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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNCUT AND UNBEATABLE
This 203 minute full version of The Alamo is well worth seeking out. Wayne's achievement as star,producer,and director was massively unappreciated at the time but this film has rightly come to be regarded as a classic and the last of the great non-CGI blockbusters. As one would expect from Wayne and second-unit director Cliff Lyons the action scenes are brilliant and...
Published on 18 May 2009 by Michael P. O'Hara

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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture and sound but not the 'director's cut'.
Having owned the 'director's cut' video for some years, the prospect of seeing the film in DVD quality was eagerly awaited but oh the disappointment! The video release was taken from a NTSC original and although the quality was not great it was good and included the entrance, intermission and exit music. The DVD picture quality is truely stunning - it is like watching...
Published on 4 Aug 2000


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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great picture and sound but not the 'director's cut'., 4 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Having owned the 'director's cut' video for some years, the prospect of seeing the film in DVD quality was eagerly awaited but oh the disappointment! The video release was taken from a NTSC original and although the quality was not great it was good and included the entrance, intermission and exit music. The DVD picture quality is truely stunning - it is like watching the film for the first time and is as good as anything I have seen on this format. The sound is excellent and far better than the video. The trailer is scratch free and also in widescreen. The documentary is an absolute joy and any Wayne or Alamo fan will watch it many times. So what is the problem - they have released the edited version of the film which leaves our 30 minutes of footage and have removed all the intermission music etc. There is no point in buying this DVD other than for the documentary. If you watch the video the picture is not as good but at least you see the whole film. The improved quality of the DVD cannot make up for the missing footage. Let us hope that the Region One release provides the complete film.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavily cut version of John Wayne's heartfelt epic, 12 Dec 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
With the exception of the recent Billy Bob Thornton retelling of the tale, few epics have had quite as bad a press as John Wayne's The Alamo. If it is not the masterpiece Wayne set out to make, it is also certainly not the disaster it is often painted. Even financially the film eventually turned a very healthy profit, although the staggered nature of its roadshow release meant that it didn't do so quickly enough to save Wayne from having to sell his share in the picture he had invested so much in.

Very much a personal crusade, he raised the $12m budget partially from a trio of Texas millionaires and from his own pocket. The set and surrounding village were actually built three years before shooting, ostensibly so that vegetation could grow naturally around it, though problems raising the budget seem more likely. Nonetheless, the film's much-trumpeted great pains to look authentic extends to the casting, enhanced by some of the great faces in the supporting cast, not least of them the irreplaceable Hank Worden, replacing Old Mose Harper's desire for a rockin' chair for 'the time to live and a place to die' in one of his best performances as the Parson. Laurence Harvey, a man reputedly in life as innately impossible to like as his character in The Manchurian Candidate, carries the dramatic element as Travis more than efficiently, while Wayne and Widmark give perfect demonstrations of fleshing out a part through star quality as Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie.

Along with 55 Days at Peking, this was the biggest of the siege epics of the sixties (Zulu, Khartoum, The War Lord), recounting a somewhat romanticised version of the iconic battle that saw some 185 men hold off 7000 Mexican soldiers for thirteen days. Very much a populist epic, it is broadly entertaining but with a quiet dignity at its heart, and while there is sentiment, it is pure and honest enough not to seem desperately manipulative. Wayne's direction is a strong point, with a good visual eye that owes nothing to John Ford (who had less to do with the film than is commonly believed and nothing to do with the truly spectacular battle scenes) and a surprising generosity to friend and foe alike.

There are many moments of pure visual poetry, too - a rider galloping through a stream, defeated Mexican troops reflected in a muddy pond while their women carry away the bodies of their loved ones and the astonishing finale where the screen is packed to bursting with thousands of extras. The cavalry sequences in particular are strikingly well handled, with a healthy respect for the horses (unlike many sixties epics, none were hurt or killed). True, it sure is a long time a-comin', but if there's a more spectacular battle scene on film this side of Bondarchuk's Waterloo, I've not seen it.

Unfortunately, the DVD is something of a travesty. Facing personal bankruptcy, two weeks after the film opened Wayne asked his producer son Michael to cut the film to get in more shows to improve its cash flow - the film was popular, but at nearly three-and-a-half hours was limited to only two shows a day at a handful of theatres. No prizes for guessing which version MGM/UA have chosen to release. Although the uncut version was available on video and laser disc, the company's rationale for releasing the cut version to DVD was that since there were no foreign language soundtracks surviving for the uncut version and they were committed to releasing multiple-language versions, the cut version was preferable to subtitling the film for foreign languages. To add insult to injury, even the hour-long documentary produced for the laserdisc release has been cut back to 40 minutes to paper over any mention of the restored version!

As a result, some half an hour of footage is now missing once again not much more than a decade after it was restored. Even the Overture, Intermission, Entr'acte and Exit Music from Dimitri Tiomkin's superb score have been lost. The only positive is that the widescreen transfer at least makes the most of Wayne and cinematographer William Clothier's careful Scope compositions - and films like this are what Scope is all about.

As for what you're missing, much of the extra running time was taken up by slightly extended scenes, such as Travis' explaining why he knows "I am better than that rabble" that he commands, crucial to understanding his character. Nonetheless, there are several 'new' scenes, the more significant additions including: more of Bowie's opening scene and various bridging scenes enlarging on his conflict with Travis; the death of the profiteer Emil when he tries to stop Crockett taking the gunpowder from the church and a subsequent love scene between Crockett and Flacca; nearly a full reel after the Intermission where Bowie decides to leave the Alamo but is dissuaded by Patrick Wayne reluctantly lying about the number of reinforcements on their way; Scotty's patrol discovering the cattle and coming off badly at the hands of some pursuing Mexican Lancers and Dragoons; and the death of Parson and Crockett's quietly effective prayer.

Even if to some the film still felt too long at 203 minutes (and frankly, it do), none of these scenes should have been the ones to be cut, and their restoration helped the film flow more smoothly than the shorter version. Worse, it's not an isolated incident - MGM/UA meted out similar treatment to the restored version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World on DVD, while some other titles like The Dogs of War and F*I*S*T are available in two different cuts on either side of the Atlantic.

The film's reputation may limit its appeal to Wayne's fans and the epic collector, but it's a fine film that deserves better treatment on DVD than it received.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNCUT AND UNBEATABLE, 18 May 2009
By 
Michael P. O'Hara "Miko" (Birchington,Kent.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Alamo [VHS] [1960] (VHS Tape)
This 203 minute full version of The Alamo is well worth seeking out. Wayne's achievement as star,producer,and director was massively unappreciated at the time but this film has rightly come to be regarded as a classic and the last of the great non-CGI blockbusters. As one would expect from Wayne and second-unit director Cliff Lyons the action scenes are brilliant and exciting.To their credit no horses were injured during the filming of these complicated and dangerous scenes. But although some scenes may rightly be said to be overly sentimental,Wayne's direction of many scenes is nothing short of brilliant.For example,when Jim Bowie receives the news that his wife has died of the plague the acting and framing of the scene are truly moving,as are the night scenes inside The Alamo prior to the battle when the men reflect on their lives.Also Wayne himself can inflect even the smallest line with meaning,as when he has sent the woman he loves to safety and the Parson says "You never pray do you Davy?" and Wayne speaks as he turns away from the camera..."I never found the time",his voice bitter and deeply sorrowful. The full version also has the complete soundtrack for Overture,Entr'act,and Finale ,possibly Tiomkin's finest work. If you can find this version,do so. It is fantastic.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What Sunday afternoon's were all about, 22 Jan 2003
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
There are two films which above all others remind me of my childhood, this one and The Great Escape. Looking back they seemed to be on every Easter and every Christmas. No matter how many times I saw them they were always fantastic. Creating a different, more exciting world, a world of battles, adventures, fights and heroes, which stayed with me long after the film finished.
The Alamo for me is what a big old blockbuster should be; based on real events with a great cast, script and charater construction. By the time the film builds to its climatic battle scene you care so much about the brave defenders of that battered mission, that you're siting on the edge of your seat praying for a different ending. Yes you can complain about the mising scenes and music, but this film was a cinematic milestone and truely is a great picture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full length version, please!, 8 July 2008
This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
I have a short version of The Alamo on DVD and the full length version on VHS. I would be pleased to see them release the full length version on DVD - this would make it a five star film.

The Alamo is one of John Wayne's best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alamo, 18 Sep 2009
By 
A. J. Harrison (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
This has to be one of the greatest movies of all time. Perfect direction from John Wayne himself, although not historicaly accurate it is still very exciting from start to finnish. Theres a fine music score and great peformances from its star filled cast including, Richard Widmark, Richard Boone,Lawarence Harvey and many more.

A must see!! The remake maybe more historicaly accurate but this is by far alot more exciting
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Years Of Enjoyment, 13 Mar 2007
By 
A. Cadwallender (Manchester, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
Any movie that can still entertain me after all these years has to be worth five stars. I know it isn't a "Great" movie in the strict sense of the term, but it is action-packed, and boasts a stellar cast that includes John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, and Richard Boone. It used to thrill me as a kid, and even now I consider it to contain action sequences that are as good as any in any other Western made before or since.

My only criticism is that this dvd features the standard version of the film that runs for a mere 154 minutes. If you are a purist, then try to get hold of the restored VHS "Director's Cut" that includes over half-an-hour of footage that hasn't been seen since 1960.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Childhood favourite, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
The Alamo was a favourite childhood film of mine in the 1970s and I was delighted to get hold of a copy at this price, having missed a repeat of this film over the Christmas period. It seems to be region 2, I had to change the setting on the DVD player on my computer to watch it, I couldn't get my domestic DVD player to play it for some reason. Other than that, one of my favourite nostalgia buys of late!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Widmark film, 26 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
The story of what might be regarded as America's battle of Thermopylae, where a company of US soldiers led by three Colonels, William Travis, Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie (creator of the famous knife) defend the Alamo mission against Mexican invaders who regard Texas as their territory. The history of Texas at this time as very interesting and you can see why the local fighters are referred to as 'Texicans'. Historically speaking it's desperately unreliable as in fact Jim Bowie was ordered to destroy the Alamo and chose instead to stay and defend it; rather opposite to Widmark's character in this film who is opposed to the commander in charge (Col Travis) and keeps trying to leave and take his men with him.

This was John Wayne's film (he played Crockett). Apparently he and Widmark didn't get on, though you wouldn't know it watching this. Wayne wanted Widmark to play Travis, but Widmark wanted the part of Bowie. Wayne said "You're not big enough". Widmark's reply: "I'll be big enough." And he was.

If you're a fan of Richard Widmark you'll want to add this to your collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AS GOOD AS EXPECTED, 21 Oct 2011
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This review is from: The Alamo [DVD] [1960] (DVD)
THESE OLD FILMS ARE THE BEST, WE ENJOYED THIS FILM ALL OVER AGAIN AFTER ABOUT 40 YEARS, ARE WE REALLY THAT OLD.

CHRISTINE
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The Alamo [DVD] [1960]
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