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      Rio Bravo

      Released Mar 18, 1959 2h 21m Western List
      96% Tomatometer 50 Reviews 91% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings When gunslinger Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) kills a man in a saloon, Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) arrests him with the aid of the town drunk, Dude (Dean Martin). Before long, Burdette's brother, Nathan (John Russell), comes around, indicating that he's prepared to bust his brother out of jail if necessary. Chance decides to make a stand until reinforcements arrive, enlisting Dude, an old cripple named Stumpy (Walter Brennan) and baby-faced cowboy Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson) to help. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Rio Bravo

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      Critics Consensus

      Rio Bravo finds director Howard Hawks -- and his stellar ensemble cast -- working at peak performance, and the end result is a towering classic of the Western genre.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Richard Brody New Yorker The movie is simultaneously an apogee of the classic Western style, with its principled violence in defense of just law, and an eccentrically hyperbolic work of modernism, which yokes both bumptious erotic comedy and soul-searing rawness to the mission. Apr 23, 2013 Full Review Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times To watch Rio Bravo is to see a master craftsman at work. The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong. It is uncommonly absorbing, and the 141-minute running time flows past like running water. Rated: 4/4 Apr 23, 2013 Full Review TIME Magazine Wayne, of course, walks off with the show -- not by doing anything in particular, but simply by being what he is: at 51, still one of the most believable he-men in Hollywood. Apr 27, 2009 Full Review Moira Walsh The Catholic World In addition to its excessive length and consequent slow pace the film has other liabilities... Nevertheless the characterizations are unusually solid and get more interesting as they go along. Nov 28, 2023 Full Review Matt Brunson Film Frenzy A marvelous motion picture. Rated: 4/4 Aug 10, 2023 Full Review Noah Gittell Washington City Paper It's pure romantic bliss that feels about as far away from a political statement as you could imagine. Jul 21, 2023 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      steve Great great movie!!! Everyone is wonderful and perfect for their’s also very funny 🤠🤠🤠 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 05/22/23 Full Review Merick H Awesome western that is gripping from beginning to end. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/24 Full Review bob c One of the best Westerns until totally eclipsed by The Wild Bunch. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/20/23 Full Review Jean-Michel C The key scene, the best lines if any: "Didn't spill a drop The shakes are gone Just because of ... a piece of music Till they played that piece I forgot how I got into this thing Keep on playing I don't think I'll ever forget it again Chance! Give me another shot at it, Stumpy can take the bottle away " Beautiful, simple, simple as this "piece of music ", it hits your heart as easily as does a bullet. What a piece this movie! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/14/23 Full Review Alec B The John Wayne/Angie Dickinson romance is entirely unbelievable, but just about everything else is a fine example of Hawks' singular talent for directing. Also, I was surprised Dean Martin had the chops to pull off this complex of a performance. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 11/10/23 Full Review Matthew B I can remember a friend of mine telling me that his girlfriend was not keen on westerns. In her eyes, it involved little more than two men riding up on horses, talking to each other for a while, and then riding off. What would she have made of Rio Bravo then? Here we have a movie in which there is much talking and yet barely even any horse riding. Characters ride into town, through town and out of town, but where they came from or where they go to, we never see. All the action takes place in the titular small town. Many of the scenes are indoors. The outdoors scenes do not comprise more than a few streets. On top of this, there is the film's leisurely pace. In the course of around two hours and twenty minutes, the men – and a few women – do little but talk most of the time. There are a few action scenes, but hardly enough to justify the film's length. I do not say inordinate length, because here is the thing. Not a scene in Rio Bravo feels wasted. Much of the dialogue is probably irrelevant to the film's narrative or themes. It is casual conversation that defies critical analysis. Nonetheless, I would not wish for a single line to be removed from the film. For me, and for many viewers, Rio Bravo is incapable of being dull for a single moment of its running time. The conversations, often about trivial matters, are somehow immensely satisfying, and make the characters more human and likeable. During the making of The Big Sleep, director Howard Hawks had come to realise that the feel of the individual scenes meant more than the overall storyline, and Rio Bravo is the apotheosis of Hawks' epiphany. What is really of interest in Rio Bravo is the rich and complex relationships between the main characters. More specifically it is the characters who are fighting for justice and decency that hold our attention. This is not a film where the villains are more exciting than the heroes. Joe Burdette is an unintelligent thug. Nathan Burdette is absent from most of the film, and he does not cut much of a figure when we do see him. He is a man whose only power lies in his money. He can use his wealth to hold a town hostage or to hand over silver coins to trained assassins, but he has no real taste for fighting. As a result, the viewer's focus is concentrated on the actions of John T Chance and his allies. If they seem larger than life, it is because the sets were deliberately built on a 7/8 scale to make the actors seem bigger. This point is emphasised by the film's lack of close-ups, there are just five in the whole film. The effect of constantly viewing the characters in medium or long shots is that the focus moves away from individuals, and here we meet a curious contradiction. Howards Hawks famously made Rio Bravo as a riposte to High Noon. That earlier western was intended to be an allegory criticising the behaviour of the acting industry during the McCarthyite witch hunts of the 1950s. In Rio Bravo, John T Chance is a very different hero from that of High Noon. He suffers from no inner conflict or doubts, and remains committed to his public duty. Chance is a tough professional who does not beg for the help of "well-meaning amateurs" who will only get themselves killed. Instead he only accepts help from the best fighters in town, and turns down those who are "not good enough". This is the Hawks idea of a true hero – a man who can look after himself. This leads me to the curious contradiction I mentioned earlier. High Noon was written from a left-wing perspective, and yet it holds a right-wing view of human nature – that people are essentially selfish and look after their own interests. Rio Bravo is a conservative film, and yet it promotes a vision of comradeship that would not be out of place in a left-wing movie. There is no shortage of willing locals who want to back up Chance, and he has to decide who to turn away and who to recruit. The individual in Rio Bravo is at his best and most important when he puts aside selfish motives, and uses his particular talents for the good of the collective. John T Chance represents the quintessential John Wayne. There is so much to dislike about the actor, a man notorious for his strong right-wing views, his mistreatment of suspected communists, his gung ho attitude towards Vietnam, and his attitudes towards Native Americans and minorities, which were complicated but definitely racist. Yet somehow John Wayne remains one of the most popular western actors of all time, and even many liberal-minded people enjoy watching his films. His acting range may have been limited, but he somehow seemed to convey a sense that there were deeper emotions struggling within him if he could only let them out, Behind the surface toughness, one can glimpse moments of tenderness. Consider the way in which Chance carries Feathers (Angie Dickinson) to bed when he finds her fallen asleep whilst trying to protect him. He is not exactly courteous, but has a certainly gentlemanly demeanour. He won't swear or be crude. The John Wayne persona has his own code of ethics. Some of it we may deplore, but other aspects are praiseworthy. He will never hurt women and children. He will protect the vulnerable. He is not averse to killing people, but he would prefer to do it in a fair fight. He will not shirk his duties from cowardice. He is a good man to have around in a crisis. The relationship between Chance and his friends is affectionate, and yet you will find few lines of dialogue that say so. More often they needle one another. Chance's thank you's are ironic, and his praise is frequently tempered with criticism. Nonetheless we sense that these men love and need one another, and that every one of them has something important to contribute. In the end, despite Hawks' apparent commitment to an independent hero who seeks to perform his work professionally and without endangering others, it is comradeship and mutual support that saves the day. In that sense, Hawks offers up an ending to the film that no left-wing viewer could possibly find objectionable, and that is something he might not have been pleased to ponder on. I wrote a longer appreciation of Rio Bravo on my blog page if you would like to read more: Rated 5 out of 5 stars 09/05/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Rio Bravo

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis When gunslinger Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) kills a man in a saloon, Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) arrests him with the aid of the town drunk, Dude (Dean Martin). Before long, Burdette's brother, Nathan (John Russell), comes around, indicating that he's prepared to bust his brother out of jail if necessary. Chance decides to make a stand until reinforcements arrive, enlisting Dude, an old cripple named Stumpy (Walter Brennan) and baby-faced cowboy Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson) to help.
      Howard Hawks
      Howard Hawks
      B.H. McCampbell, Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett
      Warner Bros., Warner Home Vídeo
      Production Co
      Armada Pictures
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 18, 1959, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Sep 11, 2015
      2h 21m
      Sound Mix
      Aspect Ratio
      35mm, Flat (1.85:1)
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