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The Alamo (Widescreen) (2004)

Dennis Quaid , Billy Bob Thornton , John Lee Hancock  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton, Jason Patric, Patrick Wilson, Jordi Molla
  • Directors: John Lee Hancock
  • Writers: John Lee Hancock, Leslie Bohem, Stephen Gaghan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 137 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (286 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002DRDBY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,868 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Alamo (Widescreen)" on IMDb

Special Features

Walking In The Footsteps Of Heroes

Editorial Reviews

From the studio that brought you PEARL HARBOR ... Academy Award(R) winner Billy Bob Thornton (SLING BLADE, Best Adapted Screenplay, 1996; BAD SANTA), Dennis Quaid (THE ROOKIE), and Jason Patric (RUSH) team up for the acclaimed action epic about one of the most important events in American history! It's the heroic tale of the 200 brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom defending a small Texas fort for 13 days against an entire army! Commanded by three men -- Lt. Col. William Travis (Patrick Wilson), James Bowie (Patric), and David Crockett (Thornton) -- their against-all-odds courage at the Alamo would forever live on as a rallying cry for liberty and independence!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Alamo film ever made May 13, 2008
Format:DVD
For serious students of history of the Alamo, director John Lee Hancock's "The Alamo" can't be beat. Every phase of the battle (a night battle which lasted about 90 minutes) is accurately depicted. The movie shows how outlying sentries, sleep deprived after days of shelling, were bayoneted during the initial charge, how the Mexican battalions first scaled the north wall where Travis was killed, shot between the eyes, how defenders retreated into buildings lining the walls where terrible close-quarters fighting took place, and how the last defenders, including David Crockett, retreated into the chapel at the end.

The film presents the view that some defenders, including Crockett, were captured and executed shortly after the battle. This controversial scenario is taken from the diary of a Mexican officer, Enrique De La Pena.

I would have preferred that there be more middle and far distance scenes for those of us who love the history and are interested in military tactics. But director Hancock chose mostly close-ups of the action. This, I presume, was an artistic choice to maximize dramatic effect and my wishes to the contrary are but minor quibbles. (Boy, would I love to see the outtakes!) All in all, the film is a great achievement, the best Alamo film ever made.

The politics which led to the war are skillfully presented. The script courageously includes the fact that the Mexican people were betrayed by the Anglos to whom they had given lands in return for oaths of allegiance. Another uncomfortable truth portrayed here is that the Texian rebels fought, against Mexico, for their freedom to continue the institution of slavery.

The courage of both the Mexicans and the Gringos is shown.
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82 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars America's Iliad - re-imagined September 26, 2004
Format:DVD
If you want history, read some books. Let's get that out of the way first. There are many fine histories written on the battle of the Alamo, and disputing ideas about what exactly happened there. It is likely that, like Custer's Last Stand, the exact story of what went down at the Alamo will still be disputed by historians long after we all are dead.
This movie is about mythology, not history. While the battle of the Alamo was a historical event, it long ago entered into the realm of American Myth. It is our Iliad. If we cannot win, this is how we want to die - not shirking our duty, but finding something heroic inside ourselves to rise to the occasion. That was portrayed well in this film. The principle players, Bowie, Crockett, and Travis, are not born heroes here. Instead, they are strong men with flaws and quirks of character like all the rest of us. When they are confronted by crisis, we see them rise beyond their flaws, their doubts, even their fears, and in their last moments truly become the heroes of the legend. This was captured powerfully in this film.
An early scene shows Sam Houston speaking to Davy Crockett about Texas at a ball in Washington, near the end of Crockett's term in congress. Seeing the two together, an observer whispers to another man that either of those two might once have had a chance to be president, but no more. It is a nicely done scene accomplishing several things at once. First it allows us to see the two as men who had risen to a certain level of success and power, with some reason to expect more to come. It then shows us that before the fighting in Texas, both were men whose star was in decline, and who may have faded out of history had they not cast their lot with the Texicans.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth seeing & buying! Excellent film. September 5, 2006
Format:DVD
I agree with all the other reviewers have written so I won't repeat. I saw the John Wayne film when it was released (many years ago - I was only 7!) and loved it but was very upset that Davey Crockett, who was a hero of mine, had died. I knew nothing of The Alamo and it's history and was shocked by the ending. Since then I've always had a fascination with everything-Alamo. I was excited about the new film and thought it excellent, very well filmed and acted and just a fantastic movie.

My only challenge is the way the Crockett character was written. I thought Billy Bob Thornton stole the show, was brilliant as Crockett and the violin scene and his death scene are exceptional pieces of film that stay with you a long time. No, my point is that where I agree and liked the way his character was portrayed (multi-dimensional, flawed, down to earth) I disagree with how he seemed, at all times, to want to dispel his legend and make out that he really wasn't how most people thought of him. Well, he WAS like that when younger. He ended up at The Alamo by chance not realising the seriousness of it all but to try and tell an audience that he wasn't who he was is misleading and irresponsible. Well, that's my only negative point but this in no way interfered with my enjoyment.

I loved the film and recommend it 100%.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BarbieDoll49 November 9, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this recently for a son's birthday. We watched it all together as a family and were pleasantly surprised. It was SOOOOOOO well done and the extras that were added helped to make the people come to life. You felt as if you went to that time and place and lived it. Also, all the hard work that went into it to make it historically acurate is amazing. I still have the awesome feeling that we experienced as a family watching when I think of it now. I grew up with an American History teacher and didn't really like to have to learn dates and times and all that stuff even for my dad's class, but if all the important events in American History could be presented like this, well then, I would love history and not forget much at all! It is a moving piece of story telling and the photography is just so undescribable. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to live the story and "feel" like they were there. There is nothing like it! I have kids 21, 15, and 10, boys and a girl and they hardly breathed through the whole thing. It was just great.
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