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Heroes of the Alamo

Heroes of the Alamo(1937)

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Brief Synopsis

Filmed and produced in 1937 by Anthony J. Xydias as a Sunset Productions, Inc. film and distributed as such that year, Columbia Pictures Corporation purchased it in 1938, and sent it back out as a Columbia production distributed by the Columbia film exchanges, with all references to Sunset deleted. Columbia also prepared new posters, lobby cards and pressbook, and re-did the original cast listings, now showing Lane Chandler and Rex Lease top-billed with the original first-billed Earle Hodgins delegated much further down the cast. In the event of somebody knowing only the Columbia cast order and changing this one, the original correct cast order was; Earle Hodgins, Bruce Warren, Ruth Findlay, Lane Chandler, Rex Lease, Roger Williams, Lee Valainos (correct spelling), Julian Rivero, William Costello (as Willy Costello), Paul Ellis, Edward Peil Sr., Jack C. Smith (as Jack Smith) and Marilyn Haslett. Columbia couldn't change the story which in early spring of 1833, finds the smouldering resentment of American settlers in Texas against their oppression by Mexico dictator General Santa Anna/Ana (Julian Rivero) coming to a head. When a decree is issued that no more Americans may enter Texas, William H. Wharton (Jack C. Smith), firey head of a faction determined on independence or nothing, warns Stephen F. Austin (Earle Hodgins) that the time for half-measures is past. Austin, responsible for bringing the Americans to Texas as colonists, reminds Wharton that a settler's revolt against Mexico would dishonor his name and the arrangements he had with the Mexican government. He gets the "Whartonites" to agree to a general convention of all colonists. Almerian Dickinson (Bruce Warren), biggest land owner in the settlement of Gonzales, deeply in love with his wife Anne (Ruth Findlay), warns Wharton that a bloody revolt would endanger every wife and mother in the colony. He proposes they send Austin to Mexico City to ask Santa Anna to grant Texans a voice in their own government. After months in Mexico City of waiting to see Santa Anna, Austin is granted a mock interview and then arrested and thrown into a dungeon. In Texas, the months pass with no news from Austin and Wharton goes to work in earnest in early 1835 to fan the fires of revolution. Santa Anna decides to march troops north and finish off the rebel "gringos" - a description that only came later in the conflict - once and for all, and frees Austin to serve as an example. The Texans, under Dickinson and William Barrett Travis (Rex Lease), send the advance Mexican troops back across the border in retreat. Austin goes for help from the United States, and the Texans fortify themselves at the old Alamo mission in Bejar with Travis in command. And one February morning, his scouts bring news that Santa Anna is coming with an army of 5000 men. Anne Dickinson takes her baby, rides for Bejar(San Antonio), slips through the Mexican lines and joins her husband in the beleaguered fort to his mingled joy and horror. The Mexican troops storm the walls day after day but are thrown back by the 183 defenders. At dawn, March 6, 1836, Santa Anna orders the buglers to sound the "deguello" (No quarter) and the final assault begins.

Cast & Crew

Harry Fraser Director
Earl Hodgins Stephen [F.] Austin
Lane Chandler Davy Crockett
Roger Williams James Bowie
Rex Lease William B. Travis
Jack Smith William H. Wharton
Bruce Warren Almerian Dickinson
Ruth Findlay Anne Dickinson
Edward Peil Sam Houston
Julian Rivero General [Antonio López de] Santa Anna
Willy Costello General Los
Paul Ellis General Castrilian
Jim Corey Hank Hunter
SEE ALL CAST AND CREW

Additional Details

MPAA Ratings:  Premiere Info:  not available
Release Date:  1937 Production Date:  none available
Color/B&W:  Black and White Distributions Co:  Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
Sound:  Mono Production Co:  Sunset Productions, Inc.
Duration(mins):  74-75 or 80 Country:  United States
Duration(feet):  not available    
Duration(reels):  7    

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