Man From the Alamo, the (1953)

Man From the Alamo, the (1953)

“You’re not only a coward, Stroud — you’re a fool.”

When a soldier (Glenn Ford) fighting at the Alamo is randomly selected to check on families back at home, he is spared from massacre but branded a coward. After leaving a surviving boy (Marc Cavell) with a kind young woman (Julie Adams) in a wagon train, Ford seeks revenge on the bandit (Victor Jory) responsible for killing his family — but can he help the entire wagon train stay safe, and earn back his honor?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Budd Boetticher Films
  • Glenn Ford Films
  • Julie Adams
  • Westerns

Before achieving breakthrough success with the so-called “Ranown” cycle of films he made with Randolph Scott — including Seven Men From Now (1956), The Tall T (1957), Decision at Sundown (1957), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Westbound (1958), Ride Lonesome (1959), and Comanche Station (1960) — Budd Boetticher directed this solid western for Universal Pictures about a brave man unfairly accused of cowardice. There are definite parallels between Ford’s character here and another film he made the same year — The Big Heat (1953) — given that both protagonists are embittered men seeking vengeance after losing their wives; however, in this case, while Ford’s John Stroud temporarily pretends to be corrupt (siding with Jory’s gang for instrumental purposes), he never seriously goes down a path of moral descent. (He’s clearly meant for a future with beautiful Adams.) Russell Metty’s cinematography is lovely, and Boetticher keeps the action moving nicely, especially towards the unique ending; it’s nice to see women given a chance to shine in a western showdown.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Glenn Ford as John Stroud
  • Russell Metty’s cinematography

  • An exciting climax

Must See?
No, but it’s strongly recommended as another fine outing by Boetticher.


One thought on “Man From the Alamo, the (1953)

  1. First viewing. Agreed; not must-see – but Boetticher’s dependable direction helps a lot in making it solid entertainment and the script isn’t bad. It’s certainly a more engaging film than John Wayne’s later, central-focus take on the Alamo.

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