A silly farce that has a balanced number of laughs and dull moments as Ustinov, a blundering Mexican general, organizes an army and invades the Alamo. This is not, however, 1836 but 1969, and for most Texans the Alamo has become sacred ground. Under the pretense of marching in a George
Washington's Day parade, Ustinov's unarmed troops "storm" the fortress. Not surprisingly they find little opposition. Ustinov is proud of himself, having finally proven his worth as a soldier (like his father and grandfather) and as a man. He hopes that this will be enough to win back his fiancee.
When confronted by authorities, Ustinov refuses to give up his stronghold. The head of the National Guard--the dunderheaded Winters, who earns a living as a used-furniture salesman and complains that he saw no action in WW II because he was too busy changing fluorescent lights in a camp--is called
in. Meanwhile, inside the Alamo's walls, Ustinov takes a couple of prisoners: Tiffin, a tour guide, and Ghostley, a raving anti-Communist. Tiffin grows sympathetic to Ustinov, but Ghostley has ideas of her own. She gets in touch with her nephew, Mars, who heads a paramilitary neofascist group
called The Sentries. Outside the walls of the Alamo, confusion reigns as everyone--Morgan, Wynn, Winters, and The Sentries--tries to implement his own plan of attack. A mere 24 hours after raising the Mexican flag over the Alamo, Ustinov leads his troops quietly back to their own country. Since
Texans hold an undying reverence for the Alamo, it should come as no shock to learn that many extremists opposed even a satirical, fictional takeover. During filming one crazed defender of the Lone Star state was hauled away by police after waving a rifle and promising to shoot anyone who raised
the Mexican flag over the Alamo. Another group of patriots felt that by slashing the film crew's power cables it was performing a national service. The production survived the patriotic conspirators, however, and still managed to poke lighthearted fun at both Texans and Mexicans. Mexico proceeded
to ban the film, incidentally, proving that even the Texans were better at taking a joke.
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- Rating: G
- Review: A silly farce that has a balanced number of laughs and dull moments as Ustinov, a blundering Mexican general, organizes an army and invades the Alamo. This is not, however, 1836 but 1969, and for most Texans the Alamo has become sacred ground. Under the pr… (more)