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63 Rio Bravo 
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Post 63 Rio Bravo
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Released in 1959 after a 5 year hiatus in director Howard Hawks' career, Rio Bravo is the tale of four men, a woman, and the criminal they're trying to keep in jail until the marshal arrives. Unfortunately, there's one little problem; the criminal's brother happens to be one of the most morally dubious and powerful men in the state, and he'll do just about anything to free his brother.

Using this fairly generic western plot as a basis, Howard Hawks creates a smashing entertainment, a genre mixer that hits all the right beats. It's funny, exciting, uplifting and even successfully dramatic in parts. The acting measures up too; John Wayne plays The John Wayne Character as good as he ever has, even going outside the box a little in his awkwardly romantic exchanges with the excellent Angie Dickenson. Walter Brennan and Rickie Nelson both manage to fill their characters well (okay, maybe not Nelson, but he's never obnoxiously bad) without getting in the way. The real revelation though is Dean Martin; Who ever knew that son of a bitch could act? Like, really act? With most of the drama put on his shoulder's Martin creates the film's most enduring character: a run-down drunk who rediscovers his gun-slingin' skills (and, you know, dignity) with Wayne's help. His arc just adds one more great element to this pastiche of high-caliber entertainment.

Rio Bravo's directing and editing are both equally up to snuff. The film flows beautifully; from the stunning opening to the whiz-bang final shoot-out, the 140 minutes fly by quickly. The directing is equally well-done. Hawks has always been an incredibly competent director, one who manages to create interesting images that never once get in the film's way. This may prevent him from the instant myth-making of John Ford and his ilk, but it also allows him to easily churn out feel-good masterpieces. Rio Bravo is another feather in the man's hat, and a great way to spend a night at the movies. 8/10


Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:11 pm
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Post Re: 63 Rio Bravo
I liked it, but think Red River(the earlier Wayne-Hawks collaboration) is much better.
Could have done without the songs.

I find it sort of odd that this is so high on this list. Wonder if Tarantino is responsible for that(he seems to be a big fan)

Have you seen Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter's 'remake?'

Supposedly, Rio Bravo was Hawks' response to High Noon(he wasn't a fan of Cooper's character asking for help in a similar situation)

Angie Dickinson looks really nice in this.


Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:26 pm
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Post Re: 63 Rio Bravo
calvero wrote:
I liked it, but think Red River(the earlier Wayne-Hawks collaboration) is much better.
Could have done without the songs.

I find it sort of odd that this is so high on this list. Wonder if Tarantino is responsible for that(he seems to be a big fan)

Have you seen Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter's 'remake?'

Supposedly, Rio Bravo was Hawks' response to High Noon(he wasn't a fan of Cooper's character asking for help in a similar situation)

Angie Dickinson looks really nice in this.


Calvero said everything I wanted to, but I'll repeat it anyway.

I like Rio Bravo (a 7/10 from me), but I very rarely like characters breaking into song. This film was no exception. When Martin starts to sing, I cringe. Sometimes I wonder if that song was scripted or if it was just a case of "Hey! We signed Dean Martin. Now we have to include a song to showcase his talents".

Ditto on the High Noon backstory. Here's the wikipedia section on it:

The film was made as a response to High Noon, which is sometimes thought to be an allegory for blacklisting in Hollywood, as well as a critique of McCarthyism, according to Graham.[4] Wayne teamed up with director Howard Hawks to tell the story his way. Hawks and Wayne were offended by High Noon; Johnson quotes Hawks as saying he didn't believe the marshal, played by Gary Cooper, would "go running around town like a chicken with his head off asking for help."[5] They were offended too that Kane was abandoned by almost everyone (except at the last minute his Quaker bride, played by Grace Kelly). In Rio Bravo, Chance is surrounded by allies—a deputy recovering from alcoholism, a young gunfighter, an old man, a Mexican innkeeper (Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez), his wife (Estelita Rodriguez), and an attractive young woman—and repeatedly turns down aid from anyone he doesn't think is capable of helping him, though in the final shootout they come to help him anyway.

Personally, I much prefer High Noon. And Red River.


Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:52 pm
Post Re: 63 Rio Bravo
In 1952, a western called High Noon was released and it was awesome. However, one person didn't think it was awesome and that was John Wayne. Somehow, the thought of a sheriff asking for help against a cowboy out for revenge was Unamerican. So with the help of Howard Hawkes, he did the story...the American Way! He also did it with Rat Packer, Dean Martin and 1950's teen idol singing-sensation Ricky Nelson and so we have Rio Bravo and consequently, this review of Rio Bravo.

So there's this outlaw, Joe Burdette, who shoots some guy and kills him. Unlucky for him the sheriff, John T. Chance, and the drunk deputy, Dude, are witnesses and quickly arrest him. Joe's brother, Nathan, catches wind of this and basically wants him out of jail or there will be hell to pay. Chance basically say "Come and get him....pilgrim" and so they play the waiting game. Nathan for Chance to slip up and Chance for the US Marshal to come and get rid of Joe in 6 days.

So like I said, this is pretty much Wayne's version of High Noon and so there goes all the complexity of that movie and in its place is a manly cartoon. Granted, this is a very entertaining manly cartoon but it's not something that should be called a Western classic. The acting's fine but Dean Martin is really great since all he's remembered for on the acting front is silly comedies with Jerry Lewis so to see him acting awesome is quite a treat but he does sing in one scene destroying the pacing for no reason. This is a very good western, not a really great movie.

8/10


Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:36 pm
Post Re: 63 Rio Bravo
“Rio Bravo” (1959) *

Sheriff John Chance (John Wayne) has arrested the brother of local bad-guy/baron Nathan Burdette (John Russell) and has to keep him jailed long enough for the U.S. Marshall to arrive. Assisting Chance is the town drunk, Dude (Dean Martin), a young gun Colorado (Ricky Nelson) and an aging cripple, Stumpy (Walter Brennan). Angie Dickenson is on hand for eye-candy. Every character plays like a caricature. There are no pretensions here; this is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get Western. I found it enjoyable, despite its lack of depth. There’s perhaps a bit too much out-of-place comic relief, but the story is not overly harmed.

Awf Hand gives 3 out of 4 stars –Satisfactory Western, if still a bit basic. Let’s give this one to Costner or Eastwood and see what he can make of it.

*They Shoot Pictures Don’t They top 100 films.


Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:07 pm
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