In "Not Thinkin' . . . Just Rememberin'" . . . The Making of John Wayne's THE ALAMO, author John Farkis brushes back the sands of time to unearth a rare event in Hollywood history and a patriotic, inspiring tale of true Texas folklore brought to life on the big screen with John Wayne as the legendary Davy Crockett.
As told in the words of those who were there, actors, actresses, crew members, extras, wranglers, and stuntmen share anecdotes and observations of their time on the sets. Drawing from published and unpublished sources, period newspapers, magazines, and over a hundred new interviews, this richly researched and highly detailed work weaves magical memories into an exciting and informative story that finally sets the record straight on the struggles John Wayne faced: his financial issues, a murder on the set, independent financing, producing, directing, and starring in a film of historical proportions, and veteran Academy Award-winning director John Ford’s involvement. You are there with John Wayne, Laurence Harvey, Richard Widmark, and John Ford amid their day to day journeys from the film’s inception in the 1940s to the mind-boggling premiere in 1960; the infamous 1961 Oscar campaign; and the 1990 discovery of the “lost” print in Toronto. This book provides not only an educational view of the filmmaking process but also offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the making of the epic masterpiece. More than 600 pages, including an Introduction, 37 chapters, an Index, 8 appendices, and more than 110 illustrations of characters, behind-the-scenes filming, set construction, and cut and unused scenes.
About John Farkis: A retired joint-venture vice-president and director of operations of a fortune 100 company, Farkis is also the author of Alamo Village: How a Texas Cattleman Brought Hollywood to the Old West.
"NOT THINKIN’…JUST REMEMBERIN’…THE MAKING OF JOHN WAYNE’S THE ALAMO is a monumental 1,000 plus page history of Wayne’s “Alamo” told in the words of those who were there. John Farkis has been gathering anecdotes, information and observations about the making of “The Alamo” since 1977, drawing on over 100 personal remembrances, published and unpublished sources, period newspapers and magazine articles. It sets the record straight on Wayne’s financial issues, a murder on the set, John Ford’s involvement and so much more. Farkis provides an almost day-by-day accounting of the filming from its inception in the ‘40s on through an infamous ‘61 Oscar campaign and the 1990 discovery of the thought-lost print in Toronto, Canada. Supplemented by 107 photos, many never before published."
- Western Clippings
“Running over 1000 pages, this massive volume chronicles the bumpy history of 1960’s THE ALAMO – a dream project for its star, producer and first-time director John Wayne – often told by those who experienced this gargantuan production firsthand. Recreating the 1836 Battle of the Alamo (in which Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and a handful of patriots battled overwhelming Mexican forces in the name of Texan independence), The Duke bet that personal passion would trump any filmmaking inexperience on his part, but nothing went smoothly for this heartfelt celebration of heroism and sacrifice. There were false starts which spanned a decade, Wayne reluctantly agreeing to play the starring role, a continually-revised script by a longtime scriptwriting (and drinking) buddy, escalating costs, plus The Duke’s personal financial woes. In addition to profiles of its actors, stuntmen, crewmembers, plus recollections from extras and local laborers, author Farkis takes us through the construction of Alamo Village, raising capital from affluent businessmen, injuries and a cast member’s murder, Wayne’s tensions with co-star (and New York City liberal!) Richard Widmark, John Ford nosying about the set, plus the technical obstacles of shooting in Bumfuck, Texas (technically Brackettville, 125 miles west of San Antonio), such as lodging, feeding and hydrating a 2000 person crew. Most amusingly, The Duke ends up whining that nasty left-wingers led to THE ALAMO’s Oscar snubbing; in truth, it’s simply because he made a clumsy, bloated war film with a ham-handed message. This is an absorbing, meticulously researched account of one of the most divisive films of that era.”
-- Shock Cinema