The Alamo - Roadshow Version (1960): Reconstructed in HD

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ALAMO ART for SITE
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1960
Original Running Time:
162
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
202
Time Cut:
0
Time Added:
40
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
This is the reconstructed version of the Roadshow with is 40 minutes longer in 720p and STEREO.
Intention:
To compile from the best available commercial sources a preservation of the 202 minute version of The Alamo and thus to recreate the famous TODD.AO Roadshow presentation.

This has the reconstructed Overture, Entre-Acte and Exit Music, using the correct music cues which are well documented.

A custom TODD AO credit, based on a still of the 70mm frame was also added.

The LAserdisc and VHS of the 202 min version were used as the editing reference.
Additional Notes:
The Laser Disc release unfortunately was only in STEREO despite the film winning an Oscar (and 6 other nominations) for its 6 Channel Mix. A custom re-created credit for the TODD AO process was also created. This presentation does not include ANY Fanedit, editor or other self-serving references out of respect to the importance of this film and the hope that the men in suits will restore it. Though the 70mm pristine print from which the Laser Disc and VHS were made has long since been lost (damaged to be precise) due to it mistreatment, many recent restorations from far more challengingly damaged material have been made. For those of you not familiar with this movie, it cost $2 million dollars back in 1960 (about 120 million today). It was produced and directed by John Wayne, a dream project he had long sought to make. The Alamo was shot in 65mm TODD-AO at 30fps, with Roadshow prints struck in 70mm to allow for the 6 channel audio. The film was then cut down for its theatrical release to 2hr 42min and the sole surviving 70mm print (discovered in Canada in 1991) was effectively destroyed after the Laserdisc and VHS was mastered from it in the 90s. Separation masters produced at the time have focus issues, and the surviving 35mm copies are missing the roadshow extra scenes. This edit combines the best of what there is, with some upscaling to 720p, edited in 1080p, and then mastered back to 1080 overall. Minimal sharpening was deployed in some of the recovered Laserdisc material. Although the VHS DOES have a surround track coding on it, syncing this to the whole movie proved to be problematic, and thus this is presented in STEREO only. This has been presented as a preservation, for educational purposes, journalistic comment and entertainment.
Other Sources:
THE ALAMO (Theatrical) - DVD
THE ALAMO (Theatrical) - BLU RAY
THE ALAMO (Roadshow Version) - LASERDISC
THE ALAMO (Roadshow Version) - VHS
THE ALAMO CD Score
OKLAHOMA - Blu Ray Todd AO Version
Special Thanks:
ArtisDead, Dwightfry & Inightmares
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
MAking of the TODD AO Caption video
Editing Details:
The Laser Disc was upscaled to 720 p, and the movie edited and rendered at 720p from the Blu Ray source intercut with the material unique to the Laser Disc. In some portions, the audio was taken from the Roadshow release on VHS which was brighter than the Laser Disc.
Cuts and Additions:
CHANGES: (Theatrical time stamp for insertions noted)
01: Credits: CUSTOM OVERTURE CREDIT
The logo credits of the Roadshow Cut are longer than in the Theatrical version and have been supplemented with a recreation of the TODD AO credit. 18 sec longer
02: The Roadshow begins with the "Overture" which lasts several minutes. 188 sec longer
03: After General Houston's flying visit at 10:20 The scene with old Jethro & Jim Bowie is longer; 135 sec longer
04: After mayor Segine's warning: 18:14 Col. Travis talks to his best friend Dickinson much longer. An awesome speech. 144 sec longer.
05: In the church basement: 49:33 The Theatrical version shows a short alternative shot of Crockett, Bowie & "Beekeeper" then it fades to black. Cricket and Beekeeper extra scenes 262 sec longer
06 : The next morning: 53:06 After Crockett, Bowie & Co. have left town "Flaca" walks down the stairs and takes a look around in the street scene 69 sec longer
07: Crockett, Bowie & Co. return to the mission: 53:54 "Beekeeper" and Bowie backbite the greenhorn Smitty 20sec longer
08: 58:10 After Crockett has left the room he walks up the stairs to Bowie where they have a little talk. 41 sec longer
09: Crockett & "Flaca" taking a walk: 1:05:48 The conversation between Crockett & "Flaca" is a little longer. 46 sec.
10: Flaca 1:07:29 "Flaca" asks: "Is that what love does, Davy?". 5 sec.
11: Enter' Acte: 11: Entr' Acte 1:16:47 -the Roadshow-typical "intermission". 244 sec.
12: After the "declaration of war": 1:18:28 Significant chunks of Crockett's and Travis' men handing out building materials in the mission and more. Meanwhile Bowie & Crockett visit Col. Travis & Dickinson. James Bonham gets some food. 278 sec.
13: After the night of drinking: 1:36:57 A troop from the fort finds a camp of the Mexican army. Some horsemen from the Mexican army realize this and team up with their comrades. During the shooting at the chase two men from the fort die and one gets wounded on his horse. Sue Dickinson comforts the wives of the two dead men. Mayor Segine and his men ride to the fort at night to support the men, Travis welcomes Segine & his men , Dickinson's daughter Lisas birthday is being celebrated Crockett's men have prepared something special – 537 sec.
CUSTOM ENTR' ACTE CREDIT
14: After the Mexicans' first great attack : 2:04:26 Beekeeper" informs Crockett that Parson was wounded. Crockett and his men leave the frame. 10 sec.
15: 2:04:47 At the doctor's office the next patient is being put on the table before he dies. 170 sec.
16: The night before the crucial attack: 2:15:30 A shot of the men sitting in the darkness. 17 sec.
17-20: Plus longer shots at 2:15:33, 7 sec, 2:15:37 , 5 sec, 2:15:40 , 6 sec, 2:15:43 ,6 sec.
21: 2:16:35 One of the man stands up angrily. 42 sec.
22: 2:16:35 Alternative shot:
23: The crucial battle: 2:23:07
24: another Mexican commander may induce the attack. 2 sec.
25: 2:27:34 The man killed on the wall hangs there a little longer.2 sec.
26: 2:29:24 edited differently than the Theatrical version. No time difference
27: 2:30:41 The badly wounded Crockett is lurching a little longer 5 sec.
28 Credits: 2:35:07 Roadshow-typical "Exit Music" at the end. 200 sec.
29 Custom Credit
30 Custom Exit Music Credit
Title Demo

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9.7
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9.4(10)
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9.9(10)
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9.6(10)
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9.7(10)
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10.0
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10.0
The quality is amazing. You have to watch it. I have the laserdisc of the roadshow version and this one does a great job of tweaking that video with the BD material. It is inexcusable that the studio has allowed the materials to deteriorate. They existed well into the home video era when the value of "catalog" titles became clear. Hawaii is another film where there seems to be no interest in producing a high definition version of the original cut, leaving us with just the laserdisc version. Considering some of the terrible films that seemingly have enough appeal to make them financially viable releases I do not understand the lack of interest. I have heard that one reason for this lack of interest in restoring original versions is that foreign language soundtracks for them no long exist, reducing their appeal in other markets.

User Review

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Yes
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N
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Overall rating
 
8.6
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7.0
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10.0
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10.0
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8.0
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8.0
I joined fanedit.org purely in pursuit of the roadshow version of The Alamo, and I must say it was a pleasure to finally have the opportunity to view this cut of the film. Wraith very competently mixed his upscaled laserdisc footage with the HD material from the other, abridged version of the film. The laserdisc scenes are rather beautiful, and are edited seamlessly with the rest of the film.

However, a few details marred my enjoyment. First, the audio was out of sync by 250ms and had to be remuxed. Second, the framerate of the HD footage was poorly converted, resulting in a skipped frame once or twice every 20-30 seconds--so the result is a bit jumpy. Now, it's not quite as bad as it sounds. I'm particularly sensitive to such things, and my brother couldn't even see it until I pointed it out. The good news is that Wraith says he's working on a new version of this edit which corrects those errors, and I'm looking forward to having a look at that in the future.

I would also like to submit my opinion that, being a preservation, it should strive to preserve the original as precisely as possible. This means: nix the added credits after the overture and, if you must credit yourself, it should be moved to its own card after the exit music has finished.

As for the film itself, seeing the roadshow version has convinced me that the shorter version is the superior edit. This version burdens the film with unnecessary scenes that were wisely cut. Their inclusion here results in a rather clunky affair that drags in places where the abridged version shines. If this is the version that most people saw during its initial run, it's no wonder that it under-performed. Nevertheless, it's a shame that it has been so maltreated and neglected over the years. It deserves to be preserved, no matter what I might think of it, and I'm glad there's someone like Wraith with us to take his precious time to do so.

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F
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Overall rating
 
9.4
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10.0
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9.0
This truly is a behemoth of a film, clocking in at about 3 Hours, 20 Minutes and it shows. Visually, "The Alamo" is quite impressive, with grand scale battle scenes and well-executed period details it's masterful how they were able to achieve the sense of scale without the use of CG. The production values for its time were quite high something akin to modern day event movies. I always loved the term "epic", whenever a movie was tagged with the "epic" tag, I knew I was in for a good time and this movie was truly an epic in the most truest sense of that word. A studio remaster would truly be a sight to behold from film preservation perspective, but until then Wraith's Edit is genuinely the best alternative out there.

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C
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Just wanted to add my own praise for this superb edit.

This was inarguably an 'event' film in its days and I'm pleased to say I've now experienced it as it was intended. At least as close as currently possible. I watched it projected, and imagined it was a 'reserved seat only' attraction as it would have been originally.

The Roadshow version of Wayne's epic is long so you need to make sure you've marked out the time needed to give it your full attention. Perhaps do as I did and use the intermission to take a decent break.

I'm neither a big Western fan nor a Wayne fan particularly but this edit definitely helped moved the dial in that direction. This is a BIG improvement over the shorter theatrical release. I think most historians would say the 2004 version wins out in terms of authenticity but this film, corny and preachy as it is in places, stands above that more recent effort in heart and scale.

Needless to say, they just don't make 'em like this anymore. When you're told Santa Anna's army numbers 7000 and you see it crossing the plains, it certainly looks like 7000 and not a single CGI pixel anywhere.

I'm no expert on the true history of the Alamo and I'm sure any criticism you can level at this movie for straying from the facts is warranted. But as an epic tale of legendary honour and courage this does hit the mark. The additional footage adds depth to the characters, their motivations and their politics, making the slow build up to the famous siege much more compelling and plausible than in the theatrical cut. The interplay between Crockett, Bowie and Travis is more fleshed out and this was the standout element for me.

Perhaps for that reason, I found it a lot easier to get through this longer version than I did the shorter. Perhaps the change in pacing alone is enough to remedy what previously felt like a slow first act.

Another thing that really struck me, is that its really hard to believe this was Wayne's first time as director. This truly is a massive production and he acquits himself brilliantly. He's generous with his supporting cast, respectful of the Mexican soldiers and the climactic actions scenes are spectacular and very well handled.

Enormous credit to Wraith for this preservation edit. Its pretty much seamless. The sound (Oscar winning at the time I believe) is excellent and the only indication you're occasionally watching deleted footage is a slight drop in visual quality. I never found this distracting, however, and it was a good way of knowing which parts of the story had been replaced. I found the religious discussion among Crockett's men a surprising and welcome addition.

Is John Wayne's Alamo a masterpiece? I wouldn't say so, but this preservation does move it into classic status. The director was clearly aspiring to greatness and when that director is John Wayne that's something any movie goer should give serious time to.

Here's hoping Wraith's efforts will help an official release become a reality.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Blu-Ray
Owner's reply May 14, 2023

Thank you so much for that. I regard this as my most important edit and grateful for your words.
W

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Great job and an enjoyable experience to watch. I wish the movie studios would come on board with putting the full version back together like this edit did.

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