The Alamo

The Alamo (1960)

33 mistakes

(8 votes)

Factual error: Approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes into the "restored" full-length video version, there's a birthday party for little Lisa Dickinson, and the Alamo defenders sing "Happy Birthday" to her. The Alamo battle happened in 1836. According to David Ewen's "All the Years of American Popular Music," the song "Happy Birthday to You" was composed and copyrighted by sisters Patty and Mildred J. Hill, first as "Good Morning to All," in 1893.

Factual error: After the first attack, Travis asked Dickerson to report the killed. Dickerson says "13 Killed." In fact no defender of the Alamo was killed until the last battle on March 6.


Continuity mistake: In an early scene Travis and Dickenson are in Travis's office. Travis goes to the mantel, gets a cigar and pours himself a glass of sherry. In a later scene, when Travis meets Crockett in the cantina he refuses a drink from Crockett claiming he doesn't drink, ever.

Visible crew/equipment: During the initial phase of the final assault, a row of men with their backs to the camera is shown. One of these men (right of the center, with a bandaged head) is actually a dummy positioned at the spot where the wall is blasted a few seconds later. (02:29:35)


Character mistake: In a conference with Crockett and Bowie, Travis states that Fannin in Goliad is preparing to relieve the Alamo and will be ready to "march south by the end of the week." Goliad is 90 miles south of San Antonio. To relieve the Alamo, Fannin would need to march north.

Other mistake: When Bowie and his men first enter the Alamo, Travis calls for the colors ceremony and the detail marches to the flagpole. One section is ordered to "halt", then the order "about face" is given. However, the detail does a "right face" instead.

Factual error: The movie's opening scene manages to get wrong almost every historical detail except the names. Sam Houston was never in San Antonio with Colonels Neill, Travis, and Bowie. Then-governor Henry Smith - not General Houston - made Travis a colonel (in December). Bowie did a lot of drinking and carousing, but that never caused him to be demoted or to lose a command. Bowie did marry into the Mexican aristocracy, and he acquired a lot of land, but it would have been ridiculous for Travis to therefore doubt his loyalty to the rebellion. Bowie was one of the rebellion's best-known firebrands and had just taken San Antonio from the Mexicans.

Revealing mistake: When Crockett, Bowie and their men are about to destroy the giant cannon, several of the men are standing right next to it at the moment one of them tosses the torch on the touch hole. Then, there's a big flash at the touchhole. In the very next shot, right before the cannon explodes, we see the cannon, but everyone has disappeared. There was no time for them to flee completely out of sight.

Other mistake: In the fight scene between Emil Sand, his henchmen and Davy Crockett in the street, it is very clear that it is not John Wayne fighting, but his double. Maybe Wayne could not fight, direct and produce at the same time?

Factual error: The last we see of John Wayne is when, mortally wounded, he lunges into the powder magazine with alighted torch and blows it up. In actuality, this was attempted by an Alamo defender named Robert Evans who was shot dead in the process of unsuccessfully trying to do just this.

Factual error: The mock-up of San Antonio de Bexar shows the buildings connected mostly along a single street, like towns in innumerable westerns. Actually, San Antonio was laid out with its buildings around plazas, in the Spanish style.

Plot hole: The morning of the final battle, the sun rises behind the mission, silhouetting a sentry. When the ending credits roll, the sun sets behind the mission.

Plot hole: At the start of the final battle, the Mexican artillery is lined up wheel to wheel, and fires the opening salvo. Apparently Newton's third law doesn't apply in Texas, because none of the cannon recoil after firing.

Factual error: The last battle is fought in daylight. In fact in was still dark out on March 6. By dawn all the defenders were dead.


Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The last battle started at 6:30 and the sun rose at 6:50, so when the battle started it was already getting light out.

Factual error: When Bowie first walks into the chapel, you can see all the way back to the eastern wall. By this time, there would have been a dirt ramp leading up to two 12-pound cannon that overlooked the wall. In the same scene, the doorway to Bowie's left is where the powder magazine would have been, and to the right is where the women and children were. In the movie, these uses for the rooms are reversed.

Factual error: Travis says he is married. Actually he was divorced by this time.

Factual error: When the scout comes in and describes a huge cannon the Mexicans have, there are actually two mistakes, one of continuity and one historical. The continuity mistake involves the powder horn the scout is wearing. When you first see him it is facing with the tip one direction. The scene then cuts to Bowie. When it cuts back to the scout again the powder horn is turned the opposite direction. The historical mistake involves the cannon itself. The largest cannon used in the battle was in possession of the Alamo defenders. Santa Anna brought only small field pieces on the winter march from Mexico. (00:30:00)

Continuity mistake: In the scene on the last assault on the Alamo, Mexican cavalry (in red coats) jump the palisade next to the chapel and are killed by a volley of musketry and their bodies are littered everywhere. Next time you see the area, however, the bodies have disappeared.

Other mistake: During the final assault, a man falls mortally wounded on a cannon wheel and shouts for Crockett to come over. Crockett is standing doing nothing with Beekeeper, in an action in where the defenders are largely out numbered. Shouldn't every man be fighting not standing around watching?

Davy Crockett: Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat - the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.

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Trivia: Lisa Dickerson is played by John Wayne's real life youngest daughter Aissa, who was 3 in 1959. When she had to say hello or goodbye to Davy Crockett, she kept saying "Hello Daddy" or "Goodbye Daddy." Her lines had to be dubbed in later.


More trivia for The Alamo

Answer: No, that's not him. Robert Mitchum has no part in this movie.


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