In Review

Eagle Pennell (r) with <i>Last Night at the Alamo</i> screenwriter Kim Henkel
Eagle Pennell (r) with Last Night at the Alamo screenwriter Kim Henkel

"Last Night at the Alamo, an 82-minute import from Texas, photographed on grainy, black-and-white film stock, is a small, unassuming, all-American classic. It's the kind of low-budget, regional movie that suddenly reminds us that, between New York and Hollywood, there's a vast, unruly, exuberant continent and filmmakers still capable of seeing and hearing what's going on in it. It's simultaneously funny and bleak, sweet and unsentimental. If I had to choose the one current film that most accurately reflects what a certain kind of American life is like today, this would be the film. ... Last Night at the Alamo is so good, in fact, that when I think about it I want to drop names, including those of Mark Twain, Sam Shepard, and David Mamet, among others, people who have heard America singing and delighted in the delirious cacophony of missed notes and lyrical, often obscene non sequiturs. It's not by chance that the names of Mr. Shepard and Mr. Mamet come to mind. Last Night at the Alamo has as idiosyncratic a voice as the works of those two playwrights, the best of their generation in the American theater." -- Vincent Canby, The New York Times, Sunday, July 15, 1984

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  • In Memoriam

    Longtime friends and colleagues of Eagle Pennell remember the filmmaker.

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