- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Rio Bravo: The western at its cultural best
- Rick Reeves
In 1952 Fred Zinneman directed a picture called High Noon which won four of that year's Academy Awards. It was a story of a town marshal who had three outlaws arriving on the noon train to seek revenge for being previously jailed. The marshal spends the whole film running around town, begging for help and not getting it. Finally he is saved by his fiance, a Quaker girl who hates violence. John Wayne and the great director Howard Hawks both felt that such a story was feeble, a tale that did not reflect the character and strength of the frontier folk upon whose efforts America was originally founded. Consequently they decided to make a film about the opposite situation: a sheriff in trouble who desperately needs help but never asks for it. The result was Rio Bravo. The narrative covers a small group of individuals cut off from mainstream life, each an outsider of one sort or another. It is about the development of character rather than plot. Its themes go deep and touch on duty, moral and physical incapacity and, ultimately, the redemption that comes to the individual soul when great difficulties are faced and not shirked or glossed over. In this way Rio Bravo is a joyous, life-affirming work and very different from the superficial and cynical "spaghetti" westerns that appeared a decade later which were mere exercises in style based on the tradition of the Commedia dell'Arte. By contrast the pace of Rio Bravo is relaxed allowing for genuine character development due in part to its writer Leigh Brackett providing a woman's perspective. (How often do the fair sex write westerns?). The unfolding relationship between the sheriff and the prostitute (John Wayne and Angie Dickinson) is exquisitely crafted while Dean Martin's performance as the struggling alcoholic is an acting masterclass in itself. Rio Bravo is a strong contender for the best western of all time perhaps second only to Ford's The Searchers.
Hail Howard Hawks !
- Will Fox
As any serious scholar or student of the studio system in Hollywood's heyday knows, Howard Hawks is in the top 3, of the most successful directors. Intelligent people worldwide are still fascinated by John Ford's westerns. Alfred Hitchcock's suspense-filled mysteries intrigue five-generations of the intelligencia. Rivaling these two aces, is the ace of aces among world-class film directors, Howard Hawks. He created more 4-star films (the highest of ratings among most critics) in many more genres than any other director in the history of film. Howard Hawks is famous as a movie-making maverick with a distinctive talent for creating sassy female characters that enchant male bosses. Please consider his hits: "A Girl in Every Port" (1928), "The Dawn Patrol" (1930), "The Crowd Roars" and "Scarface" (1932), "20th Century," "Barbary Coast," "Bringing Up Baby," "Only Angels Have Wings," "His Girl Friday," "Sergeant York," "Ball of Fire," "Corvette K -255,", "To Have And Have Not," "The Big Sleep" (1946), "Red River" (1948), "A Star Is Born," "I Was A Male War Bride," "The Thing From Another World," "The Big Sky," "Monkey Business," "Gentle Prefer Blondes," "Rio Bravo" (1959), "Hatari" (1962), and "El Dorado" (1967). Twenty-three successes. Who else compares to this heroic champion, across so many different genres, among film directors? Hail Howard Hawks!
- kevin sellers
Top 5 reasons to prefer John Ford westerns to Howard Hawks westerns (in no particular order)1) Ford's women may be idealized, but at least they have their femininity.2) John Wayne plays more complex characters in Ford's westerns (Matt Dunston excepted)3) Ford's Monument Valley setting is visually striking whereas too many of Hawks westerns look(and feel) like extended Gunsmoke episodes. (i.e. Ford's westerns all feel like they're in color while Hawks' westerns all feel like they're in black and white.)4) Ford's western themes of savagery vs. civilization, reality vs.illusion, and the individual vs. the institution are broader and more interesting than Hawks lone theme of male bonding while doing a difficult job.5) The French prefer Hawks' westerns to Ford's.
this is one of my favorite westerns. i watch it every chance i get. the supporting cast is great but as for angie dickinson, i think it is one of the worst acting jobs i have ever seen.
ive seen this movie soooo many times, never get tired of it. john wayne and dean martin (as always) worked great together. walter brennan steals the scenes, good ol stumpy becomes the save the day hero, with his dyneemite. ricky nelson with his eye mascara and droopy lower lip (elvis he wasnt) is creepy.a leering claude atkin great, but not enought of him. it would have been better, to see what elvis could have done with ricky nelsons part, dressed grubby like in charro. i thought the scenes with angie dickinson and john wayne were strained and annoying. story goes dean arrived on the set dressed in an outfit similar to ricky nelsons and went to howard hawks stating, this isnt what a rundown drunkin cowboy would look like . hawks told him, go find what YOU think you SHOULD look like. dean martin put his own outfit together and thats what you see on screen. now thats acting. as someone else has said. he should have got an oscar. a little de guello (throat cutting music) thank you mr.tiomkin and youve got a great saturday afternoon movie.
Wayne's Best Film
I watched "Rio Bravo" for the umpteenth time last night, and to me, this is John Wayne's best film. Superb direction by Howard Hawks. (I also enjoy Hawks' "To Have Or Have Not" & "The Big Sleep.") Dino and Ricky even sing. Fine support from Angie Dickinson and Walter Brennan. Brennan's cackle has to go down as one of the most hilarious laughs in cinematic history. Even Claude Akins is the quintessential bad guy. I agree with the earlier reviewer that Martin should have won the Oscar. His best dramatic performance. Could watch this again and again...and I will.
Rio Bravo sequel
How can I interest anyone in a script to the sequel to the western Rio Bravo? I know that western genre is passe, but I believe I have a great story here. Should I rent a huge billboard in Holywood for everyone to see? Contacting the so called "literary agents" is so useless.
- Dashiell Barnes
Another great western reunion by Wayne & director, Hawks. Wayne, Dickinson & Brennan make a great ensemble, but Martin & Nelson steal the show. The former giving his best dramatic performance. The film is brimming with an excellent story that exciting & difficult to stop viewing. Overlong, but that's a weak complaint towards the film. I give it a 4.5/5.
Great Escapist fun with great actors a favorite movie of mine
one of the best
One of my favorite John Wayne films of all-time... And one of my favorite movies in general.
Undoubtedly the best western ever made. Dean Martin should have got an oscar for his role as Dude. The singing is fantastic & everyone seems to have gotten along while making this movie.
Dude and Feathers
- scott miller
In full synopsis it states Dude was involved with Feathers. The way I remember it, Dude was involved with a woman LIKE Feathers.
Walter Brennan is the real star in this movie - as Stumpy, he steals the scene from the other stars at every opportunity , I thought I would pass out from all the side splitting, humorous comebacks he had to say to anything wayne would tell him.
love John Wayne
- charles a cosand
Stupidest script and casting in his history!
Rio Bravo is timeless
Love this western, one of the best. Dean Martin gives an excellent performance, and his singing is the greatest. John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, great acting, I could watch this over and over again, and have.
A GREAT WESTERN
ONE OF THE BEST WESTERNS THAT HAS EVER BEEN MADE.DEAN MARTIN AND RICKY NELSON STAND OUT.IT IS A MUST SEE.
- Ruben Filimonczuk
Sensational movie by Howard Hawkes! John Wayne is thumbs up as usual....but Dean Martin really shines as his recovering alcoholic side-kick. A must see for all western fans!
Fantastic Cowboy Movie!
John Wayne at one of his best, playing a Sheriff, Dean Martin his drunken Deputy, enlist the help of a young gunslinger, Rickie Nelson. With Walter Brennan adding his humor and Angie Dickenson adding the beauty makes this a must see for a cowboy action seeking fan.....