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May 2004, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 12 May 2004 17:00:09 EDT
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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"Peter C. Rollins" <[log in to unmask]>
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Debate concerning the Epic Failure of  "The Alamo" (J.L. Hancock, 2004)
to be continued November 11-14 at Dallas meeting of Film and History League
"The Alamo" is in the news, today.  Miramax Pictures, a division of the 
Disney Corporation,
has announced that this epic of Texas history has lost $100,000,000.  (It 
cost $140,000,000 to make.)  Given the current war in Iraq, one would have 
expected more interest—especially among the 18-26 year olds whom we are told are the 
repeat customers for money-making flicks.  How could such a serious attempt 
at a war epic fail in an era when the nation is again at war?  There seem to be 
many factors at play.
At the November conference on "War in Film, TV, and History," Frank Thompson—
expert on
the Battle of the Alamo and advisor to the film,  will participate in a 
special panel dealing with the
film—its virtues and its defects.  He will be joined on that panel by Jim 
Welsh (Editor of the
Literature/Film Quarterly) and John Tibbetts (scholar and writer par 
excellence).  This event will
be a special session sponsored by the Literature Film Association—which is 
meeting concurrently ,with the Film and History League.
For details about this meeting, see the Film & History web site:
       is the official site for the film and provides…
The Alamo Movie Synopsis:
From director John Lee Hancock and Oscar®-winning producers Mark Johnson and 
Ron Howard comes an epic motion picture event, the dramatic true story of one 
of the most momentous battles in American history. “The Alamo” is the tale of 
a handful of men who stood up for their passion and ideals against an 
overwhelming force. In the spring of 1836, in the face of insurmountable odds, fewer 
than 200 ordinary men who believed in the future of Texas held the fort for 13 
days against thousands of Mexican soldiers led by dictator General Antonio 
Lopez de Santa Anna (EMILIO ECHEVARRÍA), ruler of Mexico. Commanded by three men 
– the young, brash Lt. Col. William Travis (PATRICK WILSON); the zealous, 
passionate James Bowie (JASON PATRIC); and the living legend David Crockett 
(BILLY BOB THORNTON) – the Texans would sacrifice their lives for their beliefs, 
but their deeds at the Alamo would make history as General Sam Houston’s (DENNIS 
QUAID) emotional rallying call for Texas independence. The film is written by 
Leslie Bohem and Oscar®-winner Stephen Gaghan and John Lee Hancock.
Peter Rollins
Film and History League
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