The story of the defense of the mission-turned-fortress by 185 Texans against an overwhelming Mexican army in 1836.The story of the defense of the mission-turned-fortress by 185 Texans against an overwhelming Mexican army in 1836.The story of the defense of the mission-turned-fortress by 185 Texans against an overwhelming Mexican army in 1836.
Now if you aren't looking at the film as fact and look at it from a film history point of view, it is an incredible film. For 1915, it is one of the best costume dramas made in America up until this time and Griffith always had a knack for filming spectacular battle sequences. The costumes look much better than you'd see in contemporary films, though I doubt if so many of the Americans wore coonskin caps. The Mexican troops were pretty appropriately dressed and the guns were not repeating rifles like I've actually seen in a couple films set in the 1830s (they weren't invented yet or those few examples that existed were very, very rare and were mostly only test models). The sets weren't bad, though the Alamo in the film looked nothing like the actual building and there were a lot of trees and bushes where there shouldn't have been any.
So overall, the film looked great and was highly entertaining for 1915. While not as patently racist as BIRTH OF A NATION (also 1915), the film is a mess historically, as many of the details of the film were wrong--though this is true in some later films as well.
By the way, you may recognize the man who played Santa Ana. It's Walter Long who starred in several Laurel and Hardy films and he was a rather prolific actor during the 1930s.
I actually found it one YouTube--chopped into pieces and shown in low resolution. Despite these problems, believe it or not, the sound track was excellent and the opening prologue which was recently added was very good--though I have no idea who the guy is who introduces the film. I also just checked and it's also available from NetFlix and if you are a member I suggest you try there first.
- Jan 19, 2009