Quick recap: John Wayne plays Sheriff Chance, in charge of a small town that has been taken over by the Burdette brothers. The only people who can help him are a disabled guy, a recovering alcoholic and worst of all- a woman.
Fun (?) fact: The set was built 7/8 scale so the characters could seem ‘larger than life’
My thoughts: I’m still not a huge fan of John Wayne, but boy was this a lot of fun to watch. It’s a Western that you don’t really have to think through. They even made the good guys wear white hats and the bad ones black ones! How much easier can you get? I guess maybe naming John Wayne’s character Goody McGood but that’s really unnecessary. Hilarious, but unnecessary.
There isn’t anything that stands out about Rio Bravo, which is maybe why I liked it so much. It’s not boring at all, which is saying something since the run time is almost 2 1/2 hours.It’s also not just an action movie from beginning to end. There was plenty of time to get to know the characters, of whom I especially liked Dude, played by Dean Martin. None of them were overly complicated or anything, because as mentioned before, all you need to know is who is bad and who is good. John Wayne was the star, but I think I liked his character the least. He was more good natured than Red River and definitely less murdery, so that was nice, but he was just some older guy doing his job. He seemed to genuinely care about Dude and Stumpy, but in a fatherly way, not like friendship.
Which is what makes the love story REALLY not work for me. At the time of filming, John Wayne was 51 while his love interest, played by Angie Dickinson was 26. It’s not that she looks all that young, but that John Wayne looked so old. If there is ever a time in your life that you need to think of something unsexy, might I suggest John Wayne making out? That’ll do that trick, guaranteed. The couple of songs also seemed out of place but considering Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson were cast, I guess they had to throw a bone to the audience.
Final review: 4/5. A badass female lead would’ve been nice but this was still a great movie
Up next: Possibly The Jerk