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Rio Conchos/Take a Hard Ride (Double Feature)
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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.
New anamorphic widescreen transfer (2.35:1)
Take a Hard Ride
Anamorphic widescreen transfer (1.78:1)
New interviews with stars Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked Rio Concho best of the two Westerns, great cast and action.Published 4 months ago by Dwain Vincent
Both of these films have great casts, and the connection between them is actor, Jim Brown, who in "Rio Conchos" (1964) made his screen debut and is the main star power... Read morePublished 8 months ago by V. Risoli
I would rate it one of the three best westerns ever. I only wished it came out a lot sooner. I first saw it in 1964 while in Pakistan.Published 21 months ago by John Buford