Post by Rich Curilla on Sept 5, 2015 21:16:03 GMT -5
I have actually begun to appreciate Frankie in THE ALAMO a bit more. When you watch him, he was very good at getting into the part and thinking on his feet. His acting is believable even if his Philadelphia fifties teen "Golly's" get in the way. His singing too, even though I don't car for the timbre of his teen voice, he sang a ballad in the TV show SPIRIT OF THE ALAMO that Tiomkin wrote for him to sing in the movie until it was decided that the sub-sub-sub-plot of a teen first love was out of place. It was called "One and Only Girl" and was a slow ballad that needed vocal interpretation in order to work. He did make it work and it was quite movingly done. So I would have to say he has a touch of the Sinatra way of milking a love song. To bad he was unwilling to be interviewed by John Farkis for his book. He certainly would have had lots of insights of value.
Coming here made me recall seeing the movie The Man from the Alamo soon after the time I saw the 1960 Alamo. I looked it up to find it was made in 1953 and actually has its own Wiki entry. It starred Glenn Ford and has Chill Wills in it, as did the 1960 Alamo. (How I came to see that movie is because I was near the theater and saw it on the marquee. Apparently it was re-released in wake of The Alamo. I'd heard nothing about it before or since.)
I wondered if it might have been about Louis/Moses Rose, the only defender to leave before Santa Anna's attack, but on imdb I find it's apparently not about Rose, and in fact the plot-line sounds a little weird: "During the war for Texas independence, one man leaves the Alamo before the end (chosen by lot to help others' families) but is too late to accomplish his mission, and is branded a coward. Since he cannot now expose a gang of turncoats, he infiltrates them instead. Can he save a wagon train of refugees from Wade's Guerillas?"
Disappointing. It would also be interesting to see a movie or read a book about Rose. Also, the mother and daughter that Santa Anna let go free. I understand the daughter came to a bad end in New Orleans as a prostitute.
Post by Rich Curilla on Sept 6, 2015 10:39:54 GMT -5
Man from the Alamo is a Western and actually purports to be nothing more. The story is a fictional one based in a most vague form on the Louis Rose story first told by W.P. Zuber many years after the battle, who has become known for embellishment and fabrication. Rose, however, did exist and may indeed have been at the Alamo and left, but the details of his story (Zuber's story) do not match basic known facts. As far as Man from the Alamo is concerned, it is well-regarded only by film historians as a lesser work of a good film director, Bud Boetticher. What is particularly humorous to me is the fact that, in the opening scenes at the Alamo, Glenn Ford and all the others are using appropriate weapons, i.e. flintlock rifles and pistols. As soon as Glenn Ford leaves on his mission, everybody he runs into is using 1870's six-shooters and Winchesters and all the towns are just B-western movie sets.
There are many stories that could make wonderful films related to the Alamo. Susanna Dickinson and her daughter Angelina (the survivors of whom you speak) represent only one of them. Other mothers and children were also spared by Santa Anna after the battle. Juana Navarro Alsbury (Jim Bowie's sister-in-law) had a one-year-old child named Alejo and her younger sister Gertrudis in the Alamo. Ana Esparza, wife of Alamo defender Gregorio Esparza (one of the local Tejanos who fought and died there) survived with a passel of kids including 8-year-old Enrique, who lived until 1917 and gave a number of interviews to newspapers in the previous decade. At least 20 noncombatants survived the battle and were released the next day by Santa Anna.
John Lee Hancock's excellent and highly accurate movie The Alamo (2004) chose to highlight Juana Navarro Alsbury accurately as having been brought into the Alamo by Jim Bowie. Played by excellent Austin actress Estephania LeBaron, she nurses Bowie during the siege, and thus sort of replaces Susanna Dickinson as the Woman of the Alamo. Susanna and Angelina are still represented very well as mostly silent sub-characters. We already know their story. And, yes, Angelina came to a bad end. Susanna, on the other hand, finally married the right man -- after several bad relationships and abusive husbands -- and spent the rest of her life in good standing as the wife of an Austin businessman.
I have watched the 2004 movie a lot of times and there is always this one scene that leaves me wondering... After Travis makes his speech to the men, he goes to see Bowie. Their conversation goes along the lines of.... Bowie has heard Travis' speech through the door. Travis says "my words, how painful for you" Bowie says "Good words". Travis suggests "they could try and get Bowie out. If he is captured the Mexicans might extend him mercy, given his illness. Bowie says "I don't deserve mercy, I do deserve a drink. Got anything stronger than water?" Travis says, I don't drink etc..... Bowie says "If you live another 5 years you might just be a great man." Travis replies "I will probably have to settle for what I am now." Then as he gets up and walks to the door Bowie calls him and says (I think) "Did it matter?" I think that is what he says..... Travis kind of looks at him and just says something about finding him a bottle... The thing that I don't get is what Bowie means by "Did it matter?" Did what matter? (if I'm hearing it right). Anyone know?
Post by loucapitano on Aug 28, 2017 14:41:23 GMT -5
"Did it matter?" I can't read into the mind of the film writers here, but that's got to be on the mind of anyone, soldier or civilian about to be put in serious jeopardy. Somewhere between the sentiment, "What the hell am I doing here?" and "I'm getting out of here!" you just might hear the question, "Did it matter?" To me, I think the writers chose to leave the answer to each person in the audience. I guess that's why we commemorate the Alamo the way we do. "Did it matter?" Or, we could ask, "Would their sacrifice matter?" 200 men chose to think "it would matter." After 176 years, most of us believe it mattered and those it mattered to, Travis, Bowie and the rest, deserve commemoration and remembrance. We don't know what Travis said to the men on March 5th. Whatever it was, they all gave their lives, even the ones who asked "What the hell am I doing here?" Speaks well... Lou from Long Island