot of Wayne's Crockett and his mountain boys riding through waist-high grass from which startled birds erupt evokes an untouched, uncorrupted world of legendary heroes."

One of my favorite scenes from the movie. It really moves me. :D


Mine too -- with Tiomkin's musical swell as they loom over the camera in a heroic low angle shot. Love it.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:51 am

marklemon wrote:That we love it in spite of its flaws is a separate issue entirely. We love it for the way it made, and continues to make us feel.......... 's all I'm sayin'.


And all I'm saying is that -- to me -- THAT is what makes a Film great -- that it reaches people eternally despite its cinematic flaws.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:16 am

RLC-GTT wrote:
marklemon wrote:That we love it in spite of its flaws is a separate issue entirely. We love it for the way it made, and continues to make us feel.......... 's all I'm sayin'.


And all I'm saying is that -- to me -- THAT is what makes a Film great -- that it reaches people eternally despite its cinematic flaws.


Amen brother ... all the rhetoric aside ... it somehow touches us on an emotional level, not a technical one ... :D

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Seguin on Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:13 am

And that it certainly does!
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16678
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby MUSTANG on Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:40 am

Exactly!!!!!!!!!
User avatar
MUSTANG
 
Posts: 1940
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:49 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby quincey morris on Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:36 pm

MUSTANG wrote:Exactly!!!!!!!!!



John Wayne's The Alamo is like an old friend who despite age and as an adult knowing the flaws, is always welcome and enjoyable to visit from time to time.

It has a spirit that makes it rememberable....
C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre. C'est de la folie
Marshal Pierre Bosquet
25 October 1854
User avatar
quincey morris
 
Posts: 2097
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 1:53 am
Location: North Fork of the Vermilion

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:54 am

I reiterate from somewhere else that I find it (and the music) to be like Christmas and Christmas Carols. I can only go so long without doing it again.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Seguin on Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:09 am

I can only go so long without doing it again.


That´s what she said yesterday... :D
Recuerden El Alamo!
User avatar
Seguin
 
Posts: 16678
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 7:40 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Name one other film that is shown continiously on TV and to this day draws critisism and praise. After all this it has still not been put into a proper DVD format unlike so many other 'epics" of its day. For me, I just like the film!
User avatar
Fargo Fenwyck
 
Posts: 2309
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 1:25 pm
Location: Northwood, Ohio

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby garyzaboly on Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:19 pm

This is a 100% positive review of THE ALAMO from an English film study magazine, MOTION, issue no. 6, autumn 1963. Used to frequent the old film book shops downtown when I worked in the advertising rat race, and of course bought whatever printed literature there was, like this, on my favorite films...even if only a few paragraphs long.
Attachments
alamo review.jpg
alamo review.jpg (83.97 KiB) Viewed 9725 times
The truth shall make you free.
User avatar
garyzaboly
 
Posts: 1121
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:43 pm

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby Davy on Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:16 pm

There ya go! :o :lol:

Davy
In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where we can see them. Anonymous ..
User avatar
Davy
 
Posts: 6891
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 pm
Location: Ft. Worth

Re: THE ALAMO and the Critics

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:35 pm

garyzaboly wrote:This is a 100% positive review of THE ALAMO from an English film study magazine, MOTION, issue no. 6, autumn 1963. Used to frequent the old film book shops downtown when I worked in the advertising rat race, and of course bought whatever printed literature there was, like this, on my favorite films...even if only a few paragraphs long.


A wonderfully *on* review from a very prestigious magazine of the cinema arts. I wish I had seen this when I was in college.
User avatar
RLC-GTT
 
Posts: 17862
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 10:03 am

Next

Return to The Alamo ( 1960 )

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests