6.0/10
18,713
300 user 100 critic

The Alamo (2004)

PG-13 | | Drama, History, War | 9 April 2004 (USA)
Clip
0:41 | Clip

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Alamo (1960)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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.

Director: John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863.

Director: Ron Maxwell
Stars: Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels
Gettysburg (1993)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director: Ron Maxwell
Stars: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Against orders and with no help of relief Texas patriots led by William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett defend the Alamo against overwhelming Mexican forces.

Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: James Arness, Brian Keith, Alec Baldwin
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Survivors of a plane crash in the Mongolian desert work together to build a new plane.

Director: John Moore
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Miranda Otto, Giovanni Ribisi
The Crossing (TV Movie 2000)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A dramatization of George Washington's perilous gamble of crossing the Delaware River and attacking the Hessian forces at Trenton.

Director: Robert Harmon
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Roger Rees, Sebastian Roché
Glory (1989)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Robert Gould Shaw leads the U.S. Civil War's first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices from both his own Union Army, and the Confederates.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes
Windtalkers (2002)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two U.S. Marines in World War II are assigned to protect Navajo Marines, who use their native language as an unbreakable radio cypher.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.

Director: John Moore
Stars: Gene Hackman, Owen Wilson, Gabriel Macht
Andersonville (1996)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of the most notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp in the American Civil War.

Stars: Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux
Wyatt Earp (1994)
Adventure | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A good-hearted, second-rate rodeo cowboy fights his way through numerous obstacles, including a Mexican jail, to get his long-time girlfriend to marry him.

Director: John Lee Hancock
Stars: Leon Rippy, Tom Everett, Mariska Hargitay
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Sam Houston
Billy Bob Thornton ... Davy Crockett
Jason Patric ... James Bowie
Patrick Wilson ... William Travis
Emilio Echevarría ... Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
Jordi Mollà ... Juan Seguin
Leon Rippy ... Sgt. William Ward
Tom Davidson Tom Davidson ... Colonel Green Jameson
Marc Blucas ... James Bonham
Robert Prentiss Robert Prentiss ... Albert Grimes
Kevin Page ... Micajah Autry
Joe Stevens ... Mial Scurlock
Stephen Bruton Stephen Bruton ... Captain Almeron Dickinson
Laura Clifton ... Susanna Dickinson
Ricardo Chavira ... Private Gregorio Esparza (as Ricardo S. Chavira)
Edit

Storyline

Historical drama detailing the 1835-36 Texas revolution before, during, and after the famous siege of the Alamo (February 23-March 6, 1836) where 183 Texans (American-born Texans) and Tejanos (Mexican-born Texans) commanded by Colonel Travis, along with Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie, were besieged in an abandoned mission outside San Antonio by a Mexican army of nearly 2,000 men under the personal command of the dictator of Mexico, General Santa Anna, as well as detailing the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836) where General Sam Houston's rag-tag army of Texans took on and defeated Santa Anna's army which led to the indepedence of Texas. Written by Matthew Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You will never forget See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War | Western

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sustained intense battle sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

9 April 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alamo See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$107,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,124,701, 11 April 2004

Gross USA:

$22,414,961

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,819,961
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS-ES | Dolby Digital EX | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Crockett plays the "Mockingbird Quick Step" on his fiddle. The song is a version of "Listen to the Mockingbird". It was composed in 1855 and later used by The Three Stooges as a theme song. See more »

Goofs

In the scene before Travis asks the black guys to dig a new well; behind the two Alamo men discussing what's changed during the night, you can see a crew member in white T-shirt and white trainers walking backwards in the distance. See more »

Quotes

General Castrillon: Houston is less than two miles away.
Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana: We will break camp and chase the coward!
General Castrillon: He's not running. He's on his way here.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Alamo (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Lament For The Children
Arranged and performed by Dougie Pincock
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I think I will probably have to settle for what I am now.
11 August 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Alamo is directed by John Lee Hancock, who co-writes with Leslie Bohem and Stephen Gaghan. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Emilio Echevarria and Jordi Molla. Music is scored by Carter Burwell and Dean Semler is the cinematographer. Story is a recreation of The Battle of the Alamo that ran for 13 days during the Texas Revolution of 1836.

On release it was met with disdain at worst, indifference at best, and now historically it stands as the second biggest box office failure behind Cutthroat Island. The pre release word of mouth wasn't good, and with "difficulties" of the financial and creative kind leading to Ron Howard leaving the directors chair-and Russell Crowe and Ethan Hawke bowing out of roles for two of the main characters, the film has never had an equal footing from which to try and sell itself as a worthy epic. Yet if there is a western styled war film most likely to improve with age, then Hancock's Alamo is it. You see, in time it's hoped that people can embrace that this take on the Alamo legend thrives on humanistic depth, telling it not as a "hooray" hero piece, but as it was, men doomed to die. And more pertinent, men who "knew" that in all probability, they were waiting for death to come.

Now that's a hard sell. It's highly unlikely that we will ever get an Alamo film to please everyone, because ultimately the story is a sombre one, an unforgiving 13 days of sadness and bitter disappointments. No matter how it gets dressed up, with Duke Wayne bravado or otherwise, this was a futile engagement. There's no chest beating stirring of the emotions for the outcome of this battle, for example such as the British being allowed to withdraw gracefully from Rorke's Drift, this is bleak history. It was a bold approach by Hancock and his team, to strip away the glitter and paint it in fallible humanistic greys. Heroic pop culture characters like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie are not defined by glory rah rah rah, but by being men dealing with the harsh realities of war as best they can. It's telling that when Crockett turns up at the Alamo, he is genuinely stunned to learn that the fighting is not over, his plans for a comfortable life in politics vanquished the moment he sets foot upon Alamo turf.

Hancock should be roundly applauded for having the courage to craft such an honest depiction of the siege, and it's not as if we aren't warned about it, either in history as fact, or during the downbeat opening five minutes of film! So a film rich with in depth characterisations, then, but also a picture layered over with considerable technical skill. Hancock himself only really misfires by having a tacked on coda that shows Houston defeating Santa Anna and gaining his surrender. Who made the decision for this "uplift" I'm not sure, but it feels forced and doesn't have the impact intended. It would have been more telling and poignant to just have a title card flash up to tell us that Houston defeated Santa Anna in 18 minutes. We don't need to see a hurried recreation, the sombre mood needed to be kept up right to the last end credit rolled. For that's the true pain of The Battle of the Alamo.

However, Hancock gets mostly great performances from his leading cast members (Thornton hugely impressive as Crockett) and shoots his battle scenes with brutal distinction. His overhead shots are superb, especially as the Mexican army attacks for the final and telling time. The 100s of soldiers swarming over The Alamo looks like ants converging on a desert oasis, the hopelessness of the defenders of Mission San Antonio de Valero is never more evident than it is here. Semler and Burwell aid the mood considerably. The former is inspired by much of the film being set at night, utilising fires and candle lights to enforce the shadows (of death) hanging around the characters, while the textured brown, red and yellow hues used for the landscape gives off a parched beauty that lends one to understand why these men fight for the land they occupy. Burwell scores it evocatively, where tender swirls of emotion sit neatly along side the more broad action strains of the brass variety.

The lavish sets and costuming, including some tremendous hats, are all good on production value, to round out a tip top production. It cries out for revisits by those who dismissed it so casually back on its release. Certainly I myself found it helped considerably knowing now that this was not some rousing spectacle, but that it's a detailed character story leading up to a sad and inevitable conclusion. That coda and some under nourished support characters stop it from being a fully formed classic from the genre, but that aside, it's still one terrific and thoughtful piece of film making. 9/10


25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 300 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed