filming with Mitchel NC199 at The Alamo movie set

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filming with Mitchel NC199 at The Alamo movie set

by milletfilms » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:37 pm

It was very cool to film at the original movie set designed by Oscar winner Alfred Ybarra, where John Wayne, director John Ford, cinematographer Bill Clothier, rancher Happy Shahan and a collection of actors (including Chill Wills, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Linda Cristal, etc.) filmed The Alamo movie in the fall of 1959 in Bracketville, Texas. Yes, John Ford did direct some B-unit scenes for several weeks, even though Wayne was the official Director of the motion picture. (See some attached photos the Oct. 15th shoot at The Alamo movie set.)

It has been discovered through legal documents of the law firm Jenkins & Gilchrist in Dallas, Texas that Wayne raised an additional $1 million from Texas oilmen Clint Murchison Jr. and his brother John Dabney to get construction of The Alamo movie set back on track. Clint Jr. was the creator and original owner of the Dallas Cowboys, a Texas playboy who Wayne had known from the Del Mar racetrack and Del Charro club in San Diego, CA. Wonder how many starletts Wayne had to line up for ole' Clint in order to make that deal happen..? None-the-less, the Murchisons and their lawyers were insistent that Wayne be the "star" (Davy Crockett) of The Alamo movie (Wayne had wanted to play the small role of Sam Houston instead). The Texas oilmen also demanded that another Director film the movie, not Wayne. There is evidence that Wayne "stretched the truth to get the construction loan" telling the Murchison brothers that "Pappy Ford would direct the movie". So in a way, Ford did ... some. But he is not listed as Director in the Film credits. We filmed the Wayne/Texas oilmen scene at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, along with a meeting Wayne and Alfred Ybarra had with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who were going to block The Alamo movie from theaters in Texas if Wayne continued to produce The Alamo movie in Mexico. True events.

The oddest occurrence during filming with the Mitchel NC199, was at a battle reenactment in Kirby, Texas (Mexican soldiers vs. Texians). Very authentic costuming, with real Brown Besses, cannon, Bowie knives, shooting, etc. We were waiting to see some Gringos being killed... During production, Univision Television Network (now one of the largest and highest rated in the US) filmed a 2-minute newscast segment of what we were doing (the backstory of how Wayne filmed The Alamo movie). The segment was broadcast in Spanish on Sunday, October 15th to 2.3 million people in South Texas and northern Mexico. And an additional 2 million in the greater Chicago market. The Mitchell NC 199 got 30-seconds of air time (Univision loved the classic camera). And of all things, JOHN WAYNE (played by actor Jake Thorne) got another 30-seconds of air time! Don't let anyone tell you Hispanics in the US and Mexico don't love John Wayne ... just the opposite. I will post a link to the video of the Univision newscast later on this forum, as it was very cool to see a Mitchell NC promoted to million of folks in this manner. More to come.

BTW ... does anyone know of or have contact with the John Ford Symposium in Dublin, Ireland, part of the Irish Film and Television Academy?

William E. Millet
01- Alfred Ybarra sets up scene for The Alamo movie.jpg
04- filming scenes for Texas Before The Alamo at Alamo Village - Oct. 15, 2017.jpg
12- John Wayne directs scene at Alamo Village 15-oct-2017.jpg
01- Alfred Ybarra sets up scene for The Alamo movie.jpg