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Rio Bravo (1959), Howard Hawks, C+

Jordan | Jordan Hoffman's Movie Journal | Sunday, July 12th, 2009


I know it is a classic and I know I’m speaking sacrilege, but I didn’t like it.

It’s about 50 minutes too long, for starters, and ultimately rather silly. Feels like a TV show. Feels like a REALLLLY long episode of Barney Miller set in the old west.

John Wayne considered this his response to High Noon, which he hated, but I think is a brilliant work of art. Stick with that picture.

If you really must see Wayne in a movie with “Rio” in the title, try Rio Grande. That one is pretty good.

(Dean Martin as the drunk turned straight is pretty good, I’ll give you that. Everything else in this movie is a joke.)

1 Comment »

  1. Maybe you just hate fun.

    Come on, man, you don’t have room in your heart for the Dean Martin/Ricky Nelson duet of “My Rifle, My Pony and Me” with Walter Brennan on harmonica? And then Wayne kisses Brennan on the head?!

    Maybe you don’t have the right context for late-period Hawks. It was all about hanging out with the characters for him by this point — he was convinced that every story worth telling had already been told, so he deemphasized narrative to a degree that can be off-putting at first. But if you approach it from the proper angle, Rio Bravo is one of the greatest entertainments ever to come out of Hollywood.

    Comment by S.F. Hunger — July 13, 2009 @ 12:46 am

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