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Rio Bravo (BFI Film Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Wood is the author of many pioneering books on the cinema, among them Howard Hawks, Hitchcock's Films Revisited and Sexual Politics and Narrative Film: Hollywood and Beyond.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (October 14, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851709664
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851709666
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Samerdyke on May 14, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was, apart from a few flaws, a very enjoyable book about one of the most enjoyable movies of all time. Wood's pleasure in "Rio Bravo" is apparent on every page. He points out the similarities between "Rio Bravo" and "Only Angels Have Wings" and "To Have and Have Not." He brilliantly demolishes the "High Noon" left wing- "Rio Bravo" right wing dichotomy that so many repeat without thinking. His analysis of key scenes is right on the money.
Yet there are flaws. There is a passage that compares Howard Hawks to Jean Paul Sartre that just didn't work for me. Likewise, Wood's discovery of a gay context between Dude and Colorado failed to convince. However, my biggest gripe is that Wood goes on and on about how Feathers is the most vulnerable and touching of Hawks' heroines, and he never mentions the fact that "Rio Bravo" was co-written by Leigh Brackett, who was a woman! Indeed, Wood seems supremely uninterested in the circumstances of how the film was made, which bothered me. It was as if everything just sprang from Hawks' forehead.
However, this didn't take away from the fun of the book, which reflects the fun of the movie.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This movie is one of my favorite westerns. The Duke and Dean Martin, what can be better? This book is a must for a fan of the movie.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an insightful exposition and analysis of the film Rio Bravo, however I was greatly annoyed by the author's constant interjection of his own narrow political views into the commentary. He makes statements throughout such as (to paraphrase) "the Right is only concerned with power over people" and "we are now in a phase of civilization called corporate capitalism where life on earth is likely to be extinguished." I am not a person of the right so his statements don't offend me on that level, but rather they were just totally inappropriate for an essay about the film Rio Bravo. The fact that he couldn't restrain himself from his tangential diatribes greatly diminished my consideration for what he has to say about the movie itself. I could get this level of analysis asking any loudmouth on the street what they think about the movie. The author ties himself in knots trying to imagine how a Republican voter like Howard Hawks could end up making a movie that seemed to express compassion for humans, and guesses that Hawks' Republican streak was simply a vestige of his "aristocratic" upbringing that he was never thoughtful enough to question in his adult life. (And yet he doesn't even try to address the views of John Wayne who was probably the most outspoken conservative Hollywood star in the fifties and sixties.)
When the author can manage to stay on topic, the essay is pretty good. He puts it in the context of other Hawks movies, some of which I've seen and some not, and analyzes the film scene by scene showing how the character relationships and plot points develop the theme of self-respect in the film, which is obviously a major part of John Wayne's star persona. I can't wait to watch the movie again and look for elements that he points out.
Cut the garbage and get over yourself, Robin Wood.
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