Skip to comments.Joseph Farah: Remember the Real Alamo
Posted on 04/08/2004 6:11:38 AM PDT by Theodore R.
Remember the real Alamo
Posted: April 8, 2004 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
"Remember the Alamo," was an American battle cry for generations.
Now Disney is trying to get Americans to forget the real history of heroic fight.
Disney's remake of "The Alamo" will be released tomorrow in theaters nationwide. Judging from a review of the script, the film will be a disgraceful deconstruction of Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Jim Bowie and other American heroes who "died with their boots on."
"The movie reads more like a Disney fairy tale and promotes a politically correct revisionist agenda aimed at destroying a traditional American hero," said B. Forrest Clayton of Freedom Alliance, who reviewed the script.
Clayton says he found it to be "full of inaccuracies." He says Davy Crockett is portrayed as a "frightened wanderer" who wanted to escape "over the wall" in the dark of night during the historic battle, but felt paralyzed and trapped by his own underserved heroic reputation.
Clayton says the film has Crockett captured, bound and executed on his knees after the battle was over, "even though the historical evidence shows that he was killed fighting, in the thick of combat, during the battle."
The group cites several historical witnesses who backed up the story of a heroic Crockett.
A statement by Freedom Alliance said: "The movie makers ignored these witnesses that corroborated Crockett's heroic death in combat and based his capture and execution in the film on a suspect portion of Jose Enrique De La Pena's supposed diary-memoir which handwriting expert Charles Hamilton proved was a forgery by John Laflin, aka John Lafitte, a prominent American forger of papers on American pirates and frontier heroes."
Disney also is criticized for portraying Gen. Sam Houston as a "venereal-diseased drunkard" and Col. William Barret Travis, commander of Texan forces at the Alamo, as a "deadbeat dad and serial adulterer."
In addition, says the group, Col. James Bowie, the Alamo defender famous for his knife-fighting skills, is portrayed as a land-swindling slave trader. The film reportedly has Crockett participating in a My Lai-style massacre in the Creek Indian War.
Freedom Alliance says in contrast, Manuel Castrillon, a Mexican general who attacked the Alamo, is portrayed as a "flawless, noble and brave hero."
A recent Variety article confirmed the film's perspective.
"'Alamo' is expected to deal with many of the historical complexities including the Mexican point of view that were glossed over in John Wayne's 1960 film," Variety reported. "Alamo heroes William Barret Travis' serial marital infidelities, Jim Bowie's slave trading and Davy Crockett's overall political incorrectness will also be addressed."
Richard Bruce Winders, curator of the Alamo museum, said movie viewers who expect a close remake of the classic John Wayne film will be disappointed. He calls the 1960 movie "real bad history."
"It's hard to believe that Hollywood would do a movie where there was so much historical information in it," he told the Associated Press. "If you're expecting a remake of John Wayne's movie, you're going to be pretty much surprised by what you'll see."
When I first saw the trailers for the new Alamo film, I got excited momentarily. Here was a chance for a new generation of young Americans, I thought, to get a glimpse of a piece of American history history that could make them proud of their heritage of freedom.
Then reality sunk in.
How likely would it be that 21st-century filmmakers would do justice to these all-American heroes? How likely would it be they could shake the grip of political correctness and play it straight? How likely would it be they could resist the temptations of deconstruction and revisionism?
But even with my strong background in covering Hollywood's moral and political abuses for years, I never expected "The Alamo" would go this far. I never expected Disney would lie. I never expected the filmmakers would just make it up as they went along.
That sounds like what Disney has done.
It's a shame.
And Disney needs to hear from Americans. This film needs to die a quick and unmerciful death at the box office. Don't go see this movie. Don't let your kids see it. Don't rent it. Don't buy the DVD or the video.
Still, I would like to see the film. The historical advisor to the film claims that it is mostly accurate.
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I went through exactly the same chain of thoughts after I saw the trailer. No way we'll come out of a Disney treatment looking good.
Like who? Anyone who knew Crockett in the fort was killed. There are no eyewitness accounts of how he died other than from the Mexicans, and those conflict.
Which is my point. There are no substantiated accounts of Crockett's death from any source. All such stories of his death postdate the battle by weeks or months or even years. The John Wayne account of is death is just as possible as this movie's account.
Well, for at least a goodly portion of his life (in Louisiana--my home state), Jim Bowie WAS a "land-swindling slave trader" (or at best, a "land-dealing slave trader"). But, as I understand the record, when he made the move to Texas, he had pretty much reformed, had conformed to Texas law, and had married the daughter of a Texas dignitary.
...but convincing the wife is another story!
It is true that Bowie was a land swindler in Louisiana. At one time, he nearly snuck through false claims that would have given him something like 10% of all the land in the state. It is also true that he was a slaveowner. It is also true that Sam Houston was a drunkard---and a remarkable man. He lived with the Indians (where his nickname was "big drunk") but like U.S. Grant, when he needed to be sober, he was a terrific leader.
Crockett constantly left his wife in search of adventure, as did Travis (who left his out of a need for money). But the evidence is under dispute as to whether Crockett was killed inside the walls or overwhelmed. He fought ferociously, and well. Whether he was captured is irrelevant. Most accounts suggest that Travis was killed in the opening minutes.
The Alamo was taken around 4-5 in the morning after CONTINUAL bombardment for days. The men were shell-shocked and most asleep when the attack started. All the pickets were overwhelmed. None of this in any way detracts from what these brave men did, or what they stood for. Crockett was a valiant congressman, fighting for the farmer and landowner. Bowie was a Mexican citizen who hated the iron hand of Mexico City. And Travis was equally courageous. I am sickened by BB Thornton playing Crockett.
I'm surprised Disney's sodomite loving tendancies didnt turn 'The Alamo' into a Broadway musical...with Santa Anna as a drag queen hero-heroine.
Why? I understand that the set is cardboard, plywood and Kalerfornee stucco. Need's a good wind to blow it all down.
Bump for the set in Bracketville, Texas.
Quotes from Tourist:
"I can't believe that they had a battle right in the middle of town."
"Low on food? They have restaurants right down the street."
Okham's razor dictates otherwise. A stronger probability automatically exists that Crockett went down swinging at mexicans as they stormed the walls simply because of the high frequency of this happening (it's how virtually everyone else in the fort died as well). The extreme complexity of the movie's version, by comparison, also diminishes its probability under the razor as it is contingent upon a succession of precise yet successively dubious events playing out in order, any one of which removed would alter that succession (1. Crockett survives the initial attack, 2. Crockett pulls back with a small group into the chapel, 3. Crockett survives the fighting in the chapel, 4. Crockett evades death at some location in the chapel for several hours until daylight, 5. Crockett is taken prisoner as the lone survivor, 6. Crockett is taken before Santa Anna where he is offered an unrecorded opportunity to have his life spared, 7. Crockett refuses that opportunity, 8. Crockett is ordered to be executed, 9. Crockett yells out an indisputably anachronistic late 20th century tagline, "I'm a screamer! Yeaaarggghhh!" as he is shot down).
Though the first two or three of these steps may have occurred, each successive one is more complex, more contingent upon the prior succession, and thus statistically less probable. By step 9 the statistical probability of it happening in light of the absence of any credible record that it did is virtually one in several million if even that, or otherwise negligible.
So no, non-seq, the new movie's account is NOT "just as possible" as the John Wayne/traditional account. It is only remotely possible, and as such substantially less possible, to the point of statistical negligence in the absence of credible and explicit records showing otherwise. It may be legitimately classified as (b) somewhere in between the other remotely "possible" though improbable death accounts of (a) succumbing to a sudden rapid case of Jim Bowie's illness in the final minutes of the battle and (c) being surrounded by invisible aliens on the verge of turning the battle's tide and getting bludgeoned to death by their light sabers.
The difference, of course, being that there are no written accounts of Crocket dying of typhoid, nor are there any written accounts of him being killed by invisible aliens. There are accounts of him being executed after the battle, and there are accounts of his dying during the battle. Since you weren't there then there is no way you can pronounce one version to be true and the other to be false. Unless, of course, the aliens told you.
You ought to, as long as you understand it's Disney, it's PG-13, and it's target audience is probably not too familiar with the Alamo and Texas history. I would like to think the DVD/Director's Cut will wipe away the flaws I'm about to complain about, but I doubt it.
They are going to overwhelm you with character flaws (boozing, adultery, etc.) to build up characters as quickly as possible so they can get on with the battles. Yeah, we all know Houston drank, that Travis liked women and left his wife, that Bowie had a mean streak , that Crockett was at times uncomfortable at how big his legend had become, that Juan Seguin was perpetually pissed that he wasn't at the Alamo. We don't need it thrust in our faces though.
Don't get me wrong, I would never claim that every man at the Alamo was a saint, or that David Crockett wasn't brave.
That brings me to David Crockett. They mention Crockett and the Creek Indian War, and the Creeks they killed in the house, but they don't tell you exactly why they killed them (it wasn't because some squaw loosed an arrow into somebody either), or that the Creeks were going to fight to the last man. They mention Crockett got booted out of office and Texas was a second or third chance for him, but don't tell you why he was booted (and why he was booted made him somebody even more worthy of respect in my eyes).
They'll tell you Travis slept around, but not that he supplied the men he brought with him out of his own pocket (that doesn't excuse his adultery before anybody flames me, but it does show just what kind of man he was when it came to fighting for Texas' independence). They did give a glimpse that Travis saw the bigger picture for Texas (which he did indeed).
I think I was most surprised at how well they built the Alamo set, and I was surprised they mentioned Bowie's marriage to Ursula Veramendi and her death, and how important that was to Bowie hanging around San Antonio. I'm kind of a fan of Bowie, and figured something like that wouldn't make it into a movie about the Alamo. I thought him being hell-on-wheels with a knife and killing well over a dozen men with one would be mentioned before his marriage.
As far as Crockett's death...the only agenda was to give the crowd what they wanted. The target audience doesn't want to see Crockett die like Travis. They want Crockett to run out of ammo, start swinging his rifle, and then mock Santa Anna to his face.
Nevermind the fact that just about any Mexican wouldn't be able to tell David Crockett from David Cummings or David Wilson (both of whom died at the Alamo as well).
I don't think it is all that well supported. While I don't believe Mrs. Dickinson's claims that he died outside the walls (probably destroying cover the Mexicans were going to use).., I don't buy most of the other claims.
As far as la Pena's diary, I think it's a clever fraud, and I don't think Pena would have known David Crockett from the other two or three Davids that died there. Most men died during the last assault, and odds are Crockett died with them, or in the build-up to the final assault.
Disney can romanticize his death and make it look like he mocked Santa Anna to his face, but it's pretty ludicrous.
Putting aside Bowie (who deserved the land grabbing/slave owning, pirate associating reputation that he had), the PC crowd won't tell you that the boys at the Alamo were incredibly tolerant, that they had no problem living with and fighting beside Tejanos. (It's pretty hard to ignore the names of the dead at the Alamo).
Later on, intolerant Anglo settlers unjustly gave early Texans that reputation, and the PC crowd jumped all over that.
Fiction has been known to write stranger things and there certainly are plenty of historical fiction accounts out there. But considering that YOU rejected the one account suggesting his execution, along with any other, when asserting that they were equally possible, so it must also be for the others I wrote of.
There are accounts of him being executed after the battle
Correction: there is one account reportedly written by a Mexican officer after the battle. That alleged account has no credible history of its location or existence prior to circa 1965 and is believed by many with strong evidence to be a forgery (the pages are loose and unbound, of different paper composition, and appear to have been cut into a uniform size suggesting it was written in succession and at the same time on collected blank scraps of 1830's era paper gathered from different sources). It is only slightly more credible than a work of fiction if even that. But since you yourself previously rejected its credibility along with all other accounts, you cannot attempt to reinstate it now that it has been pointed out through statistical probability that what you declared, viz.: different means his death are equally possible, is in error.
Since you weren't there then there is no way you can pronounce one version to be true and the other to be false.
No, and neither you or eye can ever conclusively prove that invisible aliens didn't kill him for that matter since no explicit and credible record of his death exists. I can conclude statistically that some theories have a substantially greater liklihood than others, and that some possible ways he could have died - such as the aliens - are so far fetched as to render them statistically improbable to degrees of less than than one in multi-billions.
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