John Wayne as Colonel Davy Crockett leads the futile defence in 1836 of the famous fort in the town of San Antonio, Texas, against the onslaught of the Mexican army.
John Wayne also directed this epic historical Western in his directorial debut.
Filmed on a ranch in Brackettville, Texas, where a facsimile was built of the actual mission that saw the most famous battle for Texas independence, this was less a pet project for Wayne and more of an obsession. Taking the role of Crockett only to secure financial backing for the project, he nonetheless adds weight to an already strong cast that includes Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey and Richard Boone.
The result, though historically sketchy, oozes poignancy and high drama while also allowing humour into the mix. The film is often sidetracked though with cliché-strewn subplots, and it seems to take forever to reach the spectacular final attack, which is the only exciting part of the film
Rumours of John Ford’s “helping hand” in the production vary – some say he directed around ten percent of the movie, others say he shot mostly unused second-unit footage.
Colonel David Crockett
Colonel James Bowie
Colonel William Travis
General Sam Houston
Captain James Butler Bonham
Lieutenant “Irish” Finn
Guinn “Big Boy” Williams