WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Alamo, The

Reviewed In Issue 02 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Linda Cristal, Joan O’Brien, Chill Wills, Ken Curtis, Carlos Arruza, Jester Hairston, Joseph Calleia & Richard Boone

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 3.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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The supplemental documentary provides a fascinating insight into the challenges confronting Wayne as producer, director and star. I found the commentary on legendary director John Ford’s self-induction as a second unit director especially interesting as well as the collection of interviews on the production.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM
(Catalog Number): ML102581
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 202
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1960
(LD Release Date): 03/01/92
(THX® Digitally Mastered):

Credits Information
(Director): John Wayne
(Screenplay/Written By): James Edward Grant
(Story): NA
(Music): Dimitri Tiomkin
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Nate H. Edwards
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Stuart Gilmore, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): John Wayne

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.16:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo (6 track)
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Released in 1960, The Alamo received seven Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture, but the original roadshow version was lost. This widescreen boxed set of John Wayne’s The Alamo is the same transfer as the full-length (an uncut 70mm print was discovered in Toronto) 1990 release reviewed in Issue 2, but offers a new Dolby® Digital soundtrack. The movie is a courageous epic about 185 “Texans” banded together in a crumbling adobe mission for thirteen days to hold off the siege of an army of 7,000 Mexican troops in an attempt to ensure the independence of Texas.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture quality of the digital video transfer (2.16:1) is excellent, with just an occasional blast of negative dirt artifacts. The images are crisp and sharp. The color balance is excellent throughout and film-like in its naturalness. The final battle scene is spectacular with its haunting epic-like scope and dramatic portrayal of the human drama of hopelessness against the massive Mexican forces.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The recording style utilizes an aggressive stereophonic mix which follows precisely the action on screen. The dramatic music score of Dimitri Tiomkin is well recorded with excellent depth and spread in the stereo mix, particularly the Mexican army’s drum corp cadence which announces the pending cannon shots of the fateful battle.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: