Rio Bravo (1959) d: Howard Hawkes
If you look at a lot of the filmmakers who came about in the 70's a lot of them have among their favorite films Howard Hawkes' 'Rio Bravo' and it's not hard to see why. It has drama, action, romance, comedy, and it's just fun. While Howard Hawkes made some incredible films and no doubt is one of the great filmmakers Hollywood ever had this does pop up a lot on people's list as one of his, if not the, best. Mainly because it does have so many great things to it. The funny thing is that the studio didn't want Hawkes to do it. John Wayne fought for his friend Hawkes to direct the film which the studio reluctantly did and then it on to be a big hit giving. Once again John Wayne is just so great in playing, in essence, John Wayne but I don't want it any other way. It also has a really great performance by Dean Martin as a recovering alcoholic with some really great moments between he and Wayne. There is one very understated but wonderful moment in the film when Wayne's character, John T. Chance, gives Martin's character, Dude, his guns back which he had sold off long before. The look on his face is moving and endearing. The film is filled with those little moments.
The film also stars singer Ricky Nelson. Now with both Nelson and Martin in the film, even though it is a western, you expect them to sing. Now, the thing is they could have tacked on a song at some point just to cash in on the two of them being in it. Maybe a song at the saloon or something. No. Instead at a moment in the film where the main characters have come together and have a moment of peace and solace they share a song. It doesn't seem out of place. In fact, we celebrate it.
It's one of those films that even people that claim to not like westerns (and you suck by the way) even enjoy. Plus was there anything more fetching than a young Angie Dickinson? I think not.