I first saw the 2004 Alamo film in a theater. I have a copy on DVD and have watched it numerous times. I agree with you that this was the better and more accurate of the two films. But Wayne's film started it all, more so than 'The Last Command' with Sterling Hayden. Both films suffered bad timing for their release. The 2004 film being up against 'The Passion of the Christ.' Wayne's Alamo had the early stages of the war in Vietnam leaving a sour taste in the movie going public. I remember it being rereleased years later on the big screen and still did not do to well. The lack of success at the box office for the latter film was a subject of heated discussion and contention on the former Alamo film website.
The 1960 version of "The Alamo" was not outstandingly profitable due to its high production costs: it cost $6,500,000 to make and earned $7,900,000 at the box office. Nevertheless, on a 1980 list of all-time top-grossing Westerns with their earnings adjusted for inflation it came ninth. I wouldn't have thought Vietnam would have been an issue as early as 1960. I don't recall the 2004 version even getting a theatrical release in New Zealand, although it may have, as I don't always keep an eye on what the cinemas are showing as they are prohibitively expensive here these days, but it had a normal video/DVD release, and the DVD is still stocked by stores. Its only TV screening here to date was in the middle of the night - although they must have expected a reasonable audience considering the high number of commercial breaks it had.
The 1960 version of "The Alamo" was not outstandingly profitable due to its high production costs: it cost $6,500,000 to make and earned $7,900,000 at the box office.
According to John Farkis´ book about Alamo Village and the making of the movie, and according to an article about the movie´s box office sales in the Alamo Journal by Joe Musso, the production costs were $12.000.000. The Musso article also says the movie made $7.910.000 in the first year of its release, according to Variety, but that was the domestic gross after theater rentals were deducted, not the world wide profits. The world wide earnings were 15.000.000 the first time around after the theater costs were deducted.
We might even have found out who Bonham and the Dickensons were!
I find Suzanna Dickenson such a fascinating character -- her life after the Alamo is such a story in itself. I've often wondered about how they coped as a family inside the Alamo's walls. But, yes, there were so many other people who would be interesting to see developed in some way in a mini series.
Post by Allen Wiener on Apr 7, 2011 20:41:42 GMT -5
I think there's only one serious book on Susanna and she does deserve a more thorough treatment. Her life, and that of her daughter, Angelina, were largely tragic and unhappy. I think Susannah ended up happy eventually and was able to live out a normal life with her last husband (Mr. Hanning). Not so Angelina, who, IIRC, married, had children, abandoned her family and ended up in a New Orleans brothel, where she died either during an abortion or child birth. I don't actually know the details and the one biography treats this very delicately. There is a reference to Susannah's own time as a prostitute in Houston in "Texian Macabre."
“I knew, even as a boy, that to love this world one must keep one’s distance” -- Bishop Daisy - "King of Hearts"
Post by Kevin Young on Apr 7, 2011 21:00:01 GMT -5
David Zucker, talking with me briefly infront of the Menger during HHD said no one will touch the Alamo subject for some time to come thanks to the 2004 film (unless the Alamo is part of a larger story). Even then, some doubt. I would love to see Harrigan's Gates of the Alamo made into a TV series (as long as they let Steve do the screenplay).
I spent some time in SoCal studying scriptwriting and working in the industry and I just don't see production execs falling all over themselves to make another Alamo film (whether for film or TV.) Most of the "suits" are looking for a plot that will attract 18-year old boys, because exit interviews have shown that teenage girls will sit through a guy pic, while males are much less likely to pay to see a chick flick. It is unfortunate for us that most 18-year old males have little or no interest in 19th century history; ay, there's the rub.
"This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."
What was the joke back in 2004? You want a film that will bomb-have Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck defend the Alamo...
Spielberg's Into the West had an Alamo sequence but was pulled when the 2004 film flopped.
Ok-if you could do an Alamo film that had teenage boys doing a roadtrip that had them having to haul supplies over ice roads, and hunting gators, involve Alien machines that transformed into 18 pounder cannon fighting against the Mexican Army dominated by soldadaras clad only in see through white fatigue uniforms set during fiesta (with lots of beer drinking) and have the Santa Anna invade the Texas coast (during Spring break) in 1836 style Higgins Boats and then have it fast forward to where two antique guys are picking a barn and find Alamo artifacts which they take to a Vegas pawn shop where one of the artifacts has to be decoded by a team of experts and clearly shows that Nazi Space Aliens visited the planet and gave us saran wrap while hunting for Bigfoot...then you might be able to have an new Alamo movie.