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The Alamo (1960)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, History | 27 October 1960 (UK)
3:11 | Trailer
In 1836, a small band of soldiers sacrifice their lives in hopeless combat against a massive army in order to prevent a tyrant from smashing the new Republic of Texas.


John Wayne


James Edward Grant (original screenplay)
3,813 ( 2,133)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces at the Alamo in San Antonio Texas.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Emilio Echevarría


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Col. Davy Crockett
Richard Widmark ... Col. Jim Bowie
Laurence Harvey ... Colonel William Barret Travis
Frankie Avalon ... Smitty
Patrick Wayne ... Capt. James Butler Bonham
Linda Cristal ... Flaca
Joan O'Brien ... Mrs. Sue Dickinson
Chill Wills ... Beekeeper
Joseph Calleia ... Juan Seguin
Ken Curtis ... Capt. Almeron Dickinson
Carlos Arruza Carlos Arruza ... Lt. Reyes
Jester Hairston ... Jethro
Veda Ann Borg ... Blind Nell Robertson
John Dierkes ... Jocko Robertson
Denver Pyle ... Thimblerig (the Gambler)


In 1836, General Santa Anna and the Mexican Army is sweeping across Texas. To be able to stop him, General Sam Houston needs time to get his main force into shape. To buy that time he orders Colonel William Travis to defend a small mission on the Mexicans' route at all costs. Travis' small troop is swelled by groups accompanying Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, but as the situation becomes ever more desperate Travis makes it clear there will be no shame if they leave while they can. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


NOW! For Those Who Missed It! AGAIN! For Those Who Saw It...and Can't Forget It! (re-release) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 October 1960 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Alamo See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) (1993 video release) | (1967 re-release) | (roadshow)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Charlton Heston, then a moderate Democrat, turned down the role of Jim Bowie because he feared the critical response to the movie. However, later in life Heston turned around and wholeheartedly embraced right-wing Republican politics, also changing his mind about not accepting the part and saying that it was "a huge mistake". See more »


When Travis is killed he falls to the ground face down. As the Mexican soldiers overrun that position, one of them kicks Travis's hand. Some people think incorrectly that this is actor Harvey deliberately moving his hand to avoid being stepped on. See more »


Gen. Sam Houston: Mr. Travis, are you going to complain to me about Jim Bowie?
Colonel William Barret Travis: Not complain, sir.
Gen. Sam Houston: Of course Jim Bowie's drunk. He took this town from General Cos. He fought a battle and now he's drunk. Seems kinda natural to me. Or are you questioning something other than Bowie's drinking? Are you going to tell me that he's got a lot of acreage down here? That he married into Mexican aristocracy?
Colonel William Barret Travis: Yes sir.
Gen. Sam Houston: Travis, I would trust Jim Bowie with my life. More than that I would trust him with the lives of my family, ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

After its LA premiere the film was cut by approximately 26 minutes. It wasn't until 1992 that these scenes were restored for release on LaserDisc and VHS. As of April 2007 all DVD releases feature the shorter general release version. The following scenes were added back:
  • The original overture, intermission, theatrical trailer, and end themes;
  • The "Jefferson Speech" extended between Col. Travis & Cap. Dickinson;
  • The death of Emil Sand;
  • Conversation between Col. Travis & Col. Bowie regarding Col. Fannin;
  • The death of the Parson and Scotty;
  • Crockett's prayer following Parson's & Scotty's death;
  • The "Philosophical Debate" when the Alamo defenders talk about God;
  • More complete "Gunpowder Raid" scene;
  • Crockett's night with Senora;
  • Senora's brief scene with a fleeing young woman;
  • Birthday Party for Dickson's child;
  • Bonham's original report to Travis;
  • A slightly different Crockett death scene.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Cowboy (1969) See more »


Tennessee Babe
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Sung by an off screen chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Historical perspective
15 July 1999 | by sticks-8See all my reviews

I first saw "The Alamo" in 1960 and loved it. I loved it for several reasons, one was because like countless other kids {I was 11} I had been raised on Fess Parker's treatment of Davy Crockett and was fascinated by the story and two I've been a John Wayne fan since I can remember. I have copies of both the theatrical and the uncut versions. I prefer the theatrical because I feel that the scenes that were cut were unnecessary and in some cases tedious and painful to watch. Historically speaking the movie was a hit and miss affair but that's okay with me because as a package it was a direct hit on the action sequences and since that basically was what the Alamo was about I can forgive the inaccuracies. Some of the most glaring; the battle was over just before dawn on a rather cold day {the temperature ranged between the 30's and mid 50's and was probably on the low end of that spectrum at that time of day} and yet the movie shows up bright blue cloudless skies and the participants in less than cold weather attire,; the film portrayed Bowie as being in bed because of a leg injury suffered in a fall from his horse later aggravated by shrapnel during a bombardment when the truth was that he was sick. He had practically drunk himself to death for 3 years because of the loss of his wife and children to cholera and probably had TB. On that note the movie shows Bowie receiving the news during the siege. Another case of license. On the other hand the film was accurate in a lot of cases too, for example, the locations of Travis and Bowie at the times of their deaths and depending on whether you believe that Crockett fell where Suzanna Dickinson and several others said they saw him or that he survived the battle with five others only to be executed we may be able to make a case for his actual location too. But the most wonderful example of historical fact is in the location of the filming. This was a painstakingly assembled replica of the area and is breathtaking in its realistic appearance. There was one fact that was mistreated, though, that took me some time to accept as dramatic license. James Butler Bonham {Patrick Wayne} reports to the garrison that Col James Fannin and his men will not be reinforcing them because the were "ambushed, murdered". This is sort of true but not until after the Alamo had fallen. The fact was that Fannin had started out to reach the Alamo but while still within view of his own garrison at Goliad he had a wagon break down and some oxen run off and by the time he repaired those problems he changed his mind about going and returned to his command. He and his men were captured and about 600 of them, including Fannin, marched into a river and shot down. All things considered though I can still watch this movie again and again 39 years later. Besides, who can deny that the opening credits complete with some of the most beautiful music in cinematic history {Dimitri Tiomkin} constitute one of the most unforgettable movie beginnings of all time? I think I'll go watch it right now.

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