The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68876   Message #1163223
Posted By: Little Hawk
16-Apr-04 - 11:12 AM
Thread Name: BS: 'The Alamo' - superb movie!
Subject: BS: 'The Alamo' - superb movie!
I saw it night before last, and it's absolutely great. It's the first historically accurate and convincing film ever done on this fascinating incident, and treats both the Texans and the Mexicans with respect and compassion. The characterizations of Crockett, Bowie, Houston, Santa Ana, and Travis are very well done, showing them with all their warts...yet despite this, they become very sympathetic characters, with the exception of Santa Ana...his egomaniacal ways made him as much a pain for his own army as he was for the Texans or anyone else. He was a pretty detestable man with delusions of grandeur, and his incompetence led to his army being defeated quite easily by Sam Houston at San Jacinto.

There are some very striking lines in this movie. Santa Ana has a great one when he says to his generals that if they do not defeat the revolt in Texas "here and now", their children and grandchildren will "beg crumbs from the Americans". Too true. It was a prophetic statement.

The character of Davy Crockett is played so well by Billy Bob Thornton that it should become the definitive Crockett portrayal of all time. For the first time he seems like a real human being, not a cardboard "hero". David Crockett was a very famous man at the time, a full-blown celebrity, and he had been elected to Congress for one term, then lost his seat and decided to go to Texas. Like many others he was seeking a new start in unspoiled territory, and immigrants to Texas were being given a very generous parcel of land upon their arrival.

It was a complicated political situation, with many conflicting factors. Many of the Texans were slaveowners, and they wanted to continue the practice, but slavery was illegal in Mexico! This is touched upon in the movie. On the other hand, Santa Ana was an autocratic dictator who succeeded in alienating not only the American immigrants, but many of the Mexicans in the area as well. Texas was his to lose, because of his own arrogance and stupidity. The rebels in Texas were eager to establish a more democratic government, but they were also looking to pad their own pockets, so to speak. The Mexican soldiers were fighting to put down a rebellion and defend the sacred ground of Mexico from what they saw as a bunch of foreign pirates and terrorists.

So both sides had something worthwhile to fight for, and that is also shown in the film.

But the depiction of Davy Crockett is this film's masterpiece. Just marvelous, in my opinion.

- LH