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16th May 2005Zulu comes in at 8!
By Leigh tarrant
Very good - Nice to see 'Zulu' come in as high as number eight in channel 4's - The 100 greatest War films of all time, last night. Good too to see our mutual friend Sheldon Hall commenting on a few of the top films. Number 1 was of course Saving Private Ryan, Number two slot went to Apocalipse Now, and number three to 'The Great Escape'
All in all, good viewing....But hey - number eight lads' not bad not bad!!!!
16th May 2005andrew holliday
I was hopeful and worried at the same time but when it came on I was jumping up and down
16th May 2005Glenn Wade
Yes, number 8, good going indeed. Beating off the likes of Gladiator, Enemy at the Gates and many other gooduns. Although I must question the reliability of a War film program where Waterloo, War and Peace, The Alamo, All of The Four Feathers and Zulu Dawn do not warrant even a mention in the top hundred!!!!! Something wrong there certainly!

All the best lads

17th May 2005Chris
I dont think very many of those films are aired on tv. I havent seen Zulu Dawn on my local tv listings since the late 1990's. Which Alamo, 2004 or 1960?
17th May 2005Arthur Bainbridge
the 1960 Alamo is a classic, watch the restored roadshow version its a much better than the version usually shown on tv, over 50 minutes added footage
17th May 2005Coll

I had a copy of the 1960 version of the Alamo several years ago, which included a lot of scenes there hadn't been before, including, if I remember correctly, an intermission, which showed a view of the Alamo and played the well-known tune from the film.

Is that the version you mention above ?


PS. Unfortunately, I no longer have this copy, as I gave it to somebody else.

Now that I think about it, I don't know why I didn't hold on to it.

Additionally, what did you think of Laurence Harvey's portrayal of Travis ?
17th May 2005Coll
Further to the above.

If you are interested, 'A Time to Stand' by Walter Lord, has a fantastic double-page foldout at the front of the book, showing a very detailed illustration of the whole Alamo.

I no longer have that either.

What must I have been thinking ?

Definitely a moment (or 2 ) of madness !

PS. I'm sure that it the book it is in. Can anyone confirm this ?
17th May 2005Glenn Wade

I assume that you do not live in the UK as all the films that I have mentioned have been aired in the last year or two. Neither versions of 'The Alamo' were in the top 100 and others that also missed out were 'The Patriot' (Historical Toilet Paper but still a great film), 'Gettysburg', 'Gods and Generals', 'Austerlitz', 'Culloden' by Peter Watkins and I bet there are others. I suppose that this program was mainly aimed at the general public but when the likes of 'Cromwell' have a mention and 'Waterloo' doesn't, I think there is certainly something amiss!

Cheers for now

17th May 2005Sheldon Hall
Disclaimer to the fore: it should be said that, despite my participation in the prog (which I haven't seen yet), I had no hand whatsoever in drawing up the initial list of films (about 150 or so), the final shortlist or the placing of the 'winners'. A friend and I came to the conclusion that we could between us easily draw up an alternative '100 Greatest' which included none of those in the programme! Which is not, of course, to dispute the right of many of those films which were included to be there. But you have to wonder who voted for ESCAPE TO VICTORY...

18th May 2005Leigh Tarrant
Escape to Victory!!! It was me!!!
18th May 2005Arthur Bainbridge
Hi Coll, yes that is the version of the alamo i have, you were mad to throw it away.I thought Laurence Harvey was reasonable nothing outstanding, he played Travis as a martinet to spark reactions between himself and Jim Bowie, all i can say is that it works in the movie.You came across well on the TV Sheldon I can see hollywood agents signing you up as the new Michael Caine in the Zulu remake.
18th May 2005Coll

I'm thinking that the 1960 version of the Alamo is thought of by Alamo enthusiasts, the same way the film Zulu is thought of by AZW enthusiasts, even with any inaccuracies it may contain, it probably is their favourite film.

18th May 2005Coll
Further to the above.

For all I no longer possess the 'special edition' of the 1960 Alamo film, I did buy the more well-known version of the same film, without the extra scenes, etc., last year.

This year I purchased the modern version of the Alamo with Billy Bob Thornton.
18th May 2005Sheldon Hall
Thanks, Arthur! But I rather doubt that instant celebrity will come my way. In London on Monday, while I was being served in a second-hand bookshop, I the two proprietors were complaining about the "young" so-called "critics" that appear on such progs, without betraying the slightest flicker of recognition that I was one such (though they referred in passing to a movie I'd been talking about). Later that day, at a special 50th anniversary screening of THE DAM BUSTERS at the National Film Theatre, I sat next to someone who started telling me about the prog and actually recounted something I'd said (favourably this time), again with total non-recognition even after I'd mentioned my name! So much for overnight fame...

Re. the long version of THE ALAMO. You can probably still track this down on oop VHS or in a laserdisc (remember them?) box set, but it's never been released on DVD. This was the premiere version, rarely seen and long thought to be lost forever until a single, complete 70mm print turned up in a garage in Canada. This was used for the video transfer, but it has been seriously damaged by MGM/UA and is now in need of drastic and expensive restoration - presumably the reason why there is no DVD of it. Fingers crossed that Sony, which recently purchased MGM/UA, will come up with the goods.
18th May 2005ArthurBainbridge
how soon the public forgets Sheldon fame is such a brief feeling, just hang on in there
hows the book going
19th May 2005Sheldon Hall

Editorial and design work on the book continues and should be completed very soon. Plan is now to publish by end of July, as noted on the revised publisher's website at