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The History Channel Presents The Alamo
The History Channel Presents The Alamo
Actor: Dennis Quaid
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2003     4hr 0min

Remember The Alamo! Behind the most famous battle cry in American history is a story of ambition and heroism greed and vanity desperation and defeat.REMEMBER THE ALAMO Behind-the-Scenes Featurette.Introduction and Conclusi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Dennis Quaid
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/30/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 4hr 0min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Missed Opportunities
Arthur Wang | Kingwood, Texas | 12/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"While containing numerous positive elements the video, unfortunatly shows a subtle bias twoard some major characters especially on the side of the rebels. The program accuratly depicts all of the characters as flawed individuals. In some cases, such as Bowie and Travis seriously flawed. However, instances of extremely honorable behavior on the part of some major characters are, unfortunatly, omitted. For example, that Crockett lost his seat in congress for opposing the dispossession of the Native American population in the Southeastern United States is, unfortunatly, omitted. This display of integrity and honorable behavior by Crockett gives an invaluable insight into his character and should have been included. That films about the battle of the Alamo tend to show the Mexicans as vicious at best and sadistic at worst is generally true. There are examples to the contrary. An example is John Wayne's movie, The Alamo. While not a great or historically accurate film, John Wayne's epic is very sympathetic to the Mexicans. In Wayne's film Santa Anna is shown behaving chivalrously in letting the women and children evacuate the Alamo and saluting Susanna Dickenson as she and the other survivors leave the fort after the battle. In this movie Crockett defends a Mexican woman against an American who is persecuting her. Juan Seguin has a significant, and positive part in the film. In the depiction of the probing attack defenders of the Alamo praise the courage of the attacking Mexicans. And Richard Widmark, as Bowie, waxes eloquent in his love for Mexico and the Mexican people.The program misses an opprtunity to use more of the de la Pena diary, now conceeded by most to be substantially authentic, allthough otherwise its sourcing was good.On the subject of casualties, it is interesting that Santa Anna claimed the number of casualties among the defenders to be 600. It is possible that he picked this number because it exceeded his own casualties. All things considered, it seems likely that several hundred Mexican Soldiers died in the battle.In short, a very good documentary missed a chance to be a great one."
On second thought...
Ralph Ashby | Chicago, IL USA | 06/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am actually going to revise my earlier review a bit, as I recently screened this documentary again, after doing more research on the topic. My earlier comments remain mostly valid, but I need to add a few more concerns. As another reviewer noted, the narrative of the documentary sometimes presents speculative conclusions as verified fact. Granted, the conclusions are based on some evidence, but that evidence is not always so reliable as the documentary would suggest. The annoying phrases "most historians agree" or "most historians now accept" are misleading. Historians always argue and almost never agree...especially on a topic so controversial. I guess the idea was to make the documentary seem authoritative. Watch the documentary, but don't accept everything presented without finding out more about the Alamo. I've been reading about the Alamo for over 40 years now, and the more I learn the more I am convinced that there is still much solid research that needs to be done."
Ambitious documentary
Ralph Ashby | Chicago, IL USA | 04/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Two of the other reviews so far pretty fairly rate this documentary. The inherent flaw in the documentary is probably unavoidable: it tries to cover a very complex topic from all angles and viewpoints, and this is not quite possible within the time and format restrictions. Still, it is a very good overview, especially if it inspires people to read more on the Alamo. The only other quibble I have is with some of the casting: The Travis is too old, too lean, and wears a Laurence Harvey costume. Likewise the Bowie is too old. Crockett looks good. Santa Anna is good, but doesn't look like the (mostly) Creole that he was. As for "speculation," much of our information about the Alamo is just that, unfortunately. I recommend The Alamo Reader, edited by Todd Hansen, for anyone who wants to see just how "reliable" a lot of our source material for the Alamo is."
Just average
Michael Day | Hamilton, Illinois USA | 08/21/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Overall, an average documentary (disc 1) that tries to view both sides of the battle for the Alamo and San Antonio.
However, I found it rather apalling that some historians are now labeling the heroic leaders inside the Alamo, as "drunkards", "criminals", "land swindlers" and "wife abandoners", claiming that their main reason for leaving the United States and heading to Texas was to escape their problems and crimes.
They then label General Santa Anna as a great military leader, much like Napoleon. They forget to mention that Santa Anna was a brutal dictator and later captured without a shred of military insignia, and had to be identified by his own men.
Just another example of Revisionist's history.
If you want to know what more likely happened at the Alamo, I suggest you read, Walter Lords book, "A Time to Stand". By far the best literature on the subject."