Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of finishing post and releasing my 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.


Week 127: The Man from the Alamo


The Man from the Alamo is neither Budd Boetticher’s best work nor one of the best films made about Alamo history but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching.

The film uses historical events, the titular battle of course, and the lead up to San Jacinto to weave a familiar revenge tale with fictional hero John Stroud. From limited research this morning, I have been able to find no record of an actual man name Stroud who left the Alamo so I assume this character is completely invented by the studio, though for the record there seems to be a Stroud who fought with Houston later on. The set up for this narrative is very good and I actually longed to see more of the Alamo battle because the cast for Travers, Bowie, etc. are quite good. I also like the way Boetticher handles the tragedy with Ford’s family and the friendship he has with the Mexican boy.

However, when the film settles into the revenge plot with Neville Brand, it gets a little dull. I hoped that Boetticher would explore more the psychological side of Stroud’s reputation as a coward but few scenes really focus on this. In the hands of Delmer Daves, the film might have leaned more in that direction. I will say that it never gets too dull and that the action sequence at the end nearly makes up for any weaknesses this Western might have. The stunts are thrilling and some of the shots, that clearly feature the actual Ford riding, are magnificent.

Also, I could watch any movie with Julie Adams, good or bad. She is one of the most beautiful women who ever graced the silver screen.

Watched on YouTube.