ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Rio Bravo (1959)

US 141m, Colour
Director: Howard Hawks; Cast: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Ward Bond, John Russell

Rio Bravo is a pondering caricature of the Hollywood Western that lacks any real sense of urgency or danger. Full of stereotypical characters, Ricky Nelson is simply ridiculous, and while Dean Martin is more than passable as a drunkard gunslinger, neither should have broken into song at any point in the film. Walter Brennan’s crazy old dynamite slinging character is over played, and the efforts to generate sexual tension between Wayne and Dickinson are simply comedic. A laughable response to High Noon (1952), Rio Bravo is a fluffy production lacking any genuine drama, particularly Wayne’s character “Chance”, who (as the audience realizes) is never in any real peril (Klaus Ming November 2012).

3 comments on “Rio Bravo (1959)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    Well, we disagre about this one. 🙂

    Not one of my all-time favorites (I can easily think of a half dozen Hawks pictures which I like better), but I do like it. The best parts are Wayne, Martin, Ward Bond (and, yes, Brennan).

    The romance angle is weaker,but my main problem with it was that a lot of the byplay came from from To Have and Have Not (which is one of my favorites) and it was better there.

    Anyway, I wrote about it here:

    • Klaus

      I was hoping to like Rio Bravo, and I can’t say that I wasn’t entertained (there was quite a bit of comedy – unintentional / and not), but I can’t see how this is on the 1001 list (other than for the fact that it was intended as a “response” to High Noon) and that it might be fun to compare the two.

      I actually didn’t mind the love interest for Wayne as it was the source of a great deal of amusement (but was never believable). I thought Dean martin stole the show (despite his singing).

      My biggest complaint is that the bad guys were never really that menacing, nor apparently dangerous to Chance.

      Definitely interested as to why you liked it – i’ll pop over and check out your thoughts.

      • Anthony Lee Collins

        Agree about Martin, and as you’ll see I think the lack of tension is part of the point.

        I do have to mention the part that makes _me_ cringe, which is the stereotypical Mexican hotel owner. Ay, caramba!

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This entry was posted on 11/21/2012 by in 1001 List, 1950s, All and tagged .
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