- Movie Rating -

Last Night at the Alamo (1984)

| July 6, 1984

I really struggled with Last Night at the Alamo, because I know that this movie was made with a little passion and with a lot of first-hand experience.  But in the end, I could go with it.  Its to amateurish, too badly acted, too stagey.  The material is here, but the execution feels desperately out of whack.

The movie is kind of a low-rent “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” featuring the patrons of a dying Texas bar named The Alamo, which has a fairly close appointment with a wrecking ball.  On its last night in operation, the regular and a few stragglers wander through to reminisce, drink and open up about themselves and their lives.  They all have various problems.  Ichabod arrives just looking for one last good time and perhaps to patch things up with his abused girlfriend Mary.  Then there’s Claude, who has apparently used the Alamo as an escape from a wife who dislikes his lifestyle.  And there’s Cowboy who hasn’t been around lately because he’s been trying to save The Alamo with the help of a friend that he knows in politics.

As the night goes on, people come and go.  Some people leave to head up the road to “The B&B,” a much more upscale place that doesn’t have the gutter aesthetic that is putting The Alamo out of business.  As the night wears on, the patrons get drunker and the truths start to come out.  Some are welcomed and at least one leads to a bar fight.  By the end, we can see it coming and The Alamo’s fate is finally sealed.

I pulled myself up to this movie.  I was ready to really get into something special, but I was always at a distance.  I felt for these people who seemed cheerful at the beginning and darker by the end as the proceedings got soaked in alcohol.  But I just couldn’t get involved.  Something about the actors seems a bit distant.  Something feels wooden in their performances.  I always sensed that they were reading from the page.  But I know that they were game, I know their hearts were in it.  I just couldn’t join them. 

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Drama