in about 100 words or less
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).