Save The Alamo (1960).

I wanted to pass this message on from Toby’s westerns site. It’s a shocking state of affairs to say the least, and all of us who care about the movie, or just the legacy of cinema in general, need to pass our feelings regarding this along to the studio.

50 Westerns From The 50s.

alamo03_70mmprinttest

It’s hard to believe that John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960) is in danger of being lost. What’s doing it in? First, the natural breakdown of its original film elements. Second, MGM’s lack of interest in saving it, even if the public helped pitch in to pay for it. (If there was ever a reason for Kickstarter to exist, this is it.)

Read Robert Harris’ report on the elements and MGM’s crappy attitude here. And if a letter-writing or Facebook-flodding campaign gets going, hop on it.

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18 thoughts on “Save The Alamo (1960).

  1. Colin, thanks so much for passing this along.

    My mom was a Texan — she’d tear up at the mere mention of The Alamo — and she made damn sure I appreciated the bravery and sacrifice of those who died there. Obviously, she and Wayne saw it the same way. It’s one of America’s finest hours.

    As I see it, this is more than just the tragic loss of a John Wayne movie. It’s a pretty sorry comment on how we appreciate and recognize our history, both the real one and the cinematic one.

    As an American, a movie nut and a John Wayne fan, I’m appalled.

    • Toby, passing it along was the least I could do. I think you express very succinctly what’s wrong here. Movies are part of the cultural legacy and can be approached in different ways and on different levels. That a film like this should be allowed to degrade to the extent it has, and doesn’t look like being fixed any time soon, is a disgrace.

  2. Hopefully, it can be saved. The Duke really poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears into his “baby”. He also leveraged so much of his finances he had to work when he was very ill because he was concerned about his family’s future.

    • Yes, thanks for bringing that up, Garry. It’s often all too easy to forget how much hard graft went into getting movies made – another reason they deserve our respect.

    • As movie lovers, the best we can do right now is let MGM know (via Facebook, Twitter, etc) that the film is important to us and urge them to act.

  3. I’m pretty sure it was the first John Wayne film I saw though it’d be worth seeing it again, especially given it’s historical context. It’s shocking that a film, any film, leave alone a classic, can be lost in this tech-driven age. Thanks for the post, Colin.

  4. When you consider that over 70% of silent films have been lost for the same reasons, it comes as no surprise. The luke-warm critical reputation of THE ALAMO probably contributes to this stuff, which is a wake-up call to us; will the ever-changing value of particular films contribute to films being considered expendable?

    The period when silents were undervalued contributed to their loss, and the thirties films are rapidly going the same way…if this can happen to a Wayne picture, then woe betide the film lover.

    • Yes, good point. When we get to the stage where certain examples of our common cultural heritage are considered expendable we’re in a bad place.
      The neglect of a relatively high profile movie like this draws attention to how undervalued cinema as a whole tends to be. I do think of cinema as art and it pains me to see movies ignored simply because they’re not “in fashion” right now.

      • This is a sore subject with me. I’m a middling Wayne fan, but I’m a HUGE Tom Mix follower; did you know that out of nearly 300 films, EIGHTY PERCENT are lost? Tom Mix! The fact that we can see the posters for many of these films (look up Tom Mix: The Cyclone for a beauty) just rubs salt into the gash.

        Mind blowing and anger-making autrocity.

        • Yeah. I’ll hold my hand up and admit I’m not a huge silents fan, but that’s not the point at all. The fact these films were made, had and still have a following says it all. It’s not merely a matter of championing our own favorites – it’s a matter of championing the preservation of culture.
          The Alamo may not be everyone’s favorite film or Wayne may not be everyone’s favorite actor, but that’s really beside the point. Lack of respect for culture and heritage comes awful close to lack of self-respect, sadly.

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