Watched: May 17 2018
Director: Howard Hawks
Starring: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, Claude Akins, Ward Bond, John Russell
Runtime: 2h 21min
A brawl (of the murderous kind) in a saloon leads to the arrest of Joe Burdette (Akins), criminal brother of a local hot shot rancher. As many forces are looking to get Joe out, sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne) enlists the help of former deputy Dude (Martin) to keep him safely locked away, despite Dude’s alcohol problem and the fact that he was one of the reasons for the brawl in the first place.
Together with comic relief Stumpy (Brennan) they must defend the jail, the sheriff’s office and the town, something which proves difficult when Joe’s henchmen and Big Brother Nathan (Russell) get involved. Reinforcements (reluctantly) arrive in the form of young gunslinger Colorado Ryan (Nelson) and, in another way, poker player Feathers (Dickinson).
How will this ragtag team of alcoholics, kids, oldies, cripples and (gasp!) women manage to survive until the Marshall comes to pick up the condemned prisoner? Why, with song and explosions, of course!
Rio Bravo has everything you could ever hope for in a western – rugged men; feisty women; fancy, semi-colour-coded hats; shootouts; explosions; horses; clearly defined bad guys and romance.
We loved the silent scene at the start, the tension throughout, the character names (Chance, Stumpy, Dude and Feathers – are we sure this isn’t a cartoon?) and Angie Dickinson. Clocking in at well over two hours, this movie just flies by and was great family entertainment when we sat down to watch it with our parents and brother on May 17 – the Norwegian national day. After a day of wholesome fun with nephew and niece, what’s better than watching a bunch of manly, yet sensitive, men kill each other?
What we learned: Wild West men were surprisingly sensitive and in touch with their feelings. Also, some will go to great lengths to ensure justice is served.
Next time: Sapphire (1959)