Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
After the Civil War, ex-Confederate soldiers heading for a new life in Mexico run into ex-Union cavalrymen selling horses to the Mexican government but they must join forces to fight off Mexican bandits and revolutionaries.
Colonel Cord McNally, an ex-Union Officer teams up with a couple of ex-Confederate Rebels to search for the traitor who sold information to the South during the Civil War. Their quest brings them to the town of Rio Lobo, where they help recover this little Texas town from ruthless outlaws who are led by the traitor, for whom they were looking.Written by
Christopher D. Ryan <email@example.com>
Leigh Brackett was brought onto this project after Howard Hawks fired Writer Burton Wohl. She followed Hawks' instructions, against her better instincts, to push the story back toward the two earlier Westerns. "Most of what I did on 'Rio Lobo' was to try and patch over the holes", she later said. "I was unhappy that (Hawks) went back to the same old ending of the trade." See more »
This has to be unique in the history of Hollywood. Leading director and screen legend Howard Hawks loved this film so much that they made three variations of the same movie. By the time Rio Lobo was made, the theme was getting a bit thin, but it's still grand entertainment.
The first part of the film is set during the Civil War with John Wayne pursuing Confederates who are stealing army payrolls. He does catch up with them and the Civil War ends. He befriends his erstwhile enemies and asks for their help in locating the informer who was giving them information.
That all sets the scene for the third variant of Rio Bravo/El Dorado theme. Playing the old codger part is Jack Elam who by now had quit being a screen menace and was doing comedy and doing it well. The two younger sidekicks are the former Confederate enemies, Jorge Rivero and Chris Mitchum.
Rio Lobo had the presence of two stars of the Mexican cinema, Jorge Rivero and Susana Dosamantes. Dosamantes played Mitchum's girlfriend and Jennifer O'Neill played the Angie Dickinson part although Wayne was now deciding he was too old for the romance. She pairs off with Rivero.
In a small bit part is Sherry Lansing who left acting soon after Rio Lobo and really hit the big time, going into the production end of the movie business and becoming head of first 20th Century Fox and later CEO of Paramount.
The two principal villains are Victor French who played the neighbor on Little House On The Prarie and Mike Henry who was one of several screen Tarzans.
It's a good John Wayne western and that takes in a whole lot of territory pilgrim.
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