Oct 182018
 
The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
As the title says, the film examines the thirteen-day-long siege of the Alamo during the Texan Revolution. The best thing that I can say is that Raul Julia clearly had fun playing Santa Anna, more fun than I had watching the movie. At least, this version dreamed up some new inaccuracies. Honestly, it is better than several versions in the 1940 and 50s. Please do not misunderstand, I am not saying that it is good but there are worse. Read More…

Jul 052018
 
Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier

Rating: ★★½☆☆
Initially, three episodes that were shown as the Disney television miniseries Davy Crockett, the movie presents Crockett as a frontiersman, congressman and one of the defenders of the Alamo. Honestly, I was surprised, it’s not bad. Better than most movies on the Alamo, and it shows the full scope of Crockett’s eventful life. Read More…

Oct 122017
 
Man of Conquest

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Although the film covers the entire Texan Revolution, it is presented as a chapter in the life of Sam Houston, so viewers will actually learn little about the revolution, especially since the script is a giant mess of inaccuracies. Oddly enough for a film about a revolution, the endless talk about freedom means there is little time for battles. Read More…

May 052016
 
Heroes of the Alamo

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Heroes of the Alamo presents the growing tension between the American immigrants in Mexico and the Mexican government that eventually led to the Texan Revolution. Unlike most films on the Alamo, it focuses on the Dickinson family, rather than Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie. Made in 1937, the acting is stilted, as if the actors have not adapted to sound. Even for the time, this is horrible, almost incompetent. Read More…

Oct 042012
 
Young Mr. Lincoln

Rating: ★★★½☆
The movie presents Abraham Lincoln’s first major case as a young lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, where he defends two young strangers accused of murdering a popular deputy. Director John Ford’s first collaboration with Henry Fonda, they would work together again on Drums Along the Mohawk and Grapes of Wrath. A touching movie with excellent court-room scenes, Fonda’s Lincoln employs a simple manner and sharp wit to win the sympathy of the jury, and proves to be a formidable cross-examiner. Despite a slow start, Fonda captures the real Lincoln’s mix of self-depreciating humor and belief in people’s better nature. Read More…

Sep 012010
 
Santa Fe Trail

Rating: ★½☆☆☆
Santa Fe Trail (1940) covers Bleeding Kansas and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, which helped start the American Civil War, but not even Errol Flynn’s limitless charm can redeem a movie that shows black people preferring the peace and security of slavery to freedom. Read More…

Jun 062009
 
Dark Command

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
While Dark Command is entertaining and surprisingly dark for 1940, it completely airbrushes the savagery that made the fighting in the Missouri-Kansas region a particularly brutal part of the Civil War. Along with Santa Fe Trail, which was made the same year and also deals with Bleeding Kansas, the film attempts to paper over the deep divisions that had caused the Civil War in an effort to unite northerners and southerners as the United States seemed increasingly likely to enter WWII. Read More…

Nov 232007
 
The Alamo (1960)

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
The Alamo (1960), John Wayne’s directorial debut, is entertaining, but stretches the facts horribly, transforming the Texan Revolution from a rebellion by American immigrants who wanted to continue their practice of slavery into a defence of liberty against tyranny. Read More…