During the Alamo siege, John Stroud is sent to Ox Bow to protect the townsfolk but, following a massacre, he infiltrates Jess Wade's gang of turncoat renegades supporting the Mexicans.During the Alamo siege, John Stroud is sent to Ox Bow to protect the townsfolk but, following a massacre, he infiltrates Jess Wade's gang of turncoat renegades supporting the Mexicans.During the Alamo siege, John Stroud is sent to Ox Bow to protect the townsfolk but, following a massacre, he infiltrates Jess Wade's gang of turncoat renegades supporting the Mexicans.
It's another of those lame historical fiction stories that would be at least tolerable if the names and places had been changed to protect the innocent. In fairness, the film would have been easier to take back in 1953, a couple of years before Fess Parker and later John Wayne told slightly less fictional Alamo stories and established lasting mental pictures of the event and the participants.
"The Man From the Alamo" is probably most noteworthy for its overuse (and misuse) of "day for night" filming. There are endless "day for night" scenes with many among the worst examples I have ever seen. One camp scene is so underexposed (to simulate nighttime darkness) that it's just five minutes of disembodied voices. The scenes at the Alamo itself are lame sound- stage stuff.
Also amusing are the sequences of the wagon train traversing the same California valley in scene and scene (the high hills in the background and the dry valley just don't square with the alleged East Texas location).
While Boetticher was normally excellent at pacing, in "The Man From the Alamo" he dissipates the tension way too early and the film drags along to an unexciting (snore) ending. The wily renegades turn out to be totally inept cream-puffs and the viewer is left waiting for a tactical surprise that never happens.
The story opens with John Stroud (Glenn Ford) as part of the Alamo's garrison. We never meet General Santa Anna but there are brief scenes with Travis, Crockett, and Bowie. Stroud and his group draw lots to see which one will leave the Alamo to protect their ranches and families from a band of renegades. But he arrives too late and finds all the ranches have been burned and most of the families killed.
Since no one at the Alamo survives, Stroud is labeled a deserter and is about to be lynched in the first town he enters. But the renegades attack the town and Stroud infiltrates their merry little band led by Jess Wade (Richard Jory) so that he can get revenge.
There is not much challenging acting required although Neville Brand is quite effective as one of the Renegades. Hugh O'Brien gets a lot of mock fest moments as a kind of combo of George Custer and Kit Carson; complete with a tight buckskin costume.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
- Sep 3, 2007