Rio Bravo is almost my favorite Western movie. Sure, The Searchers, Lonesome Dove, High Noon, and The Magnificent Seven are also contenders. But John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, and Walter Brennan bring gravitas to Rio Bravo that the other Westerns don’t quite match. An army of gunmen plan on springing a murderer from jail. Sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne), his deputy with a drinking problem (Dean Martin), and the hobbling Walter Brennan are the only ones ready to defend the jail.

Director Howard Hawks elevated the Western movie genre with Red River. Hawk delivers a lean, incendiary story filled with suspense and thrills in Rio Bravo. Oh, and by the way, my very favorite Western is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. What’s your favorite Western movie? GRADE: A

31 thoughts on “RIO BRAVO [DVD]

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    My favorite would be The Wild Bunch followed by The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. I always thought Rio Bravo overrated. Ricky Nelson can’t act and Dean Martin doesn’t look right to me in a western. Not all actors do. Cagney and Bogart never looked right in westerns either.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    I don’t have one favorite, but RIO BRAVO would certainly be up there in the top 10. It was a favorite of Bill Crider’s too.

  3. Michael Padgett

    “Rio Bravo” is it for me. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen it, and it never gets old. The most amazing thing about it for me is how much fun it is even when not much of anything is going on. It just sort of lollygags along for nearly 2 1/2 hours, yet there’s never a dull moment.

  4. Dan

    I don’t have a favorite Anything — I love different movies, books, music & people for different reasons. But I do watch RIDE LONESOME once a year.
    Also, in the synchronicity sweeps, I posted a shot from another Howard Hawks movie on my FB page the same day you posted this.

  5. wolf

    As students in the 1960s we often watched Westerns (especially Spaghetti Westerns …) Sunday mornings or in late shows (11 pm) as well as horror films by Hammer productions – sometimes even smuggled a beer into the cinema. 🙂
    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and High Noon were my favourites, Rio Bravo comes third.
    There was a special price for these shows, much less than the regular price which we couldn’t afford too often.

    1. george Post author

      Wolf, I attended a movie theater near my College in the 1960s. Movies were a dollar (with a College ID). That’s where I saw plenty of Spaghetti Westerns!

  6. Jeff Meyerson

    Some favorites:

    Rio Bravo
    Stagecoach (1939)
    The Searchers
    Lonesome Dove
    The Magnificent 7
    Support Your Local Sheriff

  7. Deb

    No love for “Blazing Saddles”?

    Btw, George, you have the word “debut” when I think you mean “deputy.”

    1. george Post author

      Deb, WORDPRESS is up to its sneaky spell-checker antics. WORDPRESS changes words without regard to context sometimes. Annoying!

      1. george Post author

        Rick, you’re right. But when I type “deputy” and WORDPRESS capriciously changes it to “debut” while I’m already typing the next sentence, it’s maddening!

      1. wolf

        And Leigh Brackett (one of my favourite authors …) wrote the scripts – at least she was part of the team.

  8. ray o'leary

    Another thing. Watched RIO GRANDE last week on dvd

    Watched the dvd of RIO GRANDE last week and in a making of extra Leonard Maltin said the original title was RIO BRAVO.

  9. Cap'n Bob

    Correction: Dean Martin wasn’t Wayne’s deputy! Dean was the sheriff and Wayne a friend who helped him out, and was sworn in as a deputy! I don’t have a favorite Western movie because there are so many good ones! Rio Bravo would be in my top ten favorites, though!

  10. Jeff Smith

    Don’t know who will see this, since I’m posting it so late, but one I love — I can’t call it my favorite — is 1930’s The Big Trail, a very early John Wayne picture. It’s about a trip along the Oregon Trail, and the only way they knew how to film it was to build Conestoga wagons (not quite full size) and recreate the trip. The story’s not bad, but the real treat is watching the actors and crew wrestle these unwieldy things across the desert. It’s fascinating.

  11. Scott Cupp

    Rio Bravo is in my top ten which changes frequently. Once Upon a Time in the West is often on top of the list.


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