Often when I’m in the kitchen, either cooking or doing dishes or baking or painting, I check out the movies on TMC and AMC. It was western month recently, and there was no end to cowboys, horses and shootouts. Yee haw! A couple of Saturdays ago, I tuned in just as Rio Bravo was starting. I hadn’t seen it in ages, so I clicked on all the TVs and did my chores from room to room while watching.
I can’t be the only one who does this.
My husband and I were talking recently about when we were kids and there was one television in the house, and that television had three channels. Elijah asked me the other day on the way to school, (you know how kids always ask questions about the old days!) “What was on TV when you were a kid? Nickelodean? Cartoon Network?” He couldn’t quite grasp the fact that we had The Mickey Mouse Club on weekdays and cartoons on Saturday morning only. Talk about the dark ages!
Watch a favorite scene here:
Rio Bravo is probably one of the most well known and best loved westerns. It’s sure fun, and it’s one of my favorites. It was financially successful for its day, earning over 5.5 million in 1959. Of course what movie staring John Wayne in a cowboy hat wouldn’t have been successful?
It was filmed at Old Tucson Studios just outside Tucson Arizona. During the filming, a saloon, bank building and doctor’s office were added to the western sets. Earlier westerns filmed there were McLintock, and El Dorado, and much later Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead used the same soundstages and sets.
Sources say that because Howard Hawks was offended by High Noon and he didn’t believe the marshal in that film, played by Gary Cooper, would ask the townsfolk for help, so he made Rio Bravo to tell the same story his way.
Here’s the basic plot:
In his efforts to jail the brother of the local bad guy, sheriff John T. Chance, played by John Wayne, enlists the help of a cantankerous cripple named Stumpy, played by Walter Brennan, a disgraced drunk named Dude–probably Dean Martin’s best ever performance, and a singing gunfighter, the adorable Ricky Nelson, to keep custody of a murderer whose powerful rancher brother is trying to help him escape. After a friend is killed trying to muster support for him, they must find a way to hold out against the rancher’s hired guns until the marshal arrives. In the meantime, matters are complicated by the presence of a young gunslinger – and a mysterious beauty who just came in on the last stagecoach.
I already loved Ricky Nelson from the Ozzie and Harriett show, and to this day I listen to his CDs. He wasn’t such a great actor, but Colorado’s character is great–and we get to hear him sing.
The mysterious poker playing beauty is of course the lovely and very very young Angie Dickenson and John T. Chance’s love interest.
One of my favorite lines:
Rio Bravo Trivia:
There were two remakes of this classic movie:
The first remake, El Dorado, was released in 1967. In this film, Robert Mitchum played the Dean Martin role, Arthur Hunnicutt the Walter Brennan character and James Caan the Ricky Nelson role. Director Howard Hawks again named the Nelson/Caan character after a state (in this case, Mississippi) and in a wry, humorous twist on the original film, Hawks made him inept with firearms, but skilled with a knife.
The second remake, Rio Lobo, was made in 1970 and also directed by Hawks. This was a remake, beginning with a Confederate train robbery of a Union gold shipment during the American Civil War, then moving to a Texas town under siege, which was central to the original film. This film starred John Wayne, Mexican film star Jorge Rivero (as Frenchie), Christopher Mitchum (Robert Mitchum’s son), Jack Elam, and Jennifer O’Neill.
Film footage from Rio Bravo was later incorporated into the opening sequence of John Wayne’s last film, The Shootist, to illustrate the backstory of Wayne’s character.
Sources: Internet Movie Database & Wikipedia
Have you seen Rio Bravo lately?