The Road to Fort Alamo / La strada per Fort Alamo (Mario Bava, 1964)

Having recently received my copy of this new Koch release from I settled down to watch it this morning keen to see what Bava did with the western genre. I really enjoyed it, although I’m not sure for the right reasons. I don’t think its a very good western but it has its charms.

Anyway, I was moved to write a review which outlines my thoughts on the film. I’m keen to know what others thought. I assume I wasn’t the only one to make such a purchase recently.

Haven’t yet seen the the movie (or purchased the DVD)

Sounds a bit like one of those Audy Murphy westerns from the fifties
I’ll read the article in Giusti later today
If there’s any interesting info, I’ll mention it here

You’re right. It is a bit Audey Murphyish.

I also changed the synopsis on the film’s page by the way. Not sure if it had been lifted out of Weisser but it certainly didn’t match the film I saw very closely.

I liked it even though its not a great western and not a typical SW.

As you wrote its inspired by the old american classics, that is most evident in the fact that it deals with war against the indians something that SW seldom did.

I enjoyed this quite a bit. it’s “old school” soldiers versus indians, a nice story with some complex characters and the good old technicolor look. luckily, it’s quite short, too :wink:

I’m going to try to watch this one tonight. I’m going to wait to read your review until after I have seen it, Phil.

Watched it this afternoon
if i wasn’t watching it in Italian i could have been forgiven for thinking it was a U.S. western of the 50’s, also the soundtrack wasn’t very spaghetti like (although Morricone and Leone helped change the style of both the same year)
It was ok for a watch but nothing special, nothing that would make you suspect it was a Bava film either.
I’m not dissmissing the film because i thought it was alright but after all, this is Mario Bava here.

But as Seb said, clocking it at just over 75 minutes helped it rather than making the film seem too short.

Check out the cactus 25-26 minutes in :slight_smile:

I did enjoy it more than ROY COLT AND WINCHESTER JACK (which i saw when the image dvd came out, i’ve now another one in the Bava 2 boxset, so i will revisit again soon, is it any different to the image disc does anyone know?).

All i need to see now is NEBRASKA JIM then i would have seen all of Bava’s three westerns.

Just viewed this one.

Enjoyable enough but nothing great, and the short running time fits the film well.
Some of the sets were a bit on the studio side of things, but a nice quality release by Koch.

I pretty much agree with you guys here. Ok, traditional western in soldiers vs indians style. Yeah, if I had seen english dubbed version I could have easily believed it to be american production. One thing which adds the feeling is the lack of regular spaghetti faces. Some early italian/spanish westerns which still lack the spaghetti style usually have some regular faces to spot, Lorenzo Robledo, Aldo Sambrell, Raf Baldassarre etc. But none here.

just watched this tonight, and yeah, a decent western adventure with indians and all. it was fun to see Ken Clark (Mr. secret agent 077) in the west, but a bit to much uniforms for my taste. The siege in the end was well staged and exciting and i liked the short run-time. One of the lesser Bava-films for sure, but nice all the same.

Liked that one. More a Movie of the 50’s as of the 60’s. Bava copied the Style of old cavalry/indians western but missed the chance to create a create a new Western Style. Maybe it’s just not his Genre. It’s a pity cause he (if not he who else) could have created some gothic western or an interesting hyprid (as he did with Planet of the Vampiers or Hercules in the Haunted World). The movie is well photographed and one of the better pre-Leone Western. I’m not sure if there is a US western with a similiar storyline. In a way not bad but not good enough to be better than average.
I watched the Koch Media release and it’s again a wonderful DVD. :slight_smile:

Just finished watching this. Dismal copy US “B” westerns with very bad characterazion, wooden acting (especially Ken Clark, who did better in Ringo of Nebraska), awful music by Piero Umiliani (again!), fake-looking studio sets and some on the most supid ideas ever, like Indian cemetery located in the middle of the road or “un fiume di dollari” scene near the end. The scene where Clark was trying to escape during night but every scene with Indians was shot during daytime made me think of Ed Wood films. I could go on and on. Michel Lemoine was completely wasted in his small role. I wasn’t expecting to see a good movie… but seeing something that makes Roy Colt & Winchester Jack appear bearable in comparison… 1 star!

My favourite Bava western is Ringo of Nebraska.

Very straightforward film also but it has great photography, ok score and better acting by Ken Clark. Some scenes are terrible though… maybe they are the ones directed by Antonio Roman. :-\

I thought this one was pretty decent and the brief bar skirmish was far better than the countless bad fist fight scenes that are prominent in many of these movies. What I liked most was seeing US tough guy, Ken Clark, fresh off a stint as a great villain in two Maciste movies playing the hero here. The score was bad, IMO, but Bava’s trademark style is evident throughout. Not a great, nor overly memorable movie, but I’m not sad I bought it.

I loved it. There’s an interesting tension to the early Euro westerns which aren’t really spaghettis so much as cowboy movies. It’s always interesting to see how they deal with the Native American angle, which usually ends up looking like a bunch of grownups playing cowboys & Indians. And if you think about it that’s pretty much what western films are. Fans of Bava’s horror films will recognize several of his marvelous cinematic touches especially in the nighttime scenes, with figures being lit oddly while standing against a minimalist background that’s sort of difficult to make out. An English language dub might have helped endear it to wider audiences (Luminous has it under the alternate title Arizona Bill but I have only seen the Koch DVD) but I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than Roy Colt & Winchester Jack.

This early Italian western is not really a SW. Only a simple cavalry versus injuns film with all the usual cliches. The action scenes are quite lively, but there are also some pretty stiff scenes and some stiff dialogues too. Our lead is blessed (or burdened) with a Randolph Scott nutcracker face without reaching Scott’s hard compiled nonchalance.
At least the film managed to keep my interest for the complete short running time without ever becoming exciting.

It’s also one of the few Italian westerns which uses studio shots for exteriors. These are quite differently lighted, and are probably with their strong colors and shadows the only scenes in which Bava is recognizable as director. Only that they don’t match with the pale outdoor shots.
It’s also probably the only (is it?) Italian western which uses matte paintings to make the poor Italian locations look like Arizona by adding via the painting mesa like mountains. But only in 2 scenes, both filmed from the same angle.

$1000 on the Black (Blood at Sundown) also uses mattes for the same purpose in the long shots of Santana’s hideout fort but I guess Bava was the first to do it in a spaghetti.

a slight western and Mario Bava film but could have been directed by anyone. yes it does look more Amercian and has one of the most boring title songs i’ve yet seen in a spagheti western. a very short running film which helps as it is very ordinary with a couple of nice moments. forgettable, not one of Bava’s best.