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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Classic Texas movie remastered

The classic Eagle Pennell film, “Last Night at the Alamo,”will be shown in its fully remastered glory in the Rudder Forum on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016 at 7 p.m. This event is being hosted by the Film Studies Department in the College of Liberal Arts. Following the film, Sonny Carl Davis, the lead actor in the movie, will be on hand to answer questions from the audience.


The film premiered in 1983 at the New York Film Festival. It later traveled to the Berlin and Telluride Film Festivals before earning the Special Jury Prize at the U.S. Film Festival in Park City, Utah which was the precursor to the Sundance Film Festival.  


After the film’s initial success, a series of circumstances caused the film’s reels of negatives to fall into a serious state of disrepair. When Pennell died in 2002 film restorer Mark Rance said  it would be a tragedy to see Pennell’s films lost to history and pledged to locate and restore his old friend’s films. “Last Night at the Alamo”is the second film he has restored of Pennell’s.  


“On one hand it’s goofy Texas, and on another it’s pure Texas,” Rance said. “This film knows exactly what it wants to do and it does it. There is a legacy here that is worth checking out.”


The restored version of the film premiered in Austin at South By Southwest in March of 2016.


On a more cultural level, renowned filmmakers Quentin Tarantino and Richard Linklater have pointed to Pennell’s independent films, “Last Night at the Alamo” and “The Whole Shootin’ Match” as inspiration early in their decorated careers.


“When [Quentin Tarantino] was trying to raise money to make a film, he realized the best way to make a film was to make one set in one location as this film is,” Daniel Humphrey, Associate Professor of Film, Women’s and Gender Studies, said. “It helped inspire him to make ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ his first film which kicked off his career.”


When asked why the College Station community should come out to the showing, Davis gave a simple answer.  


“It’s a good story, well told,” Davis said. “If you fall and bust your knee or smash your toe, you shouldn’t quit. The message of the film, and the story behind it still applies today.”

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