Feb · 11 · 2010

It’s generally well known that I enjoy Civil War era films, especially those based on historical events.  Of course the battle at the Alamo predates the Civil War by about 25 years, but it’s in that general time period, when people had to be strong in every way.  When life was a real challenge to simply eat as opposed to our modern challenges of getting our iPhone to connect to the network.

I discovered this version of The Alamo (released in 2004) quite by accident browsing through the local library’s collection.  It stars Dennis Quaid as Sam Houston and Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett.  I’m not sure how I missed seeing this when it was new, but this is a really good movie.  My knowledge of the events surrounding the Alamo is mostly sketchy so I can’t say much for the historical accuracy.  However upon watching the clip on how they made this, that nearly everyone involved was from Texas, filmed in Texas, on a full scale reproduction of the Alamo and San Antonio, that CG was only used when absolutely necessary… the lengths they went to for this film lead me to believe their research had to be just as meticulous, lending to a very historically accurate portrayal.

Considering the carnage that resulted from the battle of nearly 2000 Mexican troops attacking 183 Texans, the movie is surprisingly not very gory.  Yes, there are many rifle shots and cannons firing but most of the human destruction is implied.  There are some aftermath glimpses and they don’t dwell on any one person long enough to see bones and guts and all we’ve become accustomed to in movies these days.  I find that very refreshing.  Instead the film focuses on the story, the human tragedy, the struggle.  And the filming, the camera angles, are superb,

If you enjoy films of this era which would of course include westerns, you will most likely enjoy this movie as well.  It’s very good.

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