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A Movie A Day: Quint goes to Rio Bravo (1959)!
Nothin’ in his stomach! Nothin’ but guts!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Movie A Day. [For those now joining us, A Movie A Day is my attempt at filling in gaps in my film knowledge and plowing through the hundreds of DVDs I own that I haven’t seen. Each day I’ll talk about a film I haven’t watched and each film will have some sort of connection to the one before it, be it cast or crew member.] Today we discuss RIO BRAVO, following Dean Martin over from SOME CAME RUNNING. And what a fantastic actor to follow into this movie.

Martin actually opens the film, at the bottom of his own personal barrel, a drunk that eyeballs one of Rio Bravo’s more notorious citizens as he buys drink after drink. The entire opening is played with no dialogue and I fucking loved it. We get to know three very key characters to the story all through action. The villain, Joe Burdette (Claude Akins), sees Martin’s character, Dude, is in a bad way, smirks and flips a coin into the spittoon. Dude gets down on his knees and is about to stick his hand into it when someone kicks it over. The camera tilts up and sees John Wayne’s Sheriff John T. Chance with trademarked battered hat and pissed off attitude. It’s clear there’s no man in this saloon that intimidates him... and no man that can beat him up, either. Dude hits him over the head unexpectedly and down he goes, allowing Joe to get away. He goes to another saloon and is followed, by both a dazed Wayne and pathetic Martin. It’s not until we’re in this saloon that we first hear anyone speak. The main thrust of the flick is a fairly common western formula. They have a bad guy, the bad guy’s family/posse/friends want him back and they have to keep him from escaping. But there are only a few against a town where anybody can be paid $50 and be a hired killer. And what a ragtag bunch we have for good guys. John Wayne is the strength of the group, Martin’s a drunk trying to kick his habit and then we have ol’ Stumpy (Walter Brennan), a gimp with a big mouth and even bigger shotgun. What I loved most about Howard Hawks’ film was how it effortlessly played with Iconography, something I believe in my heart is what makes classic films classic and it’s something that is lost in much of today’s films. Wayne, Martin, Brennan, Angie Dickinson and even little Ricky Nelson, stunt casting if there ever was a case of it, all have iconic moments or are portrayed as such via Hawks’ framing. In fact, what’s odd about this film is the rather vanilla villains. Usually a strong villain is what solidifies these movies and keeps them fun to watch, but there really isn’t a singular villain in the movie. Sure, there’s the jailed Joe Burdette and his rich brother, Nathan, who are the reasons the things are going on, but the bad guy is everybody and nobody. The suspense comes from not knowing who is bought, because it’s essentially everybody in the town against our little band of do-gooders.

In a way, it’s a horror movie. You could transplant the townspeople for podpeople if you wanted to and it’d be the same story. There’s good reason why John Carpenter loves this film and you can see a lot of it in his work, especially in THE THING and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. The cinematography by Russell Harlan (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE and another AMAD title, GUN CRAZY) is absolutely gorgeous. Rich, popping colors that looked even better as I watched this movie on Blu-Ray in high definition. Dimitri Tiomkin’s score is incredible as well. His work is classic and here it’s as pounding and memorable as his most famous work on films like THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, GIANT and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE. I will say that after such a huge build up I expected there to be a bigger finale than what was on-screen, but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the film. The climax is exciting and inventive. When Stumpy pops up with a day-saving appearance, I wanted to cheer on my sofa… and then when he finds out he’s been in a gunfight for minutes, hunkering down beside a wagon full of dynamite, his reaction is priceless. Brennan damn near steals the movie for me. With that voice he’s damn near a cartoon character, somebody just as much at home in a Looney Tunes ‘toon as he would be in beautiful Technicolor. But he’s hilarious and real… he’s somehow cantankerous and innocent. It’s a hard balance to strike, but he does it. Martin’s work in this film is fantastic. He’s so vulnerable, yet strong when he’s called to it. He’s remembered now for being a drunkard (a persona I’ve heard was mostly an act) and just kind of silly overall, but the more I see of his stuff, the more I think he’s an underappreciated actor. He says so much with his eyes in this film. Very subtle work. Dickinson is absolutely gorgeous, so gorgeous in this film that whenever she kisses John Wayne I found myself thinking, “But you’re young… you can do better than him!” Not only is she gorgeous, but she’s also fantastic in the film. The first scene between her and Wayne when he thinks she’s a card cheat is wonderful. She’s strong, she’s natural, she’s vulnerable… so many things at once. Can’t wait to follow her over to our next film. Ricky Nelson can’t really act. It’s clear in the movie that his delivery is stilted at best. But strangely enough he feels part of this universe and fits within the rules of the story. He looks good with a gun in his hand and he’s “Aw Shucks” enough in real life to bring that over to the character of Colorado Ryan, a young, quick gun, who throws in his support with the good guys. I don’t know if it was Hawks’ direction or just pure luck that this casting didn’t derail the movie, but it works. That leaves Wayne himself. He sure is very John Wayne in this movie. There is only one John Wayne and he’s at the height of himself here. Here’s what we have coming up in the next 7 days: Tuesday, June 10th: POINT BLANK (1967) Wednesday, June 11th: POCKET MONEY (1972) Thursday, June 12th: COOL HAND LUKE (1967) Friday, June 13th: THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950) Saturday, June 14th: CLASH BY NIGHT (1952) Sunday, June 15th: SCARLET STREET (1945) Monday, June 16th: KILLER BAIT (aka TOO LATE FOR TEARS) (1949)
Last thoughts on RIO BRAVO: Pretty simple, really. This is a classic for a reason. It’s a movie that’s just as fun to watch today as it was nearly 50 years ago when it was first released. Don’t wait as long as I did to see it.

Tomorrow comes POINT BLANK, starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson. See you folks then! -Quint

Previous Movies: June 2nd: Harper
June 3rd: The Drowning Pool
June 4th: Papillon
June 5th: Gun Crazy
June 6th: Never So Few
June 7th: A Hole In The Head
June 8th: Some Came Running

Readers Talkback
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  • June 9, 2008, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by WelcoMatt

  • June 9, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    oh no the duke.....

    by j2talk

  • June 9, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Can't wait until...

    by WelcoMatt

    Quint sees a movie I've seen before so I can join in the talkback.

  • June 9, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST

    I miss GONE!!!!

    by WelcoMatt


  • June 9, 2008, 6:20 p.m. CST

    And thats a good thing?

    by j2talk

    so-"That leaves Wayne himself. He sure is very John Wayne in this movie. There is only one John Wayne and he’s at the height of himself here." - you think thats a good thing?

  • June 9, 2008, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Point Blank

    by Flint420

    Point Blank is GREAT. Basically the exact same story as Mel Gibson's "Payback" but much, much better. Lee Marvin is badass & Angie D's rack makes an appearance! Need I say more?

  • June 9, 2008, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by MediaNerd

    Brennan owns this movie. Looney Tunes is a great reference for his character. The perfect knee-slap crazy old man routine. <br><br> John Wayne I just do not like. There is something about him that never works for me. He was not bad in this, but I do wonder what this would have been like with a different western icon in the role.

  • June 9, 2008, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Why I like Rio Bravo

    by PSJ

    Take for instance the scene, when Dude has just quit working for Chance. Hawks, having shot the rest of the film showing the space, displaces us to charm of a CU(the only one in the film) of Dude and the bottle, for one of the fucking greatest character moments in film history. THAT is why I love Rio Bravo and watched it 3 times, and why it's on my top 5 favorite films of all time.

  • June 9, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST

    The Duet

    by Liberty Valance

    Come on, no mention of the classic duet with Martin & Nelson crooning "My Rifle, My Pony & Me" and "Cindy Cindy"? Sure Hawks was pretty much obligated to force a song or two in there somewhere with a couple of singers in lead roles, but damn if they all didn't pull it off beautifully.

  • June 9, 2008, 6:35 p.m. CST

    yeah, bring back GONE!

    by frankenfickle

  • June 9, 2008, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Quint, thoughts on the song?

    by CasperVonSidecar

    I personally loved the song itself and even though it seemed to merely serve as a vehicle for the two singers in the film to show their stuff, I also thought it contributed to establishing this larger than life mythos that I think is inherent in all the good westerns. Not to mention I've always thought Dean had a fucking amazing voice. Thoughts?

  • June 9, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by PSJ

    Sure Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson have great singing voices and whatnot but the song also served a larger purpose in the film. Hawks' movies are all about manly bonding of during a crisis and during that song you could practically see the family ties wrap around them all. The song was fucking great too. Both of 'em. "Get-a-long home Cindy Cindy...."

  • June 9, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    by THT3000

  • June 9, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST

    "Ryan, Colorado you call him."

    by PSJ

    I'd like to agree with you, Quint, about Ricky Nelson not being good at acting. That has been the principal complaint of my friends that I've shown this too. HOWEVER despite it all, it's so bizarre that watching Rio Bravo you just accept the way that Nelson plays him as Colorado. It's like because of the fact that Nelson was consistently "bad"(being very loose with bad here) and the same type of "bad" you sort of suspend it and integrate the characteristics of its differences from traditionally "good" acting into the character of Colorado. Funny how that works.

  • June 9, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST

    The song, like all the disparate elements

    by Jawa 007

    still seems to work. There's not a thing about this movie I don't like. How can a pop star appear, sing a freakin' song yet not detract from the cool world of this western? A feat that serves as a testament to an all time great filmmaker I suppose.

  • June 9, 2008, 7 p.m. CST


    by CasperVonSidecar

    True. I recognize that. And you are right about the Hawks films. Thanks for the retort.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Tsk Tsk Quint

    by kingben

    Rio Bravo and Cool Hand Luke. Where have you been for the last 50 years?

  • June 9, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST


    by CasperVonSidecar

    True, I was surprised at how I was not put off by it at all. It was only afterward that I started to wonder if it was purely promotional. Again, to reiterate your point, that could be a testament to Hawks.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Quint, think of RIO BRAVO in relation to HIGH NOON

    by Holodigm

    John Wayne called HN "the most unamerican film ever made", and supposedly this was intended to be Hawks' and Wayne's answer to it.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    "I brung ya some dynee-mite!!"

    by darthliquidator

    So much to love in this movie. Best scene: Dean Martin and Wayne return to the saloon for some payback....And all these classic scenes get re-done again in Hawks' "El Dorado" (with Wayne, Robert Mitchum doing the Dean Martin role and very young James Caan as the Ricky Nelson-Young-Whippersnapper novice (armed with a knife and a sawed off shotgun that wreaks impressive havoc on bad guys. Arthur Hunnicutt stands in for Walter Brennan.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:08 p.m. CST

    Dino's always been my favorite

    by Jackie Boy

    This film is part of the reason why.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Let's Make a Little Noise, Colorado...

    by jones1899

    One of the best westerns of all time.

  • June 9, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    ol Borachon

    by gimba2323

    Great movie - not too much to think about for me. Popcorn flick. Ricky Nelson really didn't bug me as Colarada though... Angie Dickinson bothered me a few times (in my pants). Martin impressed me again... I guess what I really got from this film was friendship. Chance stuck with Dude - even in the rough times - and believed in him. Good times.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Only Angels Have Wings

    by Mgmax

    You've seen the remake, now see Hawks' original. Okay, not exactly, but pretty damn close.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:06 p.m. CST

    the song

    by Quint

    Was good, and Dino and Ricky Nelson sing well together. I concur with the talkback so far in that it's a moment that should feel out of place. It really does stop the story for about 4 minutes, but for some reason it didn't affect the flow or feel out of place. Again, I'd attribute that to Hawks. I don't know what magic he knew, but he made this movie work.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:09 p.m. CST

    There are two kinds of people

    by caruso_stalker217

    RIO BRAVO people and EL DORADO people. I'm an EL DORADO man, motherfucker. <p>RIO BRAVO's good, though.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    The song bothered me

    by caruso_stalker217

    I was waiting for a cartoon bird to fly in through the window.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Weird RIO BRAVO Trivia

    by TinkerTIW

    A couple of years ago during a Motion Picture Academy tribute to the Duke, Angie Dickinson told the story about when she did her screen test for RIO BRAVO filling in for John Wayne was... a young Frank Gifford. Just a bizarre image.

  • June 9, 2008, 8:40 p.m. CST

    My favorite western


    Love this movie. I swear i first saw this movie when I was 13 and I could recite at least 75% of the dialogue after that one sitting. It's like a vintage cadillac: high speed, low drag!

  • June 9, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST

    Booze Movies Review

    by I. Ratzkywatzky

    RIO BRAVO is one of the greatest alky flicks ever produced and Dino's best performance on film. To read my soused cinema review at BOOZE MOVIES: THE 100 PROOF FILM GUIDE, use the URL below.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Five Card Stud

    by canopus

    I love Rio Bravo, but if you want to see another Dean Martin western, Five Card Stud is fantastic. It also has Roddy McDowell, Robert Mitchu, and Yaphet Kotto. It's almost a western/slasher movie, a very different feel for a western. But yeah, Rio Bravo is one of my all time favorites, Dean Martin should've won an oscar.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:29 p.m. CST

    j2talk, the answer: Fuck Yes.

    by Greggers

    Unless you're psychologically damaged to the point that you don't interpret reality like conventional human beings, there is no denying the fact that John Wayne was one of the most *powerful* actors in the history of cinema. Wayne exuded a command presence on screen that is still unsurpassed. And Quint is right, in RIO BRAVO, The Duke was at the top of his game. That screen you watch the movie on? Wayne freaking owned it.

  • June 9, 2008, 9:30 p.m. CST

    I'm an El Dorado man

    by Poopfoot1980

    El Dorado is one of my top three Duke movies, although I think Mitchum and Caan are probably better in it than the Duke, who was pretty fucking awesome. The villains (Ed Asner and some other guy) are better than the ones in Rio Bravo.

  • June 9, 2008, 11:08 p.m. CST

    "Did you get 'im?"

    by caruso_stalker217

    "Who?" <p>"The fella that ran out of the church!" <p>"Well, yes and no." <p>"Yes and no? Did you or didn't you?" <p>"I hit the sign and the sign hit him." <p>"Well that's great!" <p>"He was limping when he left!" <p>"He was limpin' when he got here!"

  • June 10, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST

    The Duke is a movie god

    by RicardoMontalban

    You can't beat the Duke! hey movie fans, check out this great new movie blog on blogspot. it's called thebitterproducer

  • June 10, 2008, 1:23 a.m. CST

    It's weird how El Dorado

    by PumpyMcAss

    looks better on paper (Mitchum and Caan instead of Martin and Nelson) but - while certainly good - in reality it can't hold a candle to Rio Bravo. Even the lame ass song (featured prominently in The Sopranos) makes makes me smile like a retard. I wish we still had a Hawks (or a Brennan, Wayne, etc) working in movies today. Nobody has really proven themselves to be capable of all genres...maybe Michael Winterbottom....

  • June 10, 2008, 1:59 a.m. CST

    Quint's seen the RIO BRAVO light

    by palimpsest

    You got a load of people holed up with the Big Bad outside - the movie you're watching is RIO BRAVO: ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE THING, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, GHOSTS OF MARS, THE MIST, EL DORADO, THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, EVIL DEAD and a gazillion others... Next up for Quint is POINT BLANK? That's an awesome movie which pisses all over the Gibson version/s.

  • June 10, 2008, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Cool movie

    by CuervoJones

    My favourite western is still The Searchers, a perfect piece of Cinema.

  • June 10, 2008, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Good one

    by Vern

    I think Dean Martin is especially impressive. There's alot of hype about how that movie inspired ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, but man, the tone is completely different. It's kind of cool how laid back it is. Especially in the big shootout at the end, they're so casual, even though they're so outnumbered.<p> In preparation for tomorrow's Oprah Book Club for POINT BLANK I ask that everyone please followup POINT BLANK by reading The Hunter by Richard Stark and watching both theatrical and director's cuts of PAYBACK. Then please read The Outfit and watch the movie of that too. Bonus points for watching Slayground and especially The Split (since it's not on video). Don't bother with Made In USA though.

  • June 10, 2008, 4:21 a.m. CST

    The Outfit

    by Quint

    Is pretty f'n cool. Be back tomorrow with Point Blank!

  • i saw it for the first time last week. its really good, it definitely stands the test of time. it has a certain timeless charm about it and the relationships between the main characters are very engaing. i was very impressed with dean martin, that guy had presence and john wayne was great ( i wouldn't be be his biggest fan) quint you forgot to mention that leigh bracket, the screen writer, also wrote the empire strikes back (one of the reasons why empire is so brilliant). the cinematography was gorgeous. but hats off to old man Brennan. he was was brilliant i thought. his acting performance was by far the most committed of the lot, he was right in the zone.

  • June 10, 2008, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Rio Bravo vs. El Dorado

    by DrkAngl001

    El Dorado does not hold a candle, it is a poor facsimile. I am a HUGE Duke fan, but can't stand to watch it because if I am going to watch that story, I'd rather be watching Rio Bravo. As for Ricky nelson being a bad actor - it works. It is even an important ploy. Duke and Martin are veterans, smooth and flawed at the same time. Flawed BECAUSE of theirhistory. Nelson is green, just like his character. He is what they were, or their charachters were, before they reached this point. It is the progression of the cowboy. assumably, new, never loved and lost, go-lucky even. Not understanding the true meaning of the road he has embarked upon and where it will lead him (hence the flower pot scene). You need the song intermission. It is their way of combatting Berdette's song (the song played at the Alamo). Both songs refer to hope. In both songs they will get home. Right afterword they gain new strength, realizing they can win the battle and are not defeated. The movie is a masterpiece and my favorite film of all time.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST


    by Sailor Rip Rio Bravo but watch it a few times and Stumpy starts to get on your fucking nerves.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST

    El Dorado vs. Rio Bravo...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...Rio Bravo by a long shot. Although The Searchers, a more grim and solitary movie without the comradimary of RB, is, in my opinion, Wayne's best.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    El Dorado FTHMFW

    by CaptainTripps

    Rio Bravo is okay, but El Dorado took the elements, added a better supporting cast, a more polished script and just simply came out on top. Goofy song aside, El Dorado is just way more fun to watch.

  • June 10, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Mississippi's scatter gun

    by Beowulf316

    is the only thing that puts El Dorado in first place for me. I love it when he shoots the bad guy by the door, in the back of the saloon. The blast pattern looks like its 5 ft. in diameter. Bull’s revolving carbine is pretty cool too. I like antique guns and the stranger they are the better.

  • June 10, 2008, 8:37 a.m. CST

    I really like this movie...

    by just pillow talk

    It would frequently be on during a Saturday afternoon, and yes, Dean is great in this. This and Sons of Katie Elder seemed to be on a ton.

  • June 10, 2008, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Rio Bravo vs. El Dorado????

    by chudson

    I love 'em both. And throw in Rio Lobo for good measure.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:04 a.m. CST

    That song they sing is the Red River theme

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    That song that Ricky Nelson sings is the theme from Red River, also directed by Howard Hawks and scored by Dmitri Tiomkin. If you can find that score, pick it up. Incredible music as always from Tiomkin. <p></p> Also, Rio Bravo is one of my favorites, but the El Dorado remake isn't that good at all. It IS a poor facsimile, so kudos to whoever put it that way.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Great Actors and Great Film

    by mr dark

    When you watch films like this and The Searchers you see why John Wayne was so great..He was just John fucking Wayne and thats all he needed to do..That and the supporting actors was all that was needed to sell the tickets. I hope to knock back a shot with the Duke one day if I meet up with him..

  • June 10, 2008, 12:24 p.m. CST

    No love for Leigh Brackett?!

    by Tacom

    C'mon, she wrote a great script. As for the whole Rio Bravo vs. El Dorado thing I love both. I think the first is a better movie, but I like how in El Dorado Wayne and Mitchum are both injured in the but still try to fight. Plus I like James Caan as the kid. Quint was talking about how in Rio Bravo you don't know who the enemy is. Re-watching the part where Wayne walks into Carlos' tavern to talk to Ward Bond I noticed the guys sitting at a table giving them dirty looks.

  • June 10, 2008, 12:43 p.m. CST

    ...and Jules Furthman

    by Tacom

  • June 10, 2008, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Angie Dickinson

    by Mattyboy122

    God she's hot in this movie. And Point Blank.

  • June 10, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    "Well, sheriff you've got a job to do..."

    by Tacom

    "..where do you intend to begin?" Love how Angie Dickinson says that!

  • June 10, 2008, 1:44 p.m. CST

    “A gimpy old man and a drunk… that's all you got?”

    by Rufus_T_Firefly

    "That's WHAT I got.” Sure I appreciate the Searchers, Liberty Valance, Shane, etc. But my love for Rio Bravo transcends the genre. Kind of like how I feel about Kelly's Heroes in relation to war movies.

  • June 10, 2008, 2:05 p.m. CST

    "Rio Lobo" villain is just like Ralphie!!!!!

    by darthliquidator

    Check out the Rio Lobo climax where the villain actually does what Darren McGavin warned about in "Christmas Story"....He shoots his eye out!!

  • June 10, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST

    "Stumpy, goin' over to the hotel for a few minutes."

    by bswise

    "Well, if'n ya don't come back, me 'n' Joe'll have us a good cry."

  • June 10, 2008, 3:06 p.m. CST

    stumpy shouldve been ball-gagged

    by Prossor

    and gangbanged

  • June 10, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Rio Bravo=Bravo!

    by psychedelic

    The thing that's cool about Rio Bravo is the characters are so damn likable. I just like hanging out with them. For a moment when I first watched it, I felt like I was hanging out in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon--I just liked the characters so much that it brought a warm familiar feeling. I recall Quentin Tarantino saying what he likes about Hawks is making characters so cool that you want to stay with them. Rio Bravo is a case in point illustration of this with plenty of suspense to boot. It's a small miracle the one time Dean Martin sings it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. Hawks mastered the film's tone making this work. Keep up the good work, Quint!

  • June 10, 2008, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Greggers...i think not...

    by j2talk

    Marion.....was the SAME in every Fricking movie.....Watching ANYTHING with John Wayne in it takes me out of the film....its like watching TomCruise i see him and say oh its the Duke...i have NEVER bought him as any character ....he was always John Wayne...never was he an actor in a role

  • June 10, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    gimmie Jim Garner any day

    by j2talk

  • June 10, 2008, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by mr dark

    You're somewhat right about that observation ..But it's only because the man himself was much greater than the parts he plyed.. He was a real star who carried more persona and style than most actors ever dream of having.. Just watch Red river, The Searchers, Rio Bravo..If you don't buy into the Dukes acting thats your loss and right.. But play that scene in The Searchers where the Duke sees the bodies inside the cabin and tries to hold Jeffrey Hunter back from viewing them it still gets me.. I think a lot of the credit for the Dukes finer films must go to John Ford one of the greatest directors of his day.. He made it all come together..

  • June 10, 2008, 6:50 p.m. CST

    mr dark...

    by j2talk

    there are real starts and then there are Hams.....i personally think the duke was the latter he became a parody of himself.....

  • June 10, 2008, 6:59 p.m. CST


    by mr dark

    maybe later in his carreer he did become a parody .. But his early films with Ford are nothing short of spectacular.. He made everyone in those films shine in their scenes together.. Even his later films like The Shootist, The Cowboys, Hell even True Grit were better than any westerns being put out presently..But as you can tell I am a western fan.. One of my favorites was The Wild Bunch . It's sad they just don't make horse operas like they used to.. The last half decent one was 3:10 to yuma..

  • June 10, 2008, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Just Rewatched This Today, and...

    by grungies

    It is, indeed, a wonderful piece of entertainment. I need to rewatch El Dorado before I decide which is better (Rio Lobo can't win no-way-no-how). My only complaint is that I would've preferred a punchier climax. I don't remember if El Dorado is any different.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST


    by grungies

    Ever seen True Grit? That wasn't John Wayne. That was Rooster Cogburn. The fact that True Grit isn't hailed as an action masterpiece is a crime.

  • June 10, 2008, 7:11 p.m. CST

    The Holy Trinity Of Guy Movies

    by The Harp

    Rio Bravo, Cool Hand Luke, Bullitt. Nuff said.

  • June 10, 2008, 9:01 p.m. CST

    "The sun is sinking in the west...

    by dannyocean

    The cattle go down to the stream". This will make me the old sentimental guy of the tb but I sing "My Rifle..." to my toddler to get him to go to sleep every night. Old Western themes work really well to sing your kids to sleep, trust me. And Hawks liked to have his characters sing in his movies, he would have the screenwriter he was working with put a song into whatever he was working on at the moment. Which is why you hear Jean Arthur playing a number with the boys in "Only Angels Have Wings", Lauren Bacall do songs in both "To Have And Have Not" and "The Big Sleep", Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn sing to Baby in "Bringing Up Baby", etc. Hawks liked musical numbers in his movies and didn't really care if they slowed the film down or not.

  • June 10, 2008, 9:22 p.m. CST

    "Marion.....was the SAME in every Fricking movie....."

    by Greggers

    Yeah, and he was GREAT in every fricking movie. <br><br> (Unless of course you mean Happy Days' *Marion Ross* was the same in every movie, and for that discussion, I'll have to recuse myself.) <br><br> But seriously, as has already been pointed out, John Wayne did a few great character turns throughout his career; the crusty bounty hunter in TRUE GRIT wasn't exactly the big, strong, stoic ass kicker he was knowng for. Or hell, at least give him credit for taking a shot at Ghengis Khan in THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. <BR><BR> But that's besides the point that Wayne was sublime when he was simply playing "Wayne" -- much the same way Jimmy Stewart was at playing "Jimmy Stewart," Cary Grant was at playing "Cary Grant," and so on. Like Mr. Dark said, "he carried more persona than most actors dream of having." <br><br> And Wayne could play that persona like an instrument, and his best films used that to their advantage. This includes some of the ones already mentioned so far; films that challenged the audience by turning his persona on its head, or taking it into dark places, e.g., RED RIVER, SEARCHERS. <br><br>But I'd argue that you wouldn't have to go that far away classic Wayne mold to get your money's worth. Take THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, where Wayne's classic stoic hero wins the day, but loses the glory AND the girl. Nice nuance there. Or how about THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, the protypical airplane disaster movie where the plane seems to be kept in air for the last hour of the movie via Wayne's force of personality alone. Or how about the movie we're supposed to be talking about, RIO BRAVO, where Wayne exudes a strength and integrity that creates the foundation that the other members of the cast are able to build their characters on top of. <br><br> Plus, he's cool. <br><br> So at this point, I think you need to make the distinction of whether you don't like the John Wayne "character," or if you truly don't like him as an actor. I suspect it's the former. As an actor, he played the hell out of the character. <br><br> And to bring things back to my original post, if you don't like that character, there must be psychosis involved. That's right: You either like John Wayne, or you're crazy.

  • June 10, 2008, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Dino as actor

    by ScottsWillie

    Hunt down of a copy 'Toys in the Attic.' One of his best roles. "Dean Martin could make could spaghetti look tense."

  • June 10, 2008, 9:42 p.m. CST

    Greggers well said

    by mr dark

  • June 10, 2008, 10:01 p.m. CST

    The Duke

    by mr dark

    Yeah Greggers he was one of a kind. I forgot how good he was in The High and the Mighty.. I just watched it again a few weeks ago. Hell I even like Mc Lintock its a funny damn film..I think my favorite later year film was defineatly The Shootist. John Wayne and James "Fuckin" Stewart what a combo. I'll never forget seeing The Cowboys for the first time when crazy Bruce Dern gunned the Duke down in cold fuckin blood.. It took me a few movies after that to even like Bruce Dern again..and I was 16 when I saw it ...It made that much of an impact..Damn they don't make movie stars like him anymore.. I didn't agree with everything The Duke believed but I damn well know he helped harness the feelings that made this country a place where we can agree to disagree..That's how much of an impact that man had..j2talk John "fuckin" Wayne say it with the respect he deserves

  • June 10, 2008, 10:57 p.m. CST

    THE SEARCHERS isn't that great

    by caruso_stalker217

    I think it's kinda shitty myself.

  • June 10, 2008, 11:07 p.m. CST

    The Real Icons

    by mr dark

    There were a few real Male actors who were like the Duke in that they had so much persona that it defined the characters they played if not themselves.. Like James Cagney, Bogart, Holden, James Dean,Brando,Steve Mcqueen, Sean Connery, Clint Eastwood, And you can't forget Charles "fuckin" Bronson cause if I did I'm sure he would hunt me down and shoot me oh yeah!! he's dead ...but just in case his zombie is around he gets a mention.. I don't know if any others can top those guys for their image and as Icons for what they brought to the public..

  • June 10, 2008, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Charles fuckin' Bronson

    by caruso_stalker217

    I love how everybody refers to him like that. I could be talking THE DIRTY DOZEN with some nuns or something and we'd all be calling him Charlie Fuckin' Bronson.

  • June 11, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by grungies

    You're entitled to your opinion, of course. That cliche out of the way, how can you think that The Searchers isn't that great? How could you possibly in-a-million-years think it's shitty?

  • June 11, 2008, 8:56 p.m. CST


    by j2talk

    Wayne great-ha....but maybe you are right to me i ONLY see the character of the "Duke", i dont buy ANY of his acting....except maybe in 1963's Donovan's Reef (the only one of his film i have seen more than once- its the wife;s favorite ) in the end its all perspective.....kinda like Bond-some prefer Connery, some like Moore other Brosnan- and of course nobody likes Dalton

  • June 13, 2008, 3:50 a.m. CST


    by caruso_stalker217

    Okay, in my defense I don't think THE SEARCHERS is "shitty." I know I said it's kind of shitty, but I think I misspoke. But I mean that movie is all over the place. Tone-wise anyway. This shit doesn't know if it's supposed to be serious or funny. And Captain Pike was overacting his fucking ass off. Even for old time movie standards that shit was really overblown.

  • July 5, 2008, 10:54 p.m. CST