A long gestating passion project, John Wayne finally brought his film charting the 1836 battle at The Alamo to the screen in 1960. Wayne produced, directed and starred in the epic, even investing millions of his own money into the production.
Wayne took on the role of Davy Crockett in the film, with Richard Widmark starring as Jim Bowie and Laurence Harvey playing William B. Travis. Filming took place at a specially constructed Alamo set near Brackettville, Texas – a location that was subsequently used for many other western films.
During production of The Alamo John Wayne‘s friend and mentor, John Ford visited the set. During his time there, Ford often told Wayne what to do behind the camera, frustrating the star and first-time director. Wayne sent Ford shoot second-unit footage to keep him away from the main production – and next to none of this footage was used in the final film.
The Alamo was nominated for seven Academy Awards – winning for Best Sound.
Budgeted at a hefty $12 million, The Alamo would ultimately gross $20 million at the box office – barely coveting its production costs.