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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haven't we seen this story before?
Rio Lobo is a good John Wayne western that borrows from several of his previous movies. The story is about a Union colonel trying to find out who the traitor was in his unit that sold information about gold shipments to Confederate guerillas. Along the way he helps a town escape the wrath of a rich landowner and a corrupt sheriff. The story may seem similar, but this...
Published on May 25, 2003 by T O'Brien

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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rio Con Queso
By 1970, John Wayne had his Oscar in his pocket and Rio Lobo on some inspection looks like just a lot of good, clean fun he and the cast decided to have, with no particular regard for making cinematic history. The plot rambles and has some implausabilities-like why does the Duke, who plays a Yankee, go home to Blackthorne, Texas? And Jorge Rivero as a Confederate officer...
Published on October 15, 2004 by Rob


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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haven't we seen this story before?, May 25, 2003
By 
T O'Brien (Chicago, Il United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
Rio Lobo is a good John Wayne western that borrows from several of his previous movies. The story is about a Union colonel trying to find out who the traitor was in his unit that sold information about gold shipments to Confederate guerillas. Along the way he helps a town escape the wrath of a rich landowner and a corrupt sheriff. The story may seem similar, but this still is a very entertaining movie. What John Wayne movie isn't? The story blends action and story together in this exciting western.
The Duke is great once again as Cord McNally, the Union colonel in pursuit of traitors. Jorge Rivero is awkward as Pierre "Frenchy" Cordona, the Confederate guerilla who helps Wayne. I don't know whether it is actually Rivero talking or someone dubbing his lines in, but it just sounds funny. Joining them are Jennifer O'Neill, Christopher Mitchum, Jack Elam, and Victor French. Elam is great as usual in his role as the eccentric old man in the town. The DVD has a good widescreen presentation that looks cleaned up compared to the one shown on TBS. Otherwise, there isn't any extras added on. This was Howard Hawks last western, and he made a good one. Good story and exciting action. Deserves a watch if nothing else for those who haven't seen this late Duke western!
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting and authentic....hardcore John Wayne, July 25, 2001
By 
Vincent H. Hoyt (Corry, Pennsylvania United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rio Lobo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This movie is hardcore John Wayne at his finest, and terribly authentic. The movie begins with Union Colonel Wayne nervous (with good reason) about a gold shipment during the latter stages of the civil war. He is only nervous about sending it through territory where he knows the famous 1st Louisiana Cavalry is lurking. What follows is absolutely the greatest train robbery in movie history in my opinion. You are left breathless when the hornet nest is sent flying into the boxcar holding the gold. Then John Wayne picks up the chase. Great photography, and it posesses all the ear marks of a Wayne-Hawks western. The plot later in the movie follows along the same lines as previous Wayne-Hawks classics "Rio Bravo" and "Eldorado". Do yourself a favor and add this one to your western collection.
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59 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rio Con Queso, October 15, 2004
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
By 1970, John Wayne had his Oscar in his pocket and Rio Lobo on some inspection looks like just a lot of good, clean fun he and the cast decided to have, with no particular regard for making cinematic history. The plot rambles and has some implausabilities-like why does the Duke, who plays a Yankee, go home to Blackthorne, Texas? And Jorge Rivero as a Confederate officer takes some getting used to. Same thing, different reason, with Jennifer O'Neill. She seems too contemporary for a historic setting and her acting is questionable. However, by dogies, she is just so beautiful (and one of the hottest actresses in demand in the early 70's) that she can be forgiven for any dramatic failings.

One of the strengths of the film is the Duke's self-deprecating humor is in fine display, and so is John Wayne himself. Chisum, which was made about this time, is a better film in my estimation, but Mr. Wayne is practically relegated to a supporting player in it. In Rio Lobo he is in almost every scene and that alone makes it a pleasure to watch. Jack Elam hams it up and David Huddleston adds a nice touch of comedy. Trivia buffs will enjoy Sherri Lansing (future studio head) in the near buff and George Plimpton, fresh off his Paper Tiger days, getting a bit role as a short-lived bad guy.

As for improving the movie, it suffers because the death of the lieutenant, which is the main motivating force for Wayne's character to go after the bad guys, is little seen by the audience. We need to connect with this guy so we feel strongly that justice must be done. This character should have been played by a well-known actor in a cameo role. An obvious choice would have been Patrick Wayne. Then the audience would know the character even though their presence onscreen is brief and make a stronger emotional connection with them. Another thing is the sheriff of Rio Lobo is supposed to be a really mean hombre, but we don't have enough scenes with him to establish this. At the very least, a scene should be added where he brutally questions the Sherri Lansing character and scars her. It wouldn't have to be graphic-just enough to once again emotionally connect with the audience.

Mr. Wayne's DVDs are not getting the attention that his fans deserve! George Plimpton had a television special on making Rio Lobo-this should be an extra included. And, my gosh, The Alamo had 500,000 feet of film shot-some by John Ford. What do we get in bonus material? ZIP! NADA! JACKSQUAT! C'mon Hollywood, this is THE most important film actor of the 20th Century! Get off yer duffs and find this stuff. This is HISTORY!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Train Robbery; Good-Shooter Women, etc., August 14, 2007
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
The first part of this western is relatively unique; the second part is commonplace in John Wayne movies. The latter contains such themes as shootouts between posses of good and bad guys, a trade of kidnapped men (the bad guys' boss for Frenchie), and heavy drinking. In fact, McNally (Wayne) has this comment about a drink: "Boy, this stuff ain't for the young!"

The train robbery is creatively portrayed. A group of Confederate guerillas, evidently tipped off about a transport of gold, tap-in into a telegraph wire, and thereby correctly infer which train is going to carry the gold. Then they set up a trap: They grease a section of railway so that the targeted train will stall for lack of traction. Once this happens, they come out of hiding and ambush the train. They throw a bag of bees into a train compartment in order to put the men inside out of action and to force them to jump out of the train. Finally, they detach the gold-bearing wagon from the rest of the train, and steer it to a prearranged place where it can be ground to a halt and stripped of its gold-bearing chest.

Those who feel that westerns ignore women or always place them in passive roles will like this film. There are two women who are good with guns, and who put them to use when the men won't do their jobs to secure justice for them. One of the men gives a form of respect to one of these women: "She's got legs and she can shoot!"
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you've seen "El Dorado" and "Rio Bravo", you've basically seen "Rio Lobo", December 31, 2005
By 
coachtim (Indiana, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
Not that it's bad, of course. Fans of the Duke will want to add "Rio Lobo" to their collection because it's classic John Wayne stuff. This time, the Duke is a Yankee Colonel who attempts to track down a pair of Union traitors responsible for the theft of Union gold shipments during the Civil Was and ultimately, the death of a Yankee Lieutenant who was like a son to Wayne's character in the movie. Along the way, he is aided by a pair of Rebs (Jorge Rivero and Chris Mitchum) and beautiful Jennifer O'Neill. The quartet find themselves facing overwhelming odds (don't they always?) as they attempt to get the bad guy, while at the same time helping the oppressed citizens of Rio Lobo.

Director Howard Hawks sticks to his tried-and-true (and successful) formula and puts together a fast-moving, action-filled film. OK, so the acting (especially poor Jennifer O'Neill) is stilted, but viewers of this film didn't go to it (or get the DVD) because they were looking for Oscar calibre' performances.

It's pure Duke with copious amounts of gunfire, self-depreciating humor and great Western scenery. The film score ranks with some of the best work done by Jerry Goldsmith. Hawks uses his patented clipped dialogue to keep the plot moving. The supporting cast, including Victor French, Mike Henry, David Huddleston and Western veterans Jim Davis and Jack Elam, are great components to the film.

If you enjoyed any of the aforementioned Duke classics, then you'll enjoy "Rio Lobo"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A guilty pleasure, August 1, 2004
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
I'll make this short and sweet. Lobo has an affectionate place in my heart. Yes it's the third time we've seen this movie, Bravo and El Dorado are basically the same thing, except they're better overall. BUT, Lobo is so much damn fun. I used to watch it with my grandfather and we'd die laughing at many of the film's fine comedic elements. Jennifer O'Neill is awful, but so cute, Elam is fine as usual, Victor French is slightly wasted but also good - etc. etc. Duke is... well playing a part he could do in his sleep, but he is none the less likable and funny "don't say COMFORTABLE". And the true star of the film is without doubt, Jerry Goldsmith's score. It only clocks in at around 40 minutes worth of music. BUT, oh what a great 40 minutes they are. For Jerry's score and the film's wonderful comedic underpinnings, I have no choice but to say it's a keeper!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie!, February 6, 2002
By 
Abram Book (Elgin, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rio Lobo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Howard Hawk's swansong is a good one. The train robbery at the beginning of the movie is exceptionally done, and it gets this film off to a fast start. It sags a bit in the middle, but is bolstered by the comic performance of Jack Elam, who is downright hilarious. Great gunfight at the end. Supporting actors are OK, but could have been a whole lot better. You couldn't find two more beautiful women than Jennifer O'Neill and Sherry Lansing, and they certainly add to the dynamics of the movie.
Duke, as usual, delivers a fine performance. The similarities in plot line to El Dorado and Rio Bravo are obvious, but Hawks again does a very nice job. Jack Elam's character really saves this movie, though, because the middle is downright slow. Overall, not John Wayne's best, but good.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but entertaining, June 7, 2003
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This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
OK, it's not the best western ever produced. It's more of a full color film in the style of the old Republic westerns of the 30s and 40s. What it does have is a pretty fast moving story line, scene stealing character actors, and very pretty music (except for Jack Elam's mouth harp...).

Rio Lobo begins with probably the most original opening sequence in a movie. The solo guitarist plays a beautiful tune, while we watch his fingers from in front of and from inside the guitar. Totally cool and absolutely amazing. Sometimes, I watch the movie just to see this sequence.

John Wayne is moving from leading man with love interest to lovable old coot. Jorge Rivera takes over as the hunk. This is early in his acting career and very early in his English, but he's a doll to look at and OBTW, he does an outstanding leap over a fence. Christopher Mitchum looks very much like his father, and the chemistry between him and Wayne is similar to that of his father and Wayne (see Bob in El Dorado and Chris later in Big Jake).

This was Jennifer O'Neill's fourth movie, and it shows. But Wayne was famous for introducing new actors, even when it was clear they needed practice. Must have been because of the way Wayne himself was mentored in the 30s by John Ford, et. al. Watch his early work and see his own improvement.

Sherry Lansing was sexy and later vengeful. In the latter role, she, too, chewed up the scenery. She could have had a respectable acting career, but chose to shatter the movie mogul glass ceiling instead, and more power to her.

Then there are the scene stealers. David Huddleston can steal one just by being in it. Victor French is both scary and a coward simultaneously, a hard combination, but he can certainly pull it off. Hank Worden only had one scene, but he's as neat as ever. And finally, Jack Elam was a scenery chewing, crazy eyed loonie, with some of the funniest lines in the whole movie.

No, it's not the best, but I like it. It will always be in my personal movie stash.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hawks' Cinematic Farewell, October 4, 2001
This review is from: Rio Lobo [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Though partially cut from the same cloth as "Rio Bravo" and "El Dorado," Howard Hawks' "Rio Lobo" (1970) remains a solid Western and a fitting end to the veteran director's career. With a "comfortable" John Wayne back in the saddle, the film is highlighted by impressive action sequences and splendid comic relief from Jack Elam. Apart from Jorge Rivero (who establishes a nice rapport with the Duke), the younger actors are a bit weak - and it's a shame that Robert Mitchum was unable to co-star with Wayne as originally planned. "Rio Lobo" may not represent Hawks' best work, but it's a lot of fun.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I was expecting, May 7, 2007
This review is from: Rio Lobo (DVD)
I was under the impression this movie wasn't very good and it really is better than some of the reviews given about the movie. It also was different than Rio Bravo and El Dorado despite what had been said. It is a great addition to any John Wayne movie collector.
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Rio Lobo [Blu-ray]
Rio Lobo [Blu-ray] by John Wayne (Blu-ray - 2011)
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