The Alamo

Directed by John Wayne
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The Independent Culture

The Alamo (1960) is about the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. It was John Wayne’s directorial debut and he also starred in and produced the film.

In 1836 General Santa Anna and the Mexican army is sweeping across Texas. To be able to stop him, General Sam Huston needs time to get his main force into shape. To buy that time he orders Colonel William Travis to defend a small mission on the Mexicans' route at all costs. Travis' small troop is swelled by groups accompanying Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, but as the situation becomes ever more desperate Travis makes it clear there will be no shame if they leave while they can.


John Wayne


James Edward Grant


John Wayne … Col. Davy Crockett

Richard Widmark … Jim Bowie

Laurence Harvey … Col. William Travis

Frankie Avalon … Smitty

Patrick Wayne … Capt. James Butler Bonham

Linda Cristal … Graciela Carmela Maria 'Flaca' de Lopez y Vejar

Joan O'Brien … Mrs. Sue Dickinson

Joseph Calleia … Juan Seguin

Ken Curtis … Capt. Almeron Dickinson

Carlos Arruza … Lt. Reyes

Jester Hairston … Jethro

Veda Ann Borg … Blind Nell Robertson

John Dierkes … Jocko Robertson


  • Lieutenant Finn's fall from his horse was unscripted and unintentional.
  • The huge Alamo set took two years to construct.
  • John Wayne originally intended that Richard Widmark should play Davy Crockett, while Wayne himself would have taken the small role of Sam Houston so he could focus his energy on directing the picture. However, Wayne was only able to get financial backing if he played one of the main parts, so he decided to play Crockett and cast Widmark as Jim Bowie.
  • John Wayne and Richard Widmark did not get along during filming. Widmark later blamed the feud on Wayne's lack of directing skills.