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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
3,876 ( 902)
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:

Old Stumpy...no teeth...one leg...but all the rest was guts... 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

John Wayne's character is called "Sheriff", "Chance", and "John T." all through the movie. The only time he is called "John" is by Dude after he is ambushed at the stable. See more »

Goofs

When Dude drops the $50 gold piece on the floor after shooting the bad guy in the loft, it makes a tinny sound when hitting the floor. A $50 gold piece was 2 1/2 ounces of gold and would make a distinct "thud" when hitting a wood floor. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks' Wild, Wild West (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

My Rifle, My Pony, and Me
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Performed by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Shoot-first-think-later classic
20 February 2006 | by manuel-pestalozziSee all my reviews

So this was supposed to be the „real" spirit of the West as opposed to the one shown in High Noon? A fashion conscious sheriff who wears a red shirt on one day and a blue one the next (who does his laundry?). A drunkard and an old geezer as his helpers. A „funny" stereotype Mexican couple who run a hotel. A dance hall girl who has sort of a crush on the sheriff. A saloon keeper. And lots and lots of firearms and ammo. In the beginning there are quite a few people on the streets, later the town seems to be deserted except for the afore mentioned persons plus an unspecified amount of hired gunmen out to free an imprisoned murderer.

Where did all the people of the little town go? They just disappear without any trace. My guess is that there was much more gun action than shown on screen and that many a good citizen succumbed under the „friendly fire" of the forces of the law. John Wayne and his companions are nervous and extremely trigger happy, the sheriff's plan to hold out alone and wait for the Marshall to pass through the town does not seem to be dictated by common sense (there would have been alternatives) but by personal pride. There is no interaction whatsoever between him and the community he is supposed to serve. Frankly, the sheriff seems to be a pretty irresponsible guy with the mind of an adolescent – and responsibility was the main theme of High Noon, a film, it must be said, of a different league.

On the whole I find Rio Bravo an unconvincing movie. The main protagonists have to deliver long, winding, unnatural monologues as to their motives and feelings, which makes the movie also slow at times. This surplus of talk unfortunately does not give it or its message more substance but harms it suspensewise. Amidst the general mediocrity, the brilliant performance of Dean Martin as the alcoholic who wants to regain his standing among men stands out. The same can be said for the use of music which is beautiful and fitting.

I am a great admirer of John Carpenter's Assault on Precinct 13, a low budget movie reportedly based on Rio Bravo. I count it to my all time favorites. Amazingly, Carpenter's version of the story works far better, is more convincing (also in a moral sense), more gripping and on the whole more intelligent than the „original".


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