Monday, November 7, 2016

Lost Film Photo: The Immortal Alamo (1911)

Rare still from The Immortal Alamo, published in Cyclopedia of Motion-Picture Work (1914).

Usually the movie stills featured in Lost Film Photos are of much higher quality, but then again, the films featured are not usually quite as old as this one. When The Immortal Alamo was made in 1911, there were still some folks alive who actually remembered the Alamo. Produced by Gaston Méliès for the American branch of Star Films, the one-reeler featured Francis Ford in one of his earliest roles, as well as one hundred cadets from the Peacock Military Academy. Shot on location in Texas, the film boasts of its historical accuracy, but existing magazine pictures show that while some of the scenes look to be shot outdoors, others are in front of painted backdrops. The storyline, centered around a romance, is also a work of fiction. The film, if found, could still be an interesting history lesson, even if only a lesson in how early filmmakers treated historical subjects. No prints, however, are known to exist. Keep in mind that many lost films from this era have left no ephemera behind, so we're lucky to have these stills at all. You can see more of them and read a novelization of  The Immortal Alamo in The Motion Picture News.