SantaClaus wrote:I wish there was a way to nominate Rich Curilla as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" so that he too could be earmarked for preservation by the Library of Congress.
MUSTANG wrote:Thanks for everyone's support. I'm getting a ton of e-mails for "Alamo" nominations. Aissa even replied. We're getting a great deal of traction!!!!!
garyzaboly wrote:Davy wrote:So true but who cares! It will always be my fave I think ... critics be damned!
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."
SantaClaus wrote:Whether it be news or a movie review, I wouldn't take Time Magazine's word the night was dark or day is light. The critic complains that the film is historically inaccurate. The critic's description is also inaccurate. "...have not quite managed to make it the worst (western ever made)", he says. Maybe he didn't like it, but I've seen westerns that rank far below The Alamo in every way, with budgets large and small.
He says the first 3 hours are "as flat as Texas". Texas may seem flat on a map, but here in Austin, on the edge of the Hill Country, I'd say that the critic should pull his head out of his Atlas and take a look at the real world.
He says that he saw a "seduction". I saw a romance. He saw an "orgy". I saw men drinking and dancing. They got drunk.
He saw a murder. Nobody was murdered. (In the film)
"A battle royal in a barroom" Did this guy see the same movie I saw?
"...exposed on color film that is practically fluorescent.." This critic needs to get out of the theater and into the sun once in while. There was something wrong with his eyes. Maybe he'd been up all night at one of those orgies.
Bowie was "sissified"? I can think of many ways to describe Widmark's Bowie, but "sissified" is not one of them.
"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." Where do those ideas come from?
"...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." That must have been when he sang "You ain't nothin' but a Bee Keeper." Even the way Avalon "belted it out", I don't think "Here's to the Ladies" is rock 'n' roll, "little" or otherwise.
"...phony backwoodsiness of much of the dialogue ("Yuh doan git lard less'n yuh boil the hawg")..." Critiquing the dialogue is fair, but that's not how the line was delivered by John Wayne. He said "You don't get lard less'n you boil the hog." Why write "hawg"? Maybe the critic was from a part of the country where they speak the King's English. I pronounce it hawg.
It wasn't "Mummy, where's Daddy?" It's "Where's Daddy, Mommy."
Why couldn't the guy just say that the movie was too long, he was bored, he thought it was sappy, it was historically inaccurate, he thinks John Wayne did a lousy job directing, and whatever else, without resorting to making up stuff, pulling it out of his ear, and then putting it on paper?
His last line tells more of the critic's personal animosity toward Wayne, rather than of the critic's artistic eye for film, "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."
I still watch John Wayne's "The Alamo" again and again. I haven't read Time magazine for decades. I have over 30 back pages to read on the diorama thread. Has anyone spent time in their workshops building models of Time magazine?
p.s. When Wayne/Crockett throws his torch at the powder kegs, the sign on the door should read "TIME MAGAZINE".
Sharkman wrote:I am now 63 years old ,that movie when I saw it in 1960 started my interest in the Alamo. In the balcony with my Mom and Dad , a Sunday matinee it was packed . John Wayne bigger than life , the battle was outstanding I may have shed a couple of tears. But I couldn't get enough I got every book I could find on it begged my Dad until we went to Hemisphere 1968 and I got to see the Alamo I felt at home there. As I got older I looked at the film differently I watch it a few tims a year now , and I think of it as a good John Wayne movie. Not a Alamo movie but it was John By golly Wayne ! I like all the Alamo movies but it was my first. I love talking and reading about it I love hearing the story's from you who were close to the movie or were in it.
So if it sparked that kind of interest it must be a great movie , love you guys
MUSTANG wrote:Just a quick update.
First, I'd like to thank everyone who has sent in a nomination so far. I've received dozens and dozens of confirmations, not only on this website but also through Facebook. I hope the eventual sheer magnitude of submissions will convince the powers that be to honor this worthy film.
Second, it doesn't hurt to get the word out. So, if any of you have Facebook pages or other means to share notice of this activity, please don't hesitate to do so.
And finally. I've contacted as many sources as I can think of to help promote this campaign. I've been in contact with "True West," Wild West," "Western Clippings," "Cowboys & Indians, "American Cowboy," "Cinema Retro," "The Alamo Journal," and "The San Antonio News-Express," along with other magazines and websites to see if they'll advertise and support this nomination. I also plan to contact the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in OKC as well as the John Wayne Birthplace Museum to get engaged. Tonight, I've contacted Wayne Enterprises. At the moment, I don't have any current contact information for Batjac but I'm working on it. In addition, through folks such as Aissa Wayne and Dean Smith, we hope to spread the word in the film industry. And by sharing on Facebook, the word is getting around. If this doesn't bear fruit it won't be for lack of trying.
If anyone has any additional thoughts, please don't hesitate to share them with me. And, thanks again for all your involvement.
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