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Rio Conchos/Take a Hard Ride (Double Feature)

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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(Jun 21, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Rio Conchos: In avenging himself against the Apache Indians who have massacred his family, ex-Confederate Army officer Lassiter (Richard Boone) recovers a stolen U.S. Army repeating rifle and finds himself arrested by the U.S. Army in connection with the stolen firearm. Lassiter is offered his freedom if he leads a small group into Mexico, consisting of an Army captain (Stuart Whitman), a Buffalo Soldier sergeant (Jim Brown, in his film debut), a knife-wielding Mexican prisoner (Tony Franciosa) and an Apache woman warrior. After blasting their way through bandits and Apaches, they discover a megalomaniacal Confederate soldier (Edmond O Brien) selling guns to the Apaches.

Take A Hard Ride: Take a tough-as-nails trail boss (Jim Brown, The Dirty Dozen), a smooth gambler (Fred Williamson, Black Caesar), a ruthless bounty hunter (Lee Van Cleef, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly), a mute martial arts master (Jim Kelly, Enter The Dragon), a desperate prostitute (Catherine Spaak, Cat O’ Nine Tails) and hundreds of greed-crazed gunmen. Turn them all loose in a chase to the Mexican border for a fortune in gold, and you have the action-packed epic Take A Hard Ride. Hollywood legends Dana Andrews (Laura), Barry Sullivan (The Bad And The Beautiful) and Harry Carey Jr. (The Searchers) costar.

Special Features

Rio Conchos

New anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1)

Theatrical trailer

Take a Hard Ride

Anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.78:1)

New interviews with stars Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly

Trailer


Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Boone, Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Fred Williamson
  • Directors: Gordon Douglas, Antonio Margheriti
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: June 21, 2011
  • Run Time: 210 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004RBC5UG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
I had only caught part of "Rio Conchos" once on TV but it looked interesting. I am a Richard Boone fan so I gave it a shot and bought it. I am so glad I did. The picture quality is outstanding. I was a bit surprised by how good it looks. And although it has plenty of action and dramatic moments, it is funny too. I laughed out loud a couple of times. I highly recommend it and this DVD comes with another movie on it to boot!
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Rio Conchos is another terrific western that I enjoyed seeing in the movies when I was a kid. I appreciate it that it has finally been released on DVD, but why with something like Take A Hard Ride as a second feature? 20th. Century Fox's excellent 1965 remake of Stagecoach with Ann-Margret, Bing Crosby, Mike Connors, Stefanie Powers, etc. has never been released. Can you imagine how excellent that would have been paired with Rio Conchos?
Anyway Rio Conchos teams an embittered indian-hating ex- confederate Major played by the always dependably great Richard Boone with a cavalry Captain played by Stuart Whitman and a sergeant played by Jim Brown (in his first motion-picture role.) Their job is to recover a shipment of rifles being sold to Boone's old (and crazed) Confederate Colonel, now based in Mexico, played in an insane performance by Edmond O' Brien. They are joined by an untrustworthy Mexican half-breed played in a showy performance by Tony Franciosa and an Apache woman in her movie debut by Wende Wagner (later Miss Case on The Green Hornet TV series.)
I've recently read that some believe that this is basically a remake of the wonderful John Wayne western: The Comancheros. I love both films, (although I like The Comancheros much better,) and interestingly I never realized the similarities between the two. Both films also co-star Stuart Whitman.
This film boasts fine performances from the entire cast, some good action and a great Jerry Goldsmith score.
The picture quality is okay although there were occassionally some red circles that would appear at the right top of the screen.
In conclusion, I'm glad this film was finally released, but just imagine how better it would have been with another quality western like Stagecoach? If they were going to release it with a mediocrity like Take A Hard Ride, perhaps thay just should have released it by itself.
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Verified Purchase
"I will tell you why Lassiter comes. To kill, and then to die."

At times, Rio Conchos looks like it was intended as a John Wayne vehicle to recapture the success of The Comancheros, sharing both its co-star Stuart Whitman and writer Clair Huffaker as well as a similar broad plot outline - a mismatched pair tracking down stolen army rifles before they can find their way into the hands of the Apache - but with a much darker tone. The film's worldview can be summed up by a line in the unused title song: "What is life but an endless fight?" There's not much humour here and what there is is dark and bitter, and where the hero of the earlier film may have lost his family but never lost his inherent decency, the same doesn't apply here: when we meet Lassiter, he's cold-bloodedly murdering an Apache burial party with a brutality that even Ethan Edwards would have found shocking.

John Wayne's long-running feud with Darryl F. Zanuck and his determination to cultivate a more audience-friendly paternal screen image ruled him out of the running for the lead, leaving a very worn-down Richard Boone to take over anti-hero duties. Looking like a grizzled bear with a thorn in his side, Boone more than holds his own and betrays little of the likeability that the Duke might have brought the part. He's a bitter man consumed by hatred, but never quite a monstrous stereotype, even bringing a weary humanity to a beautifully underplayed scene where he goes through the motions of lying to a treacherous friend he's going to have to kill. Even though there's a feeling of a second rate cast on the credits, his co-stars - Whitman, Tony Fransciosa and Jim Brown, making the leap from pro-football to acting with this film - more than hold their own.
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Verified Purchase
I'm giving this five stars sight unseen simply because RIO CONCHOS is finally getting a dvd release! This is one of the best 1960's Westerns and one of my all-time favorites. Richard Boone shines in one of his classic roles, stealing every scene he's in, rivaling his KREMLIN LETTER and NIGHT OF THE FOLLOWING DAY performances. Simply great two-fisted action for the Western fan as Boone, Whitman, Fanciosa and Jim Brown ( in his first movie role ) take on Edmond O'Brien's gun-running empire. RIO CONCHOS would make an outstanding double bill with John Wayne's THE COMMANCHEROS, which is pretty much the same film ( done earlier ), and I can't wait to watch them both on a lazy summer afternoon as an excuse to get out of yard work.
The second feature on this disc is another Jim Brown Western, teaming Brown up with Spaghetti pro Lee Van Cleef under the direction of Antonio Margheriti. This one, from 1975, is somewhat offbeat as Westerns were looking for something a little different ( yet the same ) to keep the genre alive, and though it's enjoyable it just isn't in the same class as pre-1970 Westerns like RIO CONCHOS.
So strap on the ol' sixshooter, fill the canteen and ride the trail down to the RIO CONCHOS. When you get there you'll be humming the Jerry Goldsmith theme for days!
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