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Plimpton! Shoot-Out at Rio Lobo (1970)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  9 December 1970 (USA)
6.7
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George Plimpton got a job playing one of the bad guys in the Howard Hawks-directed John Wayne Western "Rio Lobo." In this special we see him talking to Hawks about whether he'll be killed ... See full summary »

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Title: Plimpton! Shoot-Out at Rio Lobo (TV Movie 1970)

Plimpton! Shoot-Out at Rio Lobo (TV Movie 1970) on IMDb 6.7/10

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George Plimpton got a job playing one of the bad guys in the Howard Hawks-directed John Wayne Western "Rio Lobo." In this special we see him talking to Hawks about whether he'll be killed off or not, to Wayne about how to cultivate a special walk to make oneself a star in movies and to himself as he attempts to rehearse his tiny part and while doing so is caught in the frame of a setup for another scene and chastised by Wayne. Wayne calls Plimpton "Pimpleton" throughout this special. Written by anonymous

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9 December 1970 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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On this program John Wayne calls Plimpton "Pimpleton." See more »

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Features Rio Lobo (1970) See more »

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A glimpse into another world
27 January 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I see the IMDb lists this as a stand alone documentary, but this was aired in the UK as part of the excellent "Man Alive" series, which was a current affairs documentary strand that ran for many years in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

I saw this once, as a child nearly forty years ago, so memory is a little scratchy but I remember Plimpton arriving on set, interviewing a number of the cast and crew and being invited to take part in the actual movie. He seemed concerned about remembering his one line ("I got a warrant here for you sheriff") and strangely about his accent – had he spent time in Europe to lose his American accent? It was also an issue for him how he was going to die, and received a deal of advice from the other supporting actors in the movie as to how to act it. I specifically remember him being told to keep his eyes open and to fall against a wall, and I see that now appears as one of his quotes in his biog. It may be that he adopted the advice as his own after this documentary and appearance.

Another highlight in the Doco was the large number of takes it took to deliver the line "Hey you in the jail, I got a message for you but don't wanna get myself killed doing it" It ran into the forty's before the actor got it right, but nobody really cared, it was that kind of a set. Wayne was charming and avuncular, and the supporting actors were a real fraternity. It's no wonder Wayne surrounded himself with them.

Inter-cut with these interviews, was Plimpton's struggle to learn his lines - which they changed at the last minute, as well as his delivery which was thought to be wooden. In fact they threatened to drop him at one point which threw him into a panic. Eventually though the whole thing went ahead, although the death scene wasn't quite what he'd hoped. He was wired into a harness and pulled back to simulate the impact of a bullet and thrown against the wall.

I wonder if this still exists? It is a glimpse into the world of films and westerns that surely doesn't exist any more. Worth a look if you can get to see it.


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