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Rio Bravo (1959)

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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.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Jules Furthman (screenplay), Leigh Brackett (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,195 ( 2,681)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Sheriff John T. Chance
Dean Martin ... Dude ('Borrachón')
Ricky Nelson ... Colorado Ryan
Angie Dickinson ... Feathers
Walter Brennan ... Stumpy
Ward Bond ... Pat Wheeler
John Russell ... Nathan Burdette
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Carlos Robante (as Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez)
Estelita Rodriguez Estelita Rodriguez ... Consuela Robante
Claude Akins ... Joe Burdette
Malcolm Atterbury ... Jake (Stage Driver) (scenes deleted)
Harry Carey Jr. ... Harold (scenes deleted)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sheb Wooley ... Cowboy (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Sheriff John T. Chance has his hands full after arresting Joe Burdette for murder. He knows that Burdette's brother Nathan, a powerful rancher, will go to any lengths to get him out of jail. Chance's good friend Pat Wheeler offers to help but within 20 minutes of making the offer is gunned down in the street, shot in the back. That leaves his elderly deputy Stumpy, the town drunk Dude - once a deputy and a pretty good shot when he was sober - and a young hand, Colorado, who used to work for Wheeler. Nathan Burdette meanwhile has a couple of dozen men at his disposal. Chance does his best to prepare all the while romancing a pretty gambler who goes by the name of Feathers. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

JOHN WAYNE - DEAN MARTIN - RICKY NELSON -- WARNER BROS. BRING THEM TOGETHER IN HOWARD HAWKS' "RIO BRAVO" (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 April 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo See more »

Filming Locations:

Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,535,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The score includes the hauntingly ominous "El Degüello" theme, which is heard several times. Colorado identifies the tune as "The Cutthroat Song". He relates that the song was played on the orders of General Antonio López de Santa Anna to the Texans holed up in the Alamo, to signify that no quarter would be given to them. The tune was used the following year, over the opening credits of John Wayne's film, The Alamo (1960). Composer Ennio Morricone recalled that Sergio Leone asked him to write "Dimitri Tiomkin music" for A Fistful of Dollars (1964). The trumpet theme is similar to Tiomkin's "Degüello" (the Italian title of Rio Bravo was Un dollaro d'onore, "A Dollar of Honor"). See more »

Goofs

After Dude is captured the first time, and Burdette's men ride up the street, the shadows change direction between shots of them approaching and Chance standing out in front of the Hotel with Colorado. These shots were obviously filmed at different times of day. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Hollywood et les hommes (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Cindy
(uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Unknown
Performed by Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan and Dean Martin
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hawks' last masterpiece
16 April 1999 | by coop-16See 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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