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Rio Bravo (1959)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  4 April 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 40,042 users  
Reviews: 184 user | 65 critic

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Rio Bravo (1959)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Carlos Robante (as Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez)
Estelita Rodriguez ...
Jake (Stage Driver) (scenes deleted)
Harold (scenes deleted)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sheb Wooley ...
Cowboy (scenes deleted)


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. Written by scgary66

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


John Wayne The big guy with the battered hat... and Dean Martin the ragged woman-wrecked castoff called Dude... and Ricky Nelson The rockin' babyfaced gunfisted kid... And Time Was Running Out Through Bullet Holes At Howard Hawks' "Rio Bravo" JOHN WAYNE The big guy with the battered hat... and DEAN MARTIN the ragged woman-wrecked castoff called Dude... and RICKY NELSON the rockin' babyfaced gunfisted kid... AND TIME WAS RUNNING OUT THROUGH BULLET HOLES AT Howard Hawks' RIO BRAVO ravo" See more »


Drama | Romance | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

4 April 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,750,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Dude's nickname Borrachón is Spanish for "drunkard". In the Spanish dubbed version, the nickname was changed to Merluzón, meaning "big hake," so that Dude can explain the meaning of the nickname. See more »


During the final gunfight, when Stumpy throws the Dynamite for Dude, and Dude says, "I didn't allow for the wind ", his lips never move. See more »


[first lines]
John T. Chance: Joe, you're under arrest.
See more »


Referenced in Guns for Hire: The Making of 'The Magnificent Seven' (2000) See more »


Blowing Wild
Written by Dimitri Tiompkin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hawks' last masterpiece
16 April 1999 | by (warren michigan) – See all my reviews

Disregarded at the time of its release, and still underrated by many critics, Rio Bavo is finally coming into its own as a masterpiece. One reason that it has been underrated is that,it does not seem a typical western for the fifties. Most of the great westerns of the period were darker and moodier. Witness for example, the great films of Boetticher and Anthony Mann, or-the supreme example-The Searchers.Others were 'revisionist' and often sought to convey a socially conscious "teaching'- High Noon is the paradigm here. In contrast, Rio Bravo is unashamedly reactionary. Hawks actually claimed to have made the film as a reply to High Noon..In addition, there are very few pyschological or moral ambiguities here. Instead, we get a classic Hawksian scenario, also found in Only Angels Have Wings and To Have and Have Not. . in which a groups of misfits and outsiders bands together to defeat evil. Here we have John Wayne- offering a performance of considerable subtlety and self knowledge- as the valiant, yet limited, patriarchal hero, John T. Chance. To save the day, he calls on a cast of standard Western characters:The old-timer( Brennan), the reformed drunk( Martin), The "kid'( Nelson), and the "hooker with a heart of gold( Dickinson).Thanks to Hawks' assured, efficient, direction,All of these actors transcend the stereotypes usually associated with such characters to deliver fine performances which are simultaneously "realistic' and archtypal. Particularly worthy of notice is Dean Martin. John Carpenter once claimed that the scene of Martin's "redemption" was the greatest moment in all of cinema. That may be an exaggeration, but Carpenter has a point. It is both moving and unforgettable.In short, Rio Bravo is a triumph for Howard Hawks and his seemingly artless art.

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