This is a general forum about western movies. All topics about western films are welcome. Forbidden stuff: Politics, religion and other sensitive stuff, spam, trolling. Please be nice to other people here.
 
HomeCalendarFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
scherpschutter
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 17
Join date : 2010-05-09

PostSubject: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 10:17 am

RIO BRAVO

(1959 – Dir: Howard Hawks – Cast: John Wayne (John T. Chance), Dean Martin (Dude), Angie Dickinson (Feathers), Ricky Nelson (Colorado), Walter Brennan (Stumpy), Ward Bond, John Russell, Claude Akins, Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez, Harry Carey Jr. – Music: Dmitri Tiomkin)


Rio Bravo is one of those classics which seem to divide fans of the genre. The film has been called a subtle study in both character and style by a Hawks devotee such as Robin Wood, but in the Rough Guide to westerns Paul Simpson calls it the most overrated of all westerns, and typifies it as too slack, too hackneyed, and too monotonous. The scenes with Angie Dickenson have been called horrendous, but Simpson thinks they’re the best things this movie has to offer.

I had forgotten how hot Angie Dickenson was in ’59, so in this aspect her scenes were a nice surprise. They also provide the movie with some very funny moments – Angie reducing the Duke to a harmless teddy bear – and also with a typical Hawksian female character – as Wood puts it: as strong as any man, yet not in the least like one of them. It’s always good to have a strong woman in a western, but there are a few problems with these scenes. In fact they’re twofold: they slow an already slow-moving (and overlong) movie further down, and it’s hard to accept that Angie would fall head over heels in love with a man old enough to be her father. It’s sometimes suggested that Hawks, like Hitchcock, had a desperate (and inevitably unanswered) passion for the young actresses in his movies. In Rio Bravo John Wayne is 52 and actually looking older, probably because the movie offers him a lot of screen time, but gives him very little to do. Rio Bravo is almost the direct opposite of that other great western Wayne made with Hawks, Red River. As Tom Dunson, the stubborn, unflinching trail boos of Red River, Wayne had a driving mission, a cattle empire to build, as John T. Chance he is a man who will not be frightened away from his post. Red River was a dynamic movie, Rio Bravo is a rather static one. Most of the time Wayne is walking down the main street, to or from the saloon annex hotel where Angie is staying, and he cannot hide his age with his usual bravura.

Rio Bravo usually is interpreted as a riposte to Fred Zinneman’s High Noon. The stories are different, but like Gary Cooper’s Will Kane, John Wayne’s character is a lawman under pressure. He has arrested the brother of a wealthy rancher and must now defend himself against the hired guns sent to free the prisoner. But whereas Gary Cooper begs for help and gets none, sheriff John T. Chance does not ask for help, and gets some. Two people offer their assistance: his former deputy, now an alcoholic, and a crippled old timer. A fourth person joins this club of old pals, a young man who’s quick on the draw, but has not yet put his abilities into practice. Again Chance doesn’t ask him to join the club, he smoothly walks in, apparently because he simply feels he should do so. The central situation of a lawman holding a prisoner under siege, had occurred in Delmer Daves’ 3.10 to Yuma, made two years earlier, and Walter Brennan, who plays Stumpy, the crippled old timer, had played a jail-keeper in The Proud Ones, like Rio Bravo a movie about the relationship between a marshal and his deputy. As an ‘answer movie’ to High Noon, Rio Bravo falls short. High Noon was not a western about a sheriff, it was a western about townspeople. Rio Bravo is a town western in the sense that it’s largely set in a western town, but it doesn’t focus on the community. It’s a movie about friendship and self-respect, about trust and loyalty: all John T. Chance has, is a barfly, a cripple and a greenhorn, but it’s all he needs. Three people you can trust, count more than a dozen that might let you down when things become serious.

This is all classical western stuff: the silent, infallible hero, the hero’s fallible friend, the tart with the heart, the comical sidekick, the ambitious newcomer. What sets Rio Bravo apart, is the rich character study Hawks somehow manages to concoct out of these simple ingredients. Stumpy, the talkative old timer, is far more than the standard comic relief type of character we meet in many a western movie; we gradually find out that he’s a vulnerable old man, who uses his verbosity to prove that he’s still alert, that he can still be of use in a world in which crippled men aren’t wanted. But the best example is Dude, played by Dean Martin. Like the character he plays, Martin had a mighty drinking problem, and Hawks uses this circumstance masterfully. A few scenes with Martin fighting his demons, are a bit painful to watch. Rio Bravo is above all his movie, probably his finest hour as an actor.

Some people (quite a lot actually) prefer El Dorado, Hawks’ first (sort of) remake of Rio Bravo. El Dorado is less static and above all it’s shorter. But I miss Nelson and (especially) Martin in it, even though he’s replaced by Robert Mitchum, admittedly a better actor. But Mitchum fared best in westerns of moral ambiguity with a dark, sultry atmosphere, and Hawks’ westerns are none of these things. Like Gary Willis has pointed out in his admirable study, even his noirs with Bogart and Bacall succeed because of their tongue-in-cheek quality. Rio Bravo is not totally unpretentious, but it’s essentially light-hearted (note that most characters have 'funny' names: Feathers, Stumpy, Dude, even Chance sounds like a knickname). It was Hawks who said: Ford is better at westerns, but I am better at comedy. As for the action: El Dorado probably is a grittier, more eventful movie, but again I prefer the action of Rio Bravo. The action scenes are few and far between, but once you’ve seen them, they’ll always stay in your mind: the explosive finale, Nelson throwing a Winchester to un unarmed Wayne, and above all this wonderful scene with Martin entering a saloon, looking for a fugitive villain … suddenly dripping blood tells him the man is right above him … Martin turns on his heels, and shoots the man down … That is wonderful. That is the wood immortal cinema is carved from.

Rio Bravo is not perfect, it has many flaws, but few movies are as easy to enjoy. Apparently Hawks loved his own movie so much, that he remade it twice (albeit loosely), first as the tough and good, but somehow less memorable El Dorado, then and as the enjoyable but otherwise forgettable Rio Lobo. It also inspired younger film makers, notably John Carpenter, who updated the story to modern day Los Angeles, in Assault on Precinct 13. Quentin Tarantino calls it his favourite western along with The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, to him it's a perfect 'hangout movie', a film that gives you the opportunity to really ‘hangout’ with these guys, and become friends with them. Sergio Leone was impressed by Dimitri Tiomkin’s score, influenced by Mexican folk songs. Ennio Morricone recalled Leone requesting him to write a ‘Dimitri Tiomkin kind of score’ for A Fistful of Dollars. The Italian title of the movie was by the way Un Dollaro di Onore (Onore = honour). Probably just coincidence, but what a nice coincidence.


References:

• Garry Willis, Rio this and Rio that, in: John Wayne’s America, the politics of Celebrity, 1997, New York
• Robin Wood, Rio Bravo, in: Western movies, edited by W.T. Pilkingtn and Don Graham, 1979, University of New Mexico Press
• Rio Bravo, Allen Eyles, in: They went That-a-Way, edited by Ann Loyd and David Robinson, London 1982
• Paul Simpson, The most overrated western: Rio Bravo, in: The Rough Guide to Westerns
• Rio Bravo (film), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




Last edited by scherpschutter on Sun May 16, 2010 4:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Admin
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 11:15 am

Great review Scherp (and then again a very nice woman)!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://westernmovieforum.niceboards.net
Altair
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-05-10
Location : England

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 11:26 am

An excellent review sherpshutter. I remember reading that along with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", this is Quentin Tarantino's favourite film. Unfortunetly, I haven't seen this movie, but I have seen Hawk's remake, "El Dorado", which I greatly enjoyed.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Admin
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 11:49 am

Quote :
I remember reading that along with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", this is Quentin Tarantino's favourite film.
Strange!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://westernmovieforum.niceboards.net
scherpschutter
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 17
Join date : 2010-05-09

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 3:21 pm

I suddenly remember that I read this too. Or was it Scorsese?

Anywy, the person involved called it an ideal hangover movie
I'll check things, if it's one of these two guys, I'll add it to the review
Back to top Go down
View user profile
scherpschutter
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 17
Join date : 2010-05-09

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 3:28 pm

It is Tarantino, but he calls it a hang-OUT movie, not a hang-over movie (thought he wanted to say that it was the ideal movie to watch the morning after ...), he explains in the link below what he means

Here's the You Tube link; it's not very easy to understand, the sound is bad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjX010pdIro


I'll add a line or two to the review later


And Altair: I'd say you've got enough reasons to watch it ...
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Corto
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 2
Join date : 2010-05-10

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 9:08 pm

Great revue Sherp, I'll have tho watch something (a western of course) to post here.

Here I'm Corto, but in my mind I'm Corto Maltese
Back to top Go down
View user profile
scherpschutter
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 17
Join date : 2010-05-09

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Sun May 16, 2010 9:31 pm

Corto wrote:
Great revue Sherp, I'll have tho watch something (a western of course) to post here.


It's always good to watch a western, Corto, but it's not necessary to watch one to give your comments here
We're happy with every comment from every visitor

Thanks for your nice words
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Altair
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-05-10
Location : England

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Tue May 18, 2010 12:27 pm

Actually, I found out it was Tarantino's second favourie film HERE (it's quite an odd list, too):

http://www.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/topten/poll/voter.php?forename=Quentin&surname=Tarantino
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Admin
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 72
Join date : 2010-05-08

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Tue May 18, 2010 7:53 pm

Corto wrote:
Great revue Sherp, I'll have tho watch something (a western of course) to post here.

Here I'm Corto, but in my mind I'm Corto Maltese
Hello to you Corto!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://westernmovieforum.niceboards.net
Dusty Cowpoke
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-06-01

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:15 pm

Altair wrote:
I remember reading that along with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", this is Quentin Tarantino's favourite film.

He name-dropped both of them in True Romance. When the Christian Slater character is making small talk with the movie producer before closing the coke deal, he starts pontificating about movies (very much in the style of Quentin himself) - "Rio Bravo - that's a movie! Good, the Bad & the Ugly - that's a movie!"
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Altair
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-05-10
Location : England

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:13 pm

Hardly surprising then that he likes "rio Bravo" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" so much then...
Back to top Go down
View user profile
jb brooks
Kitosch
Kitosch
avatar

Posts : 7
Join date : 2010-06-28
Age : 44
Location : tramore ireland

PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:20 am

a great western,great cast except for rickey nelson i think he was the weak link in the film.i could'nt take him serious in the film.not a western actor.i womder are there a director's cut of rio bravo.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)   

Back to top Go down
 
Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Howard Williams
» 1959 Mobylette Moped
» New from Bravo 6
» Challenger 1 1959
» 1959 Chevy Impala Custom Convertible

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Western movie forum :: American westerns (pre-70's)-
Jump to: