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Rio Bravo [Blu-ray]

859 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

There's a showdown at Rio Bravo when courageous Sheriff John T. Chance throws the brother of evil cattle baron Nathan Burdette in jail for murder. When Burdette's men lay seige to his jailhouse, Chance holds on until the arrival of a U.S. Marshal with the help of his drunken deputy, Dude, cranky old man Stumpy, and the beautiful long-legged Feathers.

When it comes down to naming the best Western of all time, the list usually narrows to three completely different pictures: John Ford's The Searchers, Howard Hawks's Red River, and Hawks's Rio Bravo. About the only thing they all have in common is that they all star John Wayne. But while The Searchers is an epic quest for revenge and Red River is a sweeping cattle-drive drama ("Take 'em to Missouri! Yeeee-hah!"), Rio Bravo is on a much more modest scale. Basically, it comes down to Sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne), his sobering-up alcoholic friend Dude (Dean Martin), the hotshot new kid Colorado (Ricky Nelson), and deputy-sidekick Stumpy (Walter Brennan), sittin' around in the town jail, drinkin' black cofee, shootin' the breeze, and occasionally, singin' a song. Hawks--who, like his pal Ernest Hemingway, lived by the code of "grace under pressure"--said he made Rio Bravo as a rebuke to High Noon, in which sheriff Gary Cooper begged for townspeople to help him. So, Hawks made Wayne's Sheriff Chance a consummate professional--he may be getting old and fat, but he knows how to do his job, and he doesn't want amateurs getting mixed up in his business; they could get hurt. This most entertaining of movies also achieved some notoriety in the '90s when Quentin Tarantino (director of Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, and Jackie Brown) revealed that he uses it as a litmus test for prospective girlfriends. Oh, and if the configuration of characters sounds familiar, it should: Hawks remade Rio Bravo two more times--as El Dorado in 1967, with Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan; and as Rio Lobo in 1970, with Wayne, Jack Elam, and Christopher Mitchum. --Jim Emerson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Angie Dickinson, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, John Wayne
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Format: Blu-ray, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Warner Brothers
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2007
  • Run Time: 247 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (859 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P6XU5G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,812 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rio Bravo [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

185 of 200 people found the following review helpful By J. Kruppa on September 11, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Rio Bravo is one of a handful of movies (see also The Quiet Man) that belies the one-note, tough-guy stereotype that so many people associate with John Wayne. Here he is endearing (his scenes with Walter Brennan are hilarious and genuine) and, dare I say, even somewhat sensitive in his own way (his firm method of "treatment" for Dean Martin's alcoholic character is something a counselor friend of mine finds priceless). The rest of the cast is wonderful as well: Brennan is cranky, Martin is wounded but charismatic, Angie Dickinson is sly and assured and Ricky Nelson, surprisingly, does more than just hold his own and look pretty (*and* he sings a duet with Dean Martin). Everyone involved here obviously had a ton of fun making the movie, but more importantly the film exudes that sense of good cheer without undercutting the narrative tension. Director Howard Hawks certainly had a great deal to do with the quick pacing and the tightness of the ensemble, both of which assure that the film never seems to drag, even in quiet moments. In short, a western for people who don't like westerns and a John Wayne movie for people who don't like John Wayne.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By kone TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 17, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Rio Bravo" is a very entertaining and quality film suitable for the entire family.

The film boasts an all-star cast that boasts a wealth of talent. John Wayne is the tough sherrif John T. Chance, who has to hold a prisoner charged with murder in his small jail awaiting the arrival of the territory judge. Wayne gives one of his best performances. Dean Martin plays Wayne's troubled drunk deputy. Martin surprises everyone by showing just how wonderful an actor he is. In a difficult role, Martin excels. Angie Dickenson is Wayne's love interest. Dickenson's role is also an emotionally challenging bit of acting, but she pulls it off easily with room to spare. Walter Brennan is Wayne's crippled deputy and he also excels and provides comic relief. Brennan is so convincing as the crippled leg deputy that many fans of Brennan believed that he was actually crippled in real life. Brennan walked as good as anyone and it is a tribute to him that he convinced all of us that he had a bum leg! Rounding out the cast is the very young heartthrob Ricky Nelson, who plays "Colorado", a trailhand with a good gun. Nelson is in over his head here as an actor, but was probably included in the film for his ability to bring in the female audience. Ward Bond and Claude Akins round out the excellent cast.

Director Howard Hawks uses the cast to his advantage. His directorship keeps the film moving along at a steady pace. Interestingly, the first several minutes of the film has no dialogue at all! John Wayne speaks the first line about 4 minutes into the film after much action has already taken place.

This film represents Hawks' and Wayne's response to the movie "High Noon", which both men despised.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 8, 2009
Format: Blu-ray

Apart from the fact that Ricky Nelson couldn't act to save his life (he plays the fast gun Colorado), the big revelation in Howard Hawks' High Noon rerun is Dean Martin who is just superb as the drink-obsessed Dutch - sidekick to sheriff John Wayne and his trusty buddy Walter Brennnan.

The Blu Ray version is disappointing print wise for the opening credits - there's blocking, speckles on the print etc, but thankfully it doesn't stay that way for long. Although there are other weak points in the transfer later on in the movie, for about 90 % of the time I'd say it looks really good - not great - but certainly better than any other version of it that I've ever seen.

There's a nighttime sequence where one of the bad guys hiding out in a barn near the prison tries to shoot John Wayne - it cuts to Dutch outside worried about his friend inside - the clarity of sweat and dirt on Dean Martin is wonderful to see - and startling. When Angie Dickenson is stopped by John Wayne at her bedroom door suspected of card shark tricks in the saloon she's just left below, her face and clothing look sensational too (what a beauiful woman she was). But then in other places there's a disappointing feeling of the focus being slightly off or the print's vibrancy being washed out.

It might just be that in 1959 the colour process was not quite there yet, but you can't help but feel that if this negative had been given real care and effort - the print would have been a genuine joy to look at - rather than being something that just ellicits the word 'good' out of you every now and then.

"Rio Bravo" is a very good transfer to Blu Ray, but like so many oldies that aren't treated to proper restoration, you can't help but feel that an opportunity was missed here - because it's a Western that's stood the test of time.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By MacGuffin VINE VOICE on June 22, 2007
Format: DVD
I believe at this point in time I'm unique in that I seem to be the only reviewer who's going to attempt a comprehensive review of the Two-Disc Ultimate Collector's Edition of Rio Bravo. Since I also own the original DVD release, I can compare the two prints (although to be honest, I loaned it to my Russian doctoral advisor a few years ago and he seems loath to part with it; however, the extras include unrestored scenes which can form the basis). We all KNOW that this is "the greatest Western that John Ford never made," otherwise, why would we be on this page? So rather than preach to the converted (which is basically a waste of time), this review will concentrate on the extras and the print itself.
To be honest, I prefer the older release for print quality. Given that this film was shot in Technicolor, I assumed that Warner would do the right thing and not tweak the original color values (I'm guessing that Rio Bravo wouldn't be a candidate for Warner/AOL's Edge Enhancement restoration because it was probably shot on one strip of film rather than three). But this print looks way too dark compared to the first release, with a rather significant loss of detail in the night and interior shots. To be honest, the detail is excellent in the brighter shots, but overall, I think the earlier release looks better and is immediately recognizable as Technicolor; this one almost looks like it's DeLuxe or Eastman. Okay...maybe it's not quite THAT bad, but I don't think it's an upgrade--everyone is orange, including the horses.
I don't know exactly what the stated audio restoration entailed, but it sounds great.
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