Alamo, The (1960): John Wayne’s Dying Onscreen (as Davy Crockett)

In The Alamo, which he also directed, John Wayne plays Colonel Davy Crockett, a courageous man who turns up with 23 courageous men and die heroically for independent Texas.

His onscreen death was one of the few exceptions of the numerous heroes he had played.

The picture depicts how at the end of the thirteen-day-siege, Crockett is run through by a lance, then blowing up the remaining ammunition–and himself.

The graphic details of Crockett’s death upset many movie viewers and fans. One critic wrote that no additional impact was made by emphasizing so violently–in close-ups–Crockett’s death, impaled with a lance in his chest. And another critic observed in  similar vein “It is not how they died which is important, but why.”

Significantly, Wayne’s real mother never saw the second part of The Alamo because she could not tolerate the idea of her son being killed on screen.


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