A new movie set to open this weekend entitled “The Alamo” is filled with revisionist history and political correctness, claims a pro-military nonprofit organization.
Billy Bob Thornton stars in ‘The Alamo’ (Touchstone Pictures)
In a statement, Freedom Alliance slammed Michael Eisner and Walt Disney Pictures, the film’s maker, for rewriting history in the movie, which is scheduled to open April 9.
“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, a Freedom Alliance visiting fellow.
Clayton says he obtained a screenplay of the film and 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.
An unofficial website for the film calls it “a 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 Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna.”
Freedom Alliance 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.”
1955 comic book: Fess Parker in Walt Disney’s Davy Crockett at the Alamo
The group cites several historical witnesses who backed up the story of a heroic Crockett.
Said the group’s statement: “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.”
“Heroes such as Davy Crockett must be vigorously defended by all patriotic Americans in the culture war. They represent Western culture. To sit back and allow them to be desecrated is an injustice to American students and a recipe for disaster for the future of the country,” concluded Clayton.
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 moviegoers who expect a close remake of the John Wayne “Alamo” film will be disappointed. He says the new movie is more accurate and calls the 1960 classic film “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.”
The movie is directed by John Lee Hancock. It stars Billy Bob Thornton, Dennis Quaid, Emilio Echevarr?a, Patrick Wilson and Jason Patric.