Boggs Unleashed

Forget The Alamo

Remember The Last Command. 

Remember The Last Command. 

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Everybody has been talking about Alamo movies this year, but they keep forgetting the best of the bunch.

Actor Fess Parker’s death led every Baby Boomer who got a coonskin cap to recall the legendary 1955 Walt Disney production about Davy Crockett. I always thought Fess was underrated as an actor (remember him in 1954’s Them!), and he sure knew how to make good wine.

Of course, this year marking the 50th anniversary of the release of The Alamo brought up many retrospectives about John Wayne’s train wreck of a film.

That movie was in the news for other reasons too.

In Brackettville, Texas, Alamo Village—the movie set that became a tourist stop—was closed to the public after the deaths last year of “Happy” Shahan’s widow and daughter. Shahan had lured Wayne to his ranch to film the movie there, and he kept the set open for movie companies and tourists. (The set was reopened to tourists this past summer for three days a week.)

Then Robert A. Harris got press for his efforts to save the “Roadshow” version of The Alamo that debuted in San Antonio in October 1960. Wayne later cut 31 minutes out of the 192-minute movie, and...

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