The first historical period I became fascinated with was the War for Texan Independence, and specifically the Battle for the Alamo. I was introduced to this battle via Disney’s Davy Crockett film and would continue my interest by reading a variety of books on the subject and seeing the various films produced concerning the battle – from John Wayne’s epic The Alamo to Thirteen Days to Glory and most recently The Alamo with Dennis Quaid as Jim Bowie and Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett.
As I grew older I moved on to other historical periods – partially because of the moral ambiguity relative to many of my country’s actions during this time period. I still have not had the time to sit down and re-study those periods and draw a conclusive ruling in my mind on the morality of the actions taken – but there is at least great doubt in my mind. In any case, recently I was on Hulu and stumbled across a movie they were offering called One Man’s Hero. Unlike the many films I had seen previously this one portrayed history from a Mexican perspective.
One Man’s Hero tells the (true) story of the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, whose most famous command was John Riley. The Saint Patrick’s Battalion fought with significant distinction and dedication during the Mexican-American War and consisted largely of combat veterans, mainly Irish, mainly deserters from the U.S. Army, but also including a wide variety of other nationalities – Germans, Canadians, English, French, Italians, and so on – mainly of a Roman Catholic religious persuasion. In any case, for a variety of reasons these individuals chose to fight (and many died) with the Mexicans.
It is a fascinating film and I would recommend it. While released in 1999 it has an older epic western feel to it – very similar to John Wayne’s The Alamo. One should not expect an action/adventure movie as so many of our films are these days. But if you are interested in history and/or enjoy westerns – this film is for you. While rated R it would easily fall as a PG-13 film in these days. There is a moderate amount of profanity, a significant amount of violence, but no nudity/sex. If you don’t have time for the film, you may be interested to read the Wikipedia article on Saint Patrick’s Battalion.