RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Discussion On All Aspects Of The Film.

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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby MartyB on Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:33 pm

I may get nailed for this one, but I haven't really been satisfied with any movie Bowie. Jason Patric did a good job in Alamo
2004, Sterling Hayden was and still is my favorite screen Bowie...but hey...my favorite Crockett is still Hunnicut. I always
thought that Robert Mitchum from his Film Noir days would have been an outstanding Bowie...with Jane Russell as Ursula
(just kidding).
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby caplock on Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:10 pm

Nefarious wrote:Travis is an enigma from the beginning of the film to the ending. A holier/better than thou sort of guy, he scorns his own men til almost the end when, in a feeling of desperation, he finally levels with them regarding their situation. But it is too little, too late.


I agree with everything you say about the portrayals of all three leaders, Ned. What always bothered me about Travis in this film is the fact that while he is, in a way, offering them a choice, he is actually putting down a mutiny, having to guilt-trip Bowie and Crockett and their men into staying. That aspect of the scene always troubled me, since it really doesn't speak well for those he delivers the speech to. The only thing I liked was the fact that the Tennesseans are allowed to make their decision without any prompting by Crockett for a change. Bowie, on the other hand, after being unconvincingly convinced by Travis' words, continues to lead by bullying, standing next to Travis and giving his men a nastily defiant look, which, in Widmark's case, amounts to a frown and a squint.

The whole scene, in my opinion, would have played better if, after the first attack, the Trinity would have discussed the situation, concluding that, "Well, let's just put it to the men." I have always felt that, line or no line (and for a movie or a novel, the line simply works better in dramatic terms), If Travis really did offer a stay-or-go choice, that would probably be closer to the way it played out.

All in all, for me it is one of the weakest scenes in the second half of the film.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby wconly on Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:52 am

K Hale wrote:And lest it be thought that I just can't accept anything that's not the 2004 movie: I thought Sterling Hayden did a fine job in The Last Command. THAT was recognizably Bowie. But Widmark? Image


I will leave your impression of Hayden for another day. Patric was great. I still enjoyed Widmark for the way Wayne, et all structured the character to behave/be. Hayden almost put me to sleep. He was tooooooo 'goodie, goodie' for me. Sorry, just my two cents. W>
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:13 am

wconly wrote:
K Hale wrote:And lest it be thought that I just can't accept anything that's not the 2004 movie: I thought Sterling Hayden did a fine job in The Last Command. THAT was recognizably Bowie. But Widmark? Image


I will leave your impression of Hayden for another day. Patric was great. I still enjoyed Widmark for the way Wayne, et all structured the character to behave/be. Hayden almost put me to sleep. He was tooooooo 'goodie, goodie' for me. Sorry, just my two cents. W>

Yes, I will agree with that, which is why Patric is my favorite of all of them. Hayden was Paul Wellman's version of Bowie, Mr. Clean. Patric put the right kind of realistic, living color into it, without making it into an awful parody a la Widmark. LOL, sorry, I know I go on about this but I just hated everything about what Widmark was doing... hated the way the character was written, the way Widmark played it, the way he was dressed, I even hated the fat, anachronistic horse he was riding, which looked like it had just waddled out of a 1950s AQHA halter class.

I liked the Waynamo -- don't believe those who will tell you I didn't ;) -- but Widmark was a huge, distracting blot on it.

My God, we're off topic. :oops:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:54 am

I agree that Robert Mitchum would've been the perfect Bowie for THE ALAMO (1960). (Just got
finished watching him along side Jane Greer in two Film Noir flicks, OUT OF THE PAST and THE
BIG STEAL on TCM.) As has already been discussed on another thread, Mitchum was Wayne's
first choice for Bowie; Widmark was to portray Travis. But when Widmark insisted on being
Bowie and Wayne was under some sort of contractual obligation to use him, in came Widmark
and out went Mitchum. Too bad, because Mitchum was the kind of guy that you would believe
could go toe to toe with Wayne and maybe even beat him in a slugfest. And, at 6'1 he was also
a more proper height for Bowie than Widmark who had to stand on "apple crates" to look taller.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby garyzaboly on Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:23 am

In terms of his character, deameanor, and manner of expression, not to mention height and physical stature, Sterling Hayden's Jim Bowie was the closest screen portrayal to the real Bowie. He was not a wild-eyed drunk who was always threatening people with his knife. That's Hollywood BS. He spoke calmly, slowly, and deliberately, just like Hayden. He was not a strident man.

And there are enough undercurrents of Bowie's checkered past, in LAST COMMAND---knife fighting, attachments to Mexico and Mexicans, messing with a teenage senorita, drinking----to show that this was no perfect specimen of humanity.

Hayden may not have been one of our better actors, but his Bowie is vastly more on-target than any other.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:00 pm

I agree -- and I have never liked Hayden in anything else he did, including Jack D. Ripper which I thought was a rip.

As for Mitchum, I like his persona but not in the Bowie role. It would just be like Wayne. Mitchum playing Mitchum. Put him in costume and hair-and-makeup, and he would look like Mitchum at a Halloween party. :lol:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:08 pm

Hayden was overly tall. And... a little too pretty in his ways.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:14 pm

K Hale wrote:Hayden was overly tall. And... a little too pretty in his ways.

Perhaps, but he was one of my two first Bowie's and it rang true then with far greater depth (the script) than Kenneth Tobey's Bowie. Of course, the perfect Bowie, as all both know, was Richard Widmark... :lol:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:20 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:
K Hale wrote:Hayden was overly tall. And... a little too pretty in his ways.

Perhaps, but he was one of my two first Bowie's and it rang true then with far greater depth (the script) than Kenneth Tobey's Bowie. Of course, the perfect Bowie, as all both know, was Richard Widmark... :lol:

Oh, I approved of Hayden, don't get me wrong. He did a good job. He just didn't quite hit it 100% for me.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby gtj222 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:48 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:I agree -- and I have never liked Hayden in anything else he did, including Jack D. Ripper which I thought was a rip.

As for Mitchum, I like his persona but not in the Bowie role. It would just be like Wayne. Mitchum playing Mitchum. Put him in costume and hair-and-makeup, and he would look like Mitchum at a Halloween party. :lol:


Rich, I don't think Mitchum gets enough credit as an actor. Night of the Hunter, Cape Fear, and Friends of Eddie Coyle come to mind as great performances by him.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:59 pm

gtj222 wrote:
Rich, I don't think Mitchum gets enough credit as an actor...



I agree, GT. And he looks pretty bad-ass in this image, too. Wouldn't want to mess with this guy.

For Rich: If you had to choose between Mitchum here, or "laughing boy" Widmark, who would you go with?
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby garyzaboly on Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Sterling Hayden chalked up some memorable movie roles---the hooligan in THE ASPHALT JUNGLE, the hardluck bank robber in THE KILLING, and the corrupt cop in THE GODFATHER. I could name others but we'd be going way off tangent.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:34 pm

Nefarious wrote:
gtj222 wrote:
Rich, I don't think Mitchum gets enough credit as an actor...



I agree, GT. And he looks pretty bad-ass in this image, too. Wouldn't want to mess with this guy.

For Rich: If you had to choose between Mitchum here, or "laughing boy" Widmark, who would you go with?

Me.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:39 pm

I sense a wide divergence of opinion here on Mitchum's acting abilities. :shock:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby gtj222 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:06 pm

"An't it so." :D
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby alamocentral on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:07 pm

Dear Friends,
I don't know if this tidbit adds any insight but, in early versions of the screenplay Smitty was named "Cotton". He had blond hair. I've always found Frankie Avalon's characterization to be insipid. He's a fish out of water! If anyone in the film doesn't work (for me), it is Avalon. His origins are in the Ben Cooper character in The Last Command. I wouldn't change any actor in the film, but him.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:26 pm

I agree on the Smitty role, Ashley. Seems that every Alamo film has to have "the kid" for either sympathetic reasons, or to draw in a young audience. While he was already too old to be playing a kid in 1959, Harry Carey Jr. would've filled the role of Cotton much more convincingly than Avalon if the film had been made say 10, or 12 years earlier. And he had blond hair, too. He was 35 when he played young Brad in THE SEARCHERS, but looked much younger.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby MUSTANG on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:08 am

Interesting comment Ned. In Patrick Ford's treatment of the Alamo script, written in 1948, he indicated he wrote the part of "Bub" with Carey in mind.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:36 am

gtj222 wrote:"An't it so." :D

Nah! I think he was just fine -- like John Wayne but not quite as good. I'm just too locked into the idea that ANY name actor who played himself more than a role would have been the same. That's why I like Jason Patric now. Not why I liked Sterling Hayden then. I know, I'm not making much sense. :lol:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:45 am

MUSTANG wrote:Interesting comment Ned. In Patrick Ford's treatment of the Alamo script, written in 1948, he indicated he wrote the part of "Bub" with Carey in mind.

Whoa! Is that why the two sentries in Houston's camp address Smitty as "Bub", the moment he rides in?! Perhaps a smidge of the Pat Ford script survived after all.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:20 am

So who does anyone/everyone think might've made a better Travis in 1960?

Must say, I'm not sure exactly why or what it was, but I got a big kick out of Laurence Harvey's interpretation. I probably enjoyed that more than any other aspect of the movie. He's better than that rabble!
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:34 am

K Hale wrote:So who does anyone/everyone think might've made a better Travis in 1960?

Must say, I'm not sure exactly why or what it was, but I got a big kick out of Laurence Harvey's interpretation. I probably enjoyed that more than any other aspect of the movie. He's better than that rabble!

I too enjoy Harvery's portrayal and would not really care to recast him. That being said, the 25 year old Richard Chamberlain might've done a good job as the arrogant young commander. He went on to do a lot of period movies including some swashbucklers. But, as he would not become wildly popular until the 1961 TV series DR. KILDARE, Chamberlain probably would not have had much of a chance getting the part.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby alamobill on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:46 am

I've always believed that of all the main characters in The Alamo (1960), Laurence Harvey was by far the best actor....even with his British accent.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby gtj222 on Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:05 am

Harvey is the one guy I would leave alone. He did a great job.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:58 am

Nefarious wrote:
K Hale wrote:So who does anyone/everyone think might've made a better Travis in 1960?

Must say, I'm not sure exactly why or what it was, but I got a big kick out of Laurence Harvey's interpretation. I probably enjoyed that more than any other aspect of the movie. He's better than that rabble!

I too enjoy Harvery's portrayal and would not really care to recast him. That being said, the 25 year old Richard Chamberlain might've done a good job as the arrogant young commander. He went on to do a lot of period movies including some swashbucklers. But, as he would not become wildly popular until the 1961 TV series DR. KILDARE, Chamberlain probably would not have had much of a chance getting the part.

I agree with the praise for Harvey even though I realize his characterization was based on Amelia Williams priggish view of him in her thesis. Harvey did a wonderful job of capturing that character and taking him on a very believable character arc from arrogant fop to a soft-spoken, pensive member of the group of individuals. He was arguably the most individualistally extreme -- and he still fell in with them when the real issues became foremost.

Richard Chamberlain is a very good idea, Nef. Of course, then it could never have happened because there was a wider gap between movie actors and TV actors in 1959 then between Harvey's Travis and the "smutty masses."
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:02 am

...yearning to breathe free.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby alamocentral on Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:26 am

Dear Friends,
Many years ago, I sent Dobe Carey pictures of his mother from The Alamo. He called to thank me, and we chatted about the film. He said that he had been offerred a part in the film, but turned it down. He said the politics were a little too heavy-handed for him. One thing is certain, he's a better actor than Frankie Avalon (and not a bad singer, either).
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby MUSTANG on Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:03 am

Interesting, Ashley. He's never mentioned that in any interview that I am aware of or in his book "Company of Heros." Makes sense, as close as he was to Duke.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:58 am

K Hale wrote:...yearning to breathe free.

The illness hasn't helped. :lol:
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby garyzaboly on Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:26 am

My personal take on recasting an Alamo movie from past movies:

BEST Davy Crockett: Fess Parker

BEST JIM Bowie: Sterling Hayden

BEST Wm. Barrett Travis: Richard Carlson

BEST Santa Anna: J. Carroll Naish

BEST Susanna Dickinson: Joan O'Brien

BEST Juan Seguin: Jordi Molla

These are personal preferences based on levels of historical believeability and credibility, not levels of thespian performance or artistic interpretation. I love Hunnicutt's Crockett and Harvey's Travis, and Tobey's Bowie has something going for it, too. The recent movie (2004) just did not do it for me, with a few exceptions.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby garyzaboly on Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:40 am

PS: Billy Bob Thornton would have been the best Crockett had the script not made the glaring gaffes of showing him shocked that the fighting in Texas was still going on, and reluctant to pull trigger, and having him claim that he only wore a coonskin cap because it was what was expected of him by his public.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:11 pm

RLC-GTT wrote:
K Hale wrote:...yearning to breathe free.

The illness hasn't helped. :lol:

No kidding!

My ideal Houston is Ron Perlman. :roll:

(Edited: Had the wrong guy's name!)
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby garyzaboly on Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:22 pm

Had Joel McCrea possessed the fire Dennis Quaid showed as Houston, McCrea would have made the best Houston, physically as well as personality-wise.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:13 pm

Wow! What a challenge!

O.K., I guess I would have to create two lists. One for the best casting as per the historic characters as I know them, and one for my idea of the best casting for a "Hollywood movie."

BEST HOLLYWOOD ALAMO MOVIE (regardless of boxoffice draw):

CROCKETT.......................Fess Parker

BOWIE............................Sterling Hayden

TRAVIS............................Laurence Harvey

HOUSTON.........................Richard Dix

SANTA ANNA.....................J. Carrol Naish

JUAN SEGUIN.....................Jordi Molla

SUSANNA..........................Joan O'Brien

JUANA ALSBURY..................Estephania LeBaron

FRANKIE...........................Justin :lol:


BEST ALAMO HISTORY FILM:

CROCKETT.........................Billy Bob Thornton

BOWIE.............................Jason Patric

TRAVIS.............................Matthew McConnaughey

HOUSTON..........................Russell Crowe

SANTA ANNA.......................J. Carrol Naish

JUAN SEGUIN.......................Jordi Molla

SUSANNA............................Laura Clifton

JUANA ALSBURY....................Estephania LeBaron

FRANKIE.............................(Killed by aligators while crossing the Red.)
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:21 pm

Well, it's nice to see everyone is unanimous on Jordi Molla at least.

I saw a review of the film where he, as well as the guys who played Castrillon and Almonte, were criticized for being "too white-looking." As if it were heresy to suggest that there just might have been a racial caste system in place in early 19th century Mexico. NOOO WAYYYY! :o
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby NefariousNed on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:11 pm

K Hale wrote:Well, it's nice to see everyone is unanimous on Jordi Molla at least.

I saw a review of the film where he, as well as the guys who played Castrillon and Almonte, were criticized for being "too white-looking." As if it were heresy to suggest that there just might have been a racial caste system in place in early 19th century Mexico. NOOO WAYYYY! :o

Well,in truth, Almonte was brown as a coconut and very Indio-looking. I'll try and dig up a picture of him.

Jordi Molla was probaly the most Seguin-like Seguin and carried himself as the aristocrat he was. But again, the script dealt him an injustice
by suggesting that he was only fighting along side the Anglos because they shared common interests and destinies. Bowie and Seguin were
good friends and almost like family, Bowie having married into the upper crust of San Antonio de Bejar. Seguin also hated the guts of the
Centralists and anyone who supported them. This meant Mexican troops. I can see Seguin savagely hacking away at fleeing soldados at San
Jacinto with as much vigor as his Anglo compatriots. Poor Jordi was made to look as though he felt that he might be fighting on the wrong
side, after all.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:30 pm

I read an interview with him where he said he specifically did not want to find out anything about Seguin, so that he could look more unsure about what he was fighting for.

I'd have liked him to be a little more hardcore... Do you think maybe it was intended as a bit of a nod towards the raw deal Seguin later got?
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby RLC-GTT on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:45 am

K Hale wrote:I read an interview with him where he said he specifically did not want to find out anything about Seguin, so that he could look more unsure about what he was fighting for.

I'd have liked him to be a little more hardcore... Do you think maybe it was intended as a bit of a nod towards the raw deal Seguin later got?


Certainly if the movie were about Seguin, a more varied and complex view would have been possible -- or if this had been a TV mini-series with a half dozen hours to kill. Not so as a subplot in a 137 minute theatrical feature. I do think the intent was to devulge the birth of the later Seguin dilemma of being on the wrong side no matter WHICH way he went, and well done.
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Re: RECASTING ALAMO MOVIES

Postby K Hale on Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:25 am

Seguin was more or less hosed no matter how any war turned out, wasn't he? Very unfortunate. :?
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