Billy Bob's Filmography
THE ALAMO (2004)
John Lee Hancock
CROCKETT: If it was just simple old me,
David, from Tennessee, I might drop over the wall some night and
take my chances. But this Davy Crockett feller, they
are all watching him. He's been fightin' on this wall every day
of his life.
In the early spring of 1836, Texas settlers (both Anglo and
that they can no longer live under the tyrannical rule of
Mexican dictator General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (Emilio
Eccheverria) and kick
his army out of San Antonio. Sam Houston (Dennis Quaid)
campaigns to persuade investors to move to the new
frontier paradise of Texas and entices the legendary
frontiersman and congressman Davy Crockett (Billy Bob) to plant his roots in the new territory.
After losing his reelection bid, Crockett decides to take
Houston up on his offer. Little do Crockett and his Tennessee Volunteers realize, as
they arrive in San Antonio to stake their claim, that General
Santa Anna plans a massive military campaign against the Texas
rebels. Who is there to protect
them? Young, ambitious Colonel William Travis ( Patrick Wilson)
has just assumed his command at the near-derelict Alamo fortress,
and he is already at odds with the notorious James Bowie (Jason
Patric), who retains command of the few volunteer troops remaining in San Antonio.
When the Mexican army--some 2,000
strong--surrounds the Alamo, Travis, Bowie, and Crockett retreat
into the mission complex with some 187 men and begin the fabled 13-day standoff.
The rest, of course, is history.
What Billy Bob Gets To Do
He gets to play an American legend whose exploits have fired
the nation's imagination for nearly 200 years. Readily identifying with Crockett (a
fellow Leo), Billy Bob learned to play the fiddle for a couple of
key scenes. He sports exact
replicas of Crockett's clothing (right down to the meticulously
embroidered buckskin vest, the original of which remains on
display at the real Alamo) and defends one of the largest, most
impressive, and historically detailed movie sets
ever built (at 51 acres, it is currently the largest standing set in
North America). Director John Hancock has described
Billy Bob's Davy Crockett as the "heart and soul" of
the film, and the critics have agreed.
Here's Billy Bob's take on the subject as told
to interviewer Cindy Pearlman: "This film is fast
and fun, but you really learn about Davy Crockett, and all these
men who had very selfish reasons for going down to Texas.
Davy was actually a congressman from Tennessee. He was a bear
hunter. A wild man. He was a real complex guy who was open and
friendly, but who perpetuated his own stories and his exploits
in the woods to gain favor among the other men. He really knew
how to play up that good old boy stuff. When Sam Houston told
Davy about this new Republic in Texas and that it might need a
president, well, that was all she wrote. Davy went there with
political aspirations. But, the next thing he knew, he was
holed up in a fort with a ragtag crew, while the Mexican army
was raging outside. Ultimately, he had to become a legend.
To me, what makes him an interesting legend is the fact that
he's not just this macho guy. He was a man swept up by his
circumstances. It was a case of, "I guess I'll do what I
gotta do." And that's something we can all relate to
Both Dennis Quaid and director John Lee
Hancock are native Texans, with Hancock nurturing a lifelong
love affair with the history of the Alamo. The members of Planet Billy Bob gifted
Billy Bob with the
full Adventures of Davy Crockett TV series and feature films, as
well as a Davy Crockett pin from Disneyland and the full lyrics
to The Ballad of Davy Crockett (all 31 verses, folks!).
after principal photography was completed, Billy Bob joined Kevin
Page (who plays Crockett's right-hand man Micajah Autry) and
Robert Prentiss (who plays Alamo defender Albert Grimes), and Billybobapalooza site designer Little Sister Sage to get Alamo
flags tattooed on their backs. To see the results, click here.
the Billybobapalooza crew paid a visit to the set in Dripping
Springs, Texas, last year and watched the first wave of the thrilling,
final battle sequence
shot at night with flares, cannons, and gunflash galore, we
spent several hours hanging out with the Mexican soldiers.
The Mexican corps
drilled together and took their meals and breaks together well
away from the actors playing the Alamo defenders. When we asked
them about their uniforms, one of the soldiers explained that
General Santa Anna had greatly admired Napoleon and had emulated
the Napoleonic French soldiers' uniforms when he outfitted his
own army. One of the Mexican soldiers then piped up, to
the amusement of all, "Yeah, that's why we all look like
nutcrackers!" Then, Billy Bob arrived to chat with the
crew, all decked out in his rugged Crockett finery.
Everyone fell silent in awe. Like Davy himself, he simply
looked larger than life.
the film has not done as well as hoped at the box office
(perhaps if they had called it BAD SANTA ANNA, it might have had
a chance), but it opened to solid acclaim, and attendees
reported being deeply moved by the production and by Billy Bob's
Unofficial Alamo site, but highly informative
Alamo Sentry - one history buff's nice
Jo Blo preview of the Alamo movie
USA Today article
Moovees.com: Get a cute cow's-eye view of news about THE ALAMO
A nifty Davy
Crockett and the Alamo
A great site
on the Davy
Crockett craze of the 1950s
Of course, there are books. THE ALAMO: The Illustrated History of the Epic
(Newmarket Press), by
Frank Thompson and John Lee Hancock, features handsome
photographs from the movie (with plenty of Billy Bob). Frank Thompson has also
ALAMO, a novelization of the script.
In addition to Carter Burwell's score (available on CD),
audiophiles can enjoy Austin's legendary Asleep at the Wheel's
tribute album Asleep at the Wheel Remembers the Alamo,
which includes covers of the Mexican army's battle dirge The
DeGuello, The Ballad of Davy Crockett, and even a song about a
very different kind of assault on the Alamo: the night
when Ozzy Osbourne got himself arrested for relieving himself in
front of Texas' most hallowed monument.