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Rio Bravo [Blu-ray]
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My grandsons love this movie. They pretty much like anything John Wayne.Published 1 day ago by D. Ricks
Not the best John Wayne Movie, Not the best Dean Martin Movie and the only movie with Ricky Nelson in it that I've seen. But the ensemble fit together like a beautiful puzzle. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Ace Andres
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