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The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1987)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | TV Movie 26 January 1987
Against orders and with no help of relief Texas patriots led by William Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davy Crockett defend the Alamo against overwhelming Mexican forces.

Director:

Burt Kennedy

Writers:

Lon Tinkle (book), Clyde Ware | 1 more credit »
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From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Arness ... Jim Bowie
Brian Keith ... Col. Davy Crockett
Alec Baldwin ... Col. William Barrett Travis
David Ogden Stiers ... Col. Black
Jim Metzler ... Maj. James Bonham
Tom Schanley ... Pvt. Danny Cloud
Fernando Allende ... Col. Alamonte (Santa Anna's nephew)
Kathleen York ... Mrs. Susannah Dickinson
Isela Vega ... Senora Cos
Raul Julia ... Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana
Gene Evans ... McGregor
Michael Wren Michael Wren ... Juan Seguin
Jon Lindstrom ... Capt. Almeron Dickinson
Hinton Battle ... Joe (Travis' servant)
David Sheiner ... Luis
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Storyline

The story of the famed siege of the Alamo during the Texas Revolution, in which a small band of soldiers held off an overwhelming army under the Mexican general Santa Anna long enough to allow the Texan army to gather its strength. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

texas | alamo | soldier | siege | death | See All (88) »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 January 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alamo - 13 Tage bis zum Sieg See more »

Filming Locations:

Del Rio, Texas, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three of the actors were considerably older than the real-life people they played: James Arness, sixty-four, played Jim Bowie, who was forty at the time; Brian Keith, sixty-six, played Davy Crockett, who was forty-nine at the Alamo; and Lorne Greene, seventy-two, played Sam Houston, who was forty-three. See more »

Goofs

The Alamo defenders are often shown to stand shoulder to shoulder. In effect, the perimeter of the Alamo was almost 450 yards. One hundred and eighty men needed to be some seven feet apart to confront an attack from all sides. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: I like you English... your thoroughness... your worldliness...
Col. Black: [Interrupting] On behalf of my countrymen...
Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna: [He pointedly holds up an imperious finger to silence him] ... but I do not like your fine manners. Manners win women, not wars. Perhaps if you English had realized that, the Americans would not be a country to plague me now. Yes?
[Black remains silent]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Immortal Alamo (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Modest But Sincere
22 December 2007 | by kayaker36See all my reviews

This made for television version of the legendary stand against hopeless odds is more objective, more realistic than earlier filmed versions of the events, though the one movie made after this went perhaps too far in humanizing the figures of Sam Houston, Bowie, Travis and Crockett.

The focus here is on Jim Bowie, played with sharp, cynical detachment by James Arness who passed away in 2011 at age 88. Then 65, he made a comeback to acting after years away from the screen to do this part.

Puerto Rican-born Raul Julia humanizes Gen. Santa Ana as no one since J. Carol Naish back in '54 had done. However, the Mexican dictator is portrayed as a lecherous, vainglorious popinjay--gaudier uniforms have never been seen before or since. He receives excellent advice from the European officers he has hired but, convinced of his own infallibility, he does not heed it. He also ignores the warning from one of his own staff officers that it is not "prudente" to divide one's army in the face of the enemy. The result is the disaster of San Jacinto.

Alec Baldwin is the one actor whose age is appropriate to the character he plays: Col. William Travis. His portrayal is earnest. He is almost in awe of the older men who share command with him.

The one jarring note was Brian Keith as Crockett. In a coonskin cap and carrying Ol' Betsy, he stumbles about as if he had wandered in from another movie. With no conviction in the portrayal, the character is reduced to a few stage conventions.

The script reveals some historical facts overlooked or suppressed in earlier film versions. We learn that Jim Bowie was, in the person of Santa Ana, fighting his own brother-in-law. The Mexican soldiers performed poorly in part because they were armed with rifles left over from the Napoleonic Wars a generation earlier. "Santa Ana likes a bargain." Bowie wryly explains. The whole project of defending the former Spanish mission as a fort was courageous but militarily ill- advised--a fact explored in greater depth in the 2004 film "The Alamo".


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