Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Last Night at the Alamo

The Alamo is a Huston drinking hole, destined for demolition in the path of condos. Part of the melancholy undercurrent of Pennel’s archetypically regional film is that the last night seems little different from any other, its regular Joes held in check by resignation and lack of self-belief. Cowboy (Davis) is the only one apparently willing and able to fight the Man, but under beneath his desperate charisma, raised expectations can only increase the hopelessness. Next to no budget, well-judged direction and an appealingly naturalistic cast give veracity to the blue collar lives, unfolding to the perfect rhythm of an evening’s drinking, full of unimaginative profanity, gripes about the auto shop, work and wives, as time slips away and drunkenness creeps gradually on to expose pipedream aspirations and feet of clay. The last stand is quite profoundly sad: a grin and a fancy hat can get you only so far.

d Eagle Pennell p/ed Kim Henkel, Eagle Pennell sc Kim Henkel ph Eric Alan Edwards, Brian Huberman ad Fletcher Mackey m Wayne Bell, Paul Cox, Chuck Pinnell, John Sargent cast Sonny Carl Davis, Lou Perryman, Steven Mattila, J. Michael Hammond, Henry Wideman, George Pheneger, Earnest Huerta jr, David Schied, John Heaner, Kim Henkel
(1983, USA, 80m, b/w)
posted by tom newth at

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