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michaelwood

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Rio Bravo (1959)
48 out of 57 people found the following review useful:
The real bullettime, 9 June 2003

It says much about current cinema that this vintage slice of Hollywood is now considered too long and too slow by the modern generation of movie goers. Howard Hawks labours to create setting, mood and pace introducing genuine characters are colourful for the flaws they have as their positive points presenting heroes one can empathise with, people with three dimensions, not thin caricatures that popular many of today's movies.

No character empathises this more than Dean Martin's broken down drunk Dude. Nicknamed "Borachon" by the Mexicans (Borachon is Spanish for "Drunkard") Dude battles with the demons that drove him to drink as he desperately tried not to let down Sheriff Chance, John Wayne, who believes in him more than he believes in himself. Dude's pouring back of a glass of bourbon into the bottle is one of the most life affirming scenes ever committed to film.

Wayne never really does anything other than play John Wayne and Hawks spins on this playing with the ethos of the man. The same steadfast values that mean Wayne's Sheriff John T. Chance will not release the prisoner Joe Burdette back to his murderous gang leave him stiff and awkward in front of Angie Dickinson's love interest "Feathers" creating perhaps the quintessential John Wayne movie in which the Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett's screenplay explores the depths of the ideals that Wayne stands for. This is a movie about not just about redemption, but about the reasons for a tough redemption in a World in which collapse and lawlessness are easier options.

And when Dude pours his Bourbon back, affirming that even though he cannot be the man he was but he can still be a good man, you will not be wishing it was film in bullettime.