Archive for March 8th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1959 141m) DVD1/2

With my sweet good companions

p  Howard Hawks  d  Howard Hawks  w  Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett  story  Barbara Hawks McCampbell  ph  Russell Harlan  ed  Folmar Blangsted  m  Dimitri Tiomkin  art  Leo K.Kuter  cos  Marjorie Best 

John Wayne (Sheriff John T.Chance), Dean Martin (Dude), Ricky Nelson (Colorado Ryan), Angie Dickinson (Feathers), Walter Brennan (Stumpy), Ward Bond (Pat Wheeler), John Russell (Nathan Burdette), Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez (Carlos), Claude Akins (Joe Burdette), Bob Steele (Matt Harris), Harry Carey Jnr (Harold), Estelita Rodriguez (Consuela), Malcolm Atterbury (Jake), Bob Terhune (Bartender), Ted White (Bart),

Rio Bravo is one for the desert island, Howard Hawks’ final masterpiece (the memorable reworking El Dorado not withstanding) and one of the most beloved films of its decade.  It’s been remade by John Carpenter as the excellent Assault on Precinct 13 (on which Carpenter disguised his editing duties under the name John T.Chance by way of homage) and been influential on every film Quentin Tarantino has yet made (he even paraphrased dialogue from it in his Natural Born Killers script when Mickey Knox says “let’s make a little music, Colorado” prior to killing Robert Downey Jnr.).  In other words, this is one for the movie connoisseurs, not the intelligentsia.  A movie for movie lovers in which, as David Thomson observed, men are shown to be more expressive rolling a cigarette than saving the world.  Though in this modern age it could be seen to apply to women, too, but I think Hawks knew that.  After all, his women were strong, cynical dames in a man’s world.  Rio Bravo is no exception. (more…)

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