Actors, Hispanics, and the Alamo

I came across this interesting article by the “Independent” that is written in the United Kingdom. This article by David Thomson is speaking of relevant American issues in many southern states, “Film Studies: ‘The Alamo’- it’s flopped again. And Here’s why…” It begins with the film industry when creating these films about the Alamo and their reactions from the audience. Multiple movies have been created like John Wayne’s version of “The Alamo” and two other films in the 1950’s that were favored from the audience.

This article has bias sprinkled throughout, but if you wipe some of that off one can see there are valid points to this article. The major points that Thomson is trying to make have to do with why these types of movies are not having such a positive response like they used to. He bases the problem on the actors who many are not culturally attuned with the character and have no background in the religion, nationality, or culture of these characters that are shown on the big screen.

Thomson points out a reason for this is due to not having enough A-list Latin American actors currently. We are at this transition when there is more of a Latin American population every year in the United States. Yet, what Thomson is saying is the representation in general for Latin Americans is low and that could mean in government and in film.

This article peaked my curiosity after a trip to the Alamo with my colleagues and from working there I have had time to digest a great deal of information. There are huge discrepancies in the John Wayne film that many are understanding today. Not only are there historical inaccuracies but there is also outright racism in some areas of the film against the Tejanos inside the town and the Mexican military. A change in the population of the United States has changed the ideals for many who want to be represented in the media and be represented in a positive light.

Creating a Micro-Documentary on this subject before if one looks at the most popular films that have to do with the Alamo. One will see this ideal, that the Texans are the hero’s and the Mexican military are the villains. To this day many Americans may feel the same sentiments but as time has passed people are beginning to look at this battle with an objective lens.

2 Replies to “Actors, Hispanics, and the Alamo”

  1. I would like to see an expansion on the idea of good guy versus bad guy mentality and also how films have impacted how people view history. I have not looked into this but I think it would a super interesting case especially with the Alamo

  2. Oh yeah, the Battle of the Alamo is such a polarizing issue. I think it’s almost impossible for filmmakers to avoid the ‘good guy, bad guy’ dynamic. Two films that come close are Gettysburg and The Free State of Jones, but even when they present the perspectives show the soundness of the beliefs of the characters, they still take sides. Even today in movies depicting Middle Eastern cultures, even thousands of years ago, they are unfair to them.

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