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157 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a casual, brilliant film
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...
Published on September 11, 2000 by J. Kruppa

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray out of print, defective
Just purchased this on Blu-ray from a merchant, as it's out of print. I should have considered why a classic like this would be out of print on Blu-ray--but I didn't. One reason is that the transfer is far from optimal, as mentioned by others. The other reason is that the pressing is defective....the picture/sound freezes, skips, jumps, etc at different points in the...
Published on June 25, 2011 by jrc


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157 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a casual, brilliant film, September 11, 2000
By 
J. Kruppa "JKruppa" (New Orleans, LA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rio Bravo [VHS] (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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93 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo for Rio Bravo!, July 17, 2005
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This review is from: Rio Bravo (DVD)
"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. Wayne and Hawks were disturbed by "High Noon" as no townspeople came to the help of the sherrif who had to face down a gang of thugs by himself. Both men believed that the good men and women of the community would rally to the side of good and face down evil. In 'Rio Bravo", Wayne's sherrif does not go it alone, but gets help from several sources.

Dimitri Tiomkin's score is a good one, originally made for the classic western, "Red River". Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson combine their vocal talents in the duet "My Rifle, My Pony, And Me". Believe it or not, Walter Brennan adds his vocal talents in a song that follows!

"Rio Bravo" is a very satisfying and entertaining film fit for the entire family. There is no profanity, love scenes are done discretely, and the expected violence is not graphic or gratuitous. As a kid, this was one of my favorite "John Wayne" movies. As an adult, it continues to be a favorite, and I believe it will be a favorite of yours too. Out of 10 stars, I'd give it a solid 9.

Jim Konedog Koenig
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD movie...., May 25, 2007
By 
lordhoot "lordhoot" (Anchorage, Alaska USA) - See all my reviews
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Rio Bravo is one of John Wayne's more enjoyable movies and this movie is considered to be one of the greatest westerns ever made. Wayne is superbly supported by Dean Martin who also carried the movie as well as Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan and Angie Dickinson. Great cast, superb script and excellent direction make this movie a viewing a pleasure many times over. It has everything anyone want in a John Wayne movie. Gunfights, fist fights, slow developing story to developed all the main characters and even pacing with a song or two thrown in. So successful was this movie that it was remade two more times as El Dorado and Rio Lobo. Amazingly, all three movies were directed by Howard Hawks and starred John Wayne. Even more amazing is that all three movies proves to be just as good and entertaining as ever.

This two disc Special Edition of Rio Bravo is a definite upgrade in both quality of image as well as sound over the previous release. I found the running commentary by John Carpenter and Richard Schickel to be somewhat enjoyable but the extra features proves to be a disappointment. There are three special features on the second disc. Two of them, Howard Hawk's Rio Bravo and Old Tucson: Where Legends Walked proves to be quite interesting. However, I was pretty disappointed by the main feature of this second disc, Men Who Made Movies: Howard Hawks. This feature I have seen already on Bringing Up Baby two disc edition (superb Katherine Hepburn/Cary Grant movie). I was very unhappy that a documentary already used in one DVD movie was reused for another. Warner Brothers made a cheap move here. (However, if you do not owned Bringing Up Baby, then you will get more out of the second disc then I did.)

I gave five stars for the movie, three stars for the special features, averaging out to four stars for this review. It should be noted that this two disc edition is exactly identical to the "ultimate edition" although that edition cost more and have a reproduction of Dell comic book based on the movie and promo booklet attached to it. (Much like the Ultimate Edition of the Searchers.)
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray Version Is Good, When It Could Have Been..., May 8, 2009
This review is from: Rio Bravo [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
***THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE BLU-RAY VERSION of "RIO BRAVO"***

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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic With Great Extras!, May 24, 2007
By 
Alamo2 "alamo2" (St. Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
I have the earlier DVD, but bought this one for the wonderful extras. However, I like the print from the first DVD better. I think it is a matter of taste, but I think this print is much darker than the first DVD. Faces seem more red, less fleshtone. I would simply exchange the older disc for the newer one, except that the newer, darker movie disc also has a very nice Commentary by John Carpenter and Richard Schickel. On the other hand, the documentary about Howard Hawks is worth the price of the 2-disc DVD itself. Some great extras more than make up for a weaker copy of the film -- I guess I will keep both versions.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Entertainment at its finest, November 23, 2004
This review is from: Rio Bravo (DVD)
Like SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, CHARADE, KING KONG, JAWS, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, and THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (and too many others to list is such a small space), RIO BRAVO is as close to perfect entertainment for the sake of escapist satisfaction as there is.

Containing the quintessential John Wayne performance as Sheriff John Chance as well as sterling work by Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson and the incomparable Walter Brennan, RIO BRAVO is a finely crafted story that doesn't contain an extraneous scene or misplaced piece of dialogue. The pacing is solid and the framing is economical and purely functional.

Howard Hawks was known for directing strong ensemble casts in tight adventures and this is certainly no exception. He truly was an actor's director as he obviously encouraged his casts to create and communicate small morsels of behavior that richly enhance his direct and unpretentious storylines. A Hawks film, to me, is a goldmine of subtle and effective acting choices. If good acting is about, according to David Mamet, completely serving the script and completing objectives through action, then RIO BRAVO is a compelling and fine example of screen acting at its finest.

RIO BRAVO is a film that doesn't taint with repeated viewings. If it does not rest on your DVD shelf it is time it did. An American classic.

Although, I must add that it is high time for a deluxe edition DVD with a stronger and richer transfer.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding example of the Western genre....5 stars !, October 23, 2000
By 
P. Ferrigno "firehouse444" (Melbourne, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rio Bravo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Rio Bravo is a movie that just seems to get better with every viewing...Howard Hawks dynamic 1959 western is a boisterous and energetic film that has it's share of both tension, adventure & laughs.
John Wayne is Sheriff John T. Chance....a traditional lawman caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse. After arresting Claude Akins (Joe Burdett) for shooting a man dead in a bar fight, Wayne has to endure the hired cronies of Akins' brother John Russell (Nathan Burdett) stalking the jail house trying to break Joe out. The only assistance on hand for the beleagured Wayne is recovering alcoholic Dean Martin (Dude) and crippled jailer Walter Brennan (Stumpy).
The odds are well and truly stacked against Wayne, but aid appears in the unlikely form of shy gunslinger Ricky Nelson (Colorado) and warm hearted, card shark Angie Dickinson (Flowers) as they both become embroiled in the tense stand off to keep everyone, including Joe Burdett, alive until the territory Marshall can get to town.....
Rio Bravo never slows down in it's journey and it appears that the actors on screen all enjoyed making this film....especially the brilliant Walter Brennan ( Where would westerns have ever been if Walter Brennan were never born ! ) who giggles and cackles his way through his sparkling time on screen....and even getting a kiss from John Wayne in the process. And we even get to hear Ricky & Dean do a couple of duets...and Walter joins in!!
A worthy addition to any film fans library...Rio Bravo is western film making at it's best...another one that I can't wait to come out on DVD !!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 great stars in one great movie, April 1, 2007
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This review is from: Rio Bravo (DVD)
I had not seen this movie in over thirty years, so I had forgotten just how good it was. To start with, you have John Wayne in the lead. Then you have Dean Martin in one of his few serious roles. Then comes Ricky Nelson, who could have been a great actor if he had been given a few more serious roles and not simply used as a cameo to bring in the teenage girls. Angie dickinson, doing her best as romantic interest for a man old enough to be her father. Then we come to Walter Brennan at his crotchety best. With a cast like this you just have to have a good movie, but add in a plot with more twists than a fifty foot lariat, then top it off with a great song sung by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson. Pure entertainment. No deep philosophy, just lots of action and adventure. Treat yourself to a piece of the time when movies were made for fun.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully controlled Western with a great score..., November 7, 2006
This review is from: Rio Bravo (DVD)
For many, Hawks' 'Rio Bravo' is the perfect Western... For me it is the antithesis of 'High Noon,' and the clearest exposition of Hawks' philosophy of professionalism... His tough lawman solves his own problem without going out looking for help... So he welcomes volunteers and in fact depends on them... What is more, he wins by displaying superior skills and quicker wits...

The survivors in Hawks' philosophy are the ones who conduct themselves with the greatest degree of coolness and discipline... It is not difficult to appreciate why Hawks has used substantially the 'Rio Bravo' plot, with only minor variations in both his subsequent Westerns, 'El Dorado' and 'Rio Lobo.'

In Fred Zinneman's 'High Noon,' Gary Cooper struggles to round up a posse that might help him deal with four desperadoes arriving on a noon train to kill him... In "Rio Bravo," John Wayne is faced with a similar situation but takes on the forces of evil in the shape of a gang of local tyrants...

Wayne always makes us feel that somehow he'll cope... So when the wagon master Ward Bond asks him if he wants to use any of his men as deputies in fighting Burdette's men, he turns down the offer... Wayne, holding a brutish prisoner Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) on a murder charge, waits for the U.S. marshal to take charge of him... But the prisoner's powerful brother Nathan (John Russell) wants him free and is determined to release him by any method possible...

The obvious method is the traditional one--hired gunmen--and, in effect, the sheriff becomes a prisoner himself, in his own town... But in this instance the lawman is not absolutely without help... The two deputies are a semi-crippled veteran (Walter Brennan) and a pretty hopeless drunk with a past 'fast' reputation (Dean Martin).

But the whole point about this cleverly conceived movie is that this unlikely trio do in fact have something to offer when the cards are dealt... Like the sheriff, they're professional people, and what Hawks seems to be saying is that whatever the odds, such people will always have the courage, and the deeds... This is demonstrated in one inspired sequence which has become a classic: Dean Martin - drying out and eager to win back his self-respect - tells Chance that he wants to be the one who chase the killer into a saloon, and that Chance should assume the less dangerous role of backing him up from the back door...

'Rio Bravo' is a beautifully controlled film... John Wayne, who re-created and heightened the mythology of the West, is at his best...

John Ford imitates Howard Hawks' tendency for having his male characters never back down from a fight even when it means they are initiating the fight themselves... In Rio Bravo's famous wordless opening, villain Claude Akins throws a silver dollar into a spittoon, daring Dude, so desperate for a drink, to humiliate himself, and get the coin... Hawks' clever camera emphasizes how far beneath the standards Dude has fallen... Now Wayne is ready to confront Akins...

The same scene in Ford's 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.' Lee Marvin trips unarmed James Stewart as he carries a steak dinner to Wayne in the restaurant where he works... He stumbles and the steak falls to the ground... Stewart has been obviously humiliated... Suddenly Wayne enters the frame, and orders Valance to peak up 'his' steak, revealing his gun belt as he faces him... He is ready for the showdown...

In 'Rio Bravo,' Hawks' men win out primarily because they fight together... But Hawks helps them by having the outlaws mistakenly play a Mexican tune called 'cutthroat,' a song which Santa Anna tried to intimidate the Texans under siege in the Alamo... As the music plays, we see Dude putting down his glass untouched... He observes that his hands no longer shake...

In Hawks' 'Rio Bravo' there is tenderness, and humor... In Hawks' film, a man is defined by how well he relates to women, how well he handles pressure and how he reacts to danger... Angie Dickinson playing the gambling gal, enriches the mixture with a nicely judged performance...

'Rio Bravo' is an action Western, which captures a legendary West that fits the legendary talents of Wayne and Hawks... But what makes the film so special is the relationship between the individual characters... It is a traditional, straightforward Western, good-humored and exciting, rich in original touches...

The best moment of the film when Martin and Nelson join each other for some singing and guitar picking, and Walter Brennan joins in with his harmonica and his scratchy voice... The film has a terrific score by one of the great film composers Dimitri Tiomkin...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "That's what I like about you John T. You're such an encouragement." -- Dean Martin to John Wayne, September 16, 2007
By 
Bobby Underwood (Tumut NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rio Bravo [HD DVD] (HD DVD)
Howard Hawks and John Wayne were both displeased by the underlying tone of "High Noon" and made "Rio Bravo" in response. While it was sort of dismissed by critics at the time of its release, it is now universally accepted as a true masterpiece and the quintissential Howard Hawks film. Even if you didn't see the credits roll, ten minutes into this one there's no doubt this is a film by Howard Hawks.

The cast is absolutely flawless. Wayne is John T., the seasoned, bigger-than-life lawman trying to hold a killer in his jail while he gives old pal Dude (Dean Martin) time to recover from the shakes; a condition brought on, of course, by the wrong woman. This is a Howard Hawks film, after all. Hawks built the small western town of Texas in Tuson, and shaded it at 7/8 scale so that Wayne's massive presence would seem even larger than it did in real life.

Martin gives a fabulous performance as a man trying to reach down deep and find his pride again. Once the best gun John T. ever saw, he slowly begins to show flashes of the cool customer he used to be before a woman forced him into the bottom of a whisky bottle. Baby-faced teen idol Rickey Nelson is great as the young gun, Colorado, smart enough to stay out of what's going on until his boss, an old friend of John's, takes a bullit in the back.

Walter Brennan gives his usual old codger performance to perfection as Stumpy. He guards the prisoner and talks too much, and nearly shoots Dude by mistake he's so ready with the scatter gun. Everything is male about this film, including a young and leggy Angie Dickinson. The immediate mistrust of women, a theme running through many of Hawks' best films, is on glorious display here.

Even after Dickinson proves she's on the up and up, John T. keeps trying to get her on the next stage before he ends up at the bottom of a bottle like Dude did; a thought much scarier than facing down the forty or so gunman just waiting for a chance to pick them off. She, of course, is in love with John so keeps finding ways to stay---ala Jean Arthur's character in "Only Angels Have Wings." There is a ton of male humor and bonding over everything masculine in a film spectacularly Hawks in nature.

Long and paced to allow his characters to develop, this is fabulously entertaining and one of the great films in the western genre. A fabulous ending every guy will enjoy and completely understand set the tone for all westerns that would come down the trail after "Rio Bravo." Hawks' fans don't want to miss this one. A true film classic.
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Rio Bravo
Rio Bravo by Howard Hawks
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