The Alamo - Roadshow Version (1960): Reconstructed in HD

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I joined fanedit.org purely in pursuit of the roadshow version of The Alamo, and I must say it was a pleasure to finally have the opportunity to view this cut of the film. Wraith very competently mixed his upscaled laserdisc footage with the HD material from the other, abridged version of the film. The laserdisc scenes are rather beautiful, and are edited seamlessly with the rest of the film.

However, a few details marred my enjoyment. First, the audio was out of sync by 250ms and had to be remuxed. Second, the framerate of the HD footage was poorly converted, resulting in a skipped frame once or twice every 20-30 seconds--so the result is a bit jumpy. Now, it's not quite as bad as it sounds. I'm particularly sensitive to such things, and my brother couldn't even see it until I pointed it out. The good news is that Wraith says he's working on a new version of this edit which corrects those errors, and I'm looking forward to having a look at that in the future.

I would also like to submit my opinion that, being a preservation, it should strive to preserve the original as precisely as possible. This means: nix the added credits after the overture and, if you must credit yourself, it should be moved to its own card after the exit music has finished.

As for the film itself, seeing the roadshow version has convinced me that the shorter version is the superior edit. This version burdens the film with unnecessary scenes that were wisely cut. Their inclusion here results in a rather clunky affair that drags in places where the abridged version shines. If this is the version that most people saw during its initial run, it's no wonder that it under-performed. Nevertheless, it's a shame that it has been so maltreated and neglected over the years. It deserves to be preserved, no matter what I might think of it, and I'm glad there's someone like Wraith with us to take his precious time to do so.

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