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Plimpton! Shoot-Out at Rio Lobo (1970)

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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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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Release Date:

9 December 1970 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

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


Features Rio Lobo (1970) See more »

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An Exemplary Plimpton Documentary about "Rio Lobo"
1 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw "Plimpton! Shoot-out at Rio Lobo" when it aired originally on prime-time television back in the 1970s. Bestselling author George Plimpton liked to sample another men's professions by taking participating in it. Previously, Plimpton had spent time in the NFL Detroit Lions football camp, and Alan Alda impersonated him in the film "Paper Lion". Here, Plimpton is Plimpton, and he provides some amusing commentary about his exploitss as a western villain on the Tucson movie set of director Howard Hawks' last western with John Wayne. Recently, I obtained a bootleg copy of this program at the Memphis Film Festival, and it was in pretty good shape for something that was produced over 30 years ago. Plimpton somehow got cast as one of four villains that throw down on John Wayne in the movie. Plimpton plays a despicable lawman who sneaks in from the rear of the hotel where his cohorts have gotten the drop on Wayne and actress Jennifer O'Neil. When the sheriff demands an arrest warrant from the bad guy lawmen from a different town, Plimpton brandishes a Winchester repeating rifle and enters the scene. He stands to one side of a seated John Wayne. Plimpton spent a week memorizing his line while trying to dispose of his obvious Harvard accent. When they are about to shoot the scene, director Howard Hawks altered it, much to Plimpton's chagrin. Wayne snatches the rifle away from the villainous Plimpton, slams it into his nose and sends him reeling to the floor. Plimpton recovers momentarily and pulls his six-shooter. Another character bounds into view and shoots him. This time Plimpton dies.

"Plimpton! Shoot-out at Rio Lobo" ranks as an impressive, 50-minute documentary that furnishes insights into the film business, Howard Hawks, John Wayne, and other movie actors. Plimpton takes use through everything and points out how a mere few minutes of a scene employed as many as 200 people. We get to see our lead interact with Hawks and Wayne. A running gag recurs with Wayne mispronouncing Plimpton's name. The humor is wonderful and it is fun watching Wayne talk about his memories with a dialogue director. Presumably, copyright woes must have kept the studio from including this as an extra in the special features. This isn't the usual lame documentary. Plimpton doesn't short change us on anything. He provides background about Wayne and Hawks that hardcore Wayne and Hawks fans could enjoy. Since I have read a great deal about Hawks, I can tell you that his line about cutting people out of a movie wasn't a lie. The relationship between Hawks and actress Jennifer O'Neil soured during the production and he wrote her out of the finale. Great documentary.

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