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The Alamo (Soundtrack)

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Album Review

"'Republic' is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat." That's the sentiment of Davy Crockett (John Wayne) in The Alamo. Crockett goes on to equate the word's resonant quality with the moment when a man's young son "makes his first sound like a man," another highlight from "David Crockett's Speech," included on this soundtrack to The Alamo, Wayne's 1960 labor of love and box-office bust. Even if audiences didn't enjoy the film, they got behind Dimitri Tiomkin's score, which enjoyed a long run on the charts behind Marty Robbins' "Ballad of the Alamo" and "Green Leaves of Summer" from the Brothers Four. Of course, those are the pop entrances on the soundtrack. The majority is made up of a score that has its stirring moments (like "General Santa Anna"), but often drags along in an impersonation of the almost 200-minute film. The touches of old west/Mexican flavor are also relatively effective, yet completely typical and not very original. Fans of The Alamo or Wayne — who as Crockett contributes one other melodrama-steeped monologue — should find some interest in this soundtrack. But its hit singles are available elsewhere, and Tiomkin's score hasn't aged very well.

Customer Reviews

Beautiful, sad music for a beautiful, sad movie

Growing up as a teenager I loved watching John Wayne movies. I'm 22 and I love John Wayne. This music is all original as far as I can tell. Dimitri Tiomkin was a perfect choice to work on the war epic that was John Wayne's vision of that historical battle of the Alamo. Every piece of music in the film is in here. If you don't want to pay the 9.99 for this I suggest Tennessee Babe, Crossing the Line, and Green Leaves of Summer (track 18). I still suggest you get the full album if you want to get the whole movie-music experience.


I saw this movie when it came out in 1960 and soon bought the soundtrack. I have since listened to it countless times. It inspired me to write my 9th grade term paper on the Alamo for which I received exceptional praise from the teacher. The soundtrack should be purchased in whole. It includes the stand-alone singles by Marty Robbins, one of his finest, and one by the Brothers Four with their memorable single "The Greenleaves of Summer".
The work is the composer's finest. The battle piece fully exemplifies the magesty and tragedy of the doomed struggle. Best wishes that a new generation may come to appreciate this masterpiece.

A Soundtrack of Texas and Hollywood History

This soundtrack is one of the most iconic orchestrations in Hollywood history. Every scene is scored as if it is the climax of the movie. It fits perfectly with the grand tragedy of John Wayne's intepretation and it is difficult to image this movie without this soundtrack. It is a strange twist that Wayne wanted only to produce this movie, but financiers wanted his name all over it to help it at the box office, so he directed and starred in this translation of the events of 13 days in 1836. Dimitri Tiomkin was at the height of his creative best when he scored this film. It is a delight to have these tracks show up in a shuffle mode, but listening from beginning to end should be a requirement for every Texan on March 6, the day the Alamo defenders fell to the sword. If you are a Hollywood movie buff, history buff, or contemporary classical music buff, you will not be dissapointed.


Born: May 10, 1894 in Kremenchuk, Ukraine

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

It was once considered cute by Hollywood wits to poke fun at Russian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin's borscht-flavored accent. How amusing it was to hear him yell out "Switt lyand of lyaberty!" while orchestrating "The Star Spangled Banner" for Frank Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). A graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy (where he studied under the famed composer Glazunov) and a holder of both a law and music degree, Tiomkin exhibited a fondness for Native American music early in his...
Full Bio

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