Monday, January 3, 2011

Rio Bravo (1959)

Director: Howard Hawks

Starring: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickenson, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, Claude Akins

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You've seen nothing like 'em together... and in the heat and hate of Rio Bravo nothing can tear 'em apart!

Plot: The sheriff of a small town in southwest Texas must keep custody of a murderer whose brother, a powerful rancher, is trying to help him escape. After a friend is killed trying to muster support for him, he and his deputies - a disgraced drunk and a cantankerous old cripple - must find a way to hold out against the rancher's hired guns until the marshal arrives. In the meantime, matters are complicated by the presence of a young gunslinger - and a mysterious beauty who just came in on the last stagecoach.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yup.

True story. Many years ago I met a young woman who took my breath away before she uttered a single word. When the topic of movies came up she mentioned that John Wayne was her favorite actor, Dean Martin her favorite singer and RIO BRAVO her favorite movie, I knew I was in love. I came awfully close to marrying that girl. That a classic Western was her favorite movie blew me away and she was proof that there just might be someone out there for me yet. Now if I can just find someone who shares that same love for ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (1975) I'd be in business once again...

If you never thought of Dean Martin as an actor all you need to convince you is to see this. He's heartbreaking to watch as he struggles to overcome his love of whiskey. He sells it like he's living it. John Wayne is a lot of fun, too and I don't care if he's largely a one-note performer. I like that tune he plays and he plays it like no other. I can seriously do without Ricky Nelson, though. He's like a second-rate Elvis Presley in this thing and it's a clear case of stunt casting to get the kids to see it. Outside of that it's a fantastic classic Western with one helluva performance by Martin and Wayne. I love it and the Blu-ray looks magnificent!

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