Sergio Leone Web Board

Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2007, 02:54:45 PM



Title: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2007, 02:54:45 PM
I'm not a big fan of the movie, but there's a fantastic review of the new DVD at the HTF: http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/showthread.php?t=256881


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: mike siegel on May 21, 2007, 04:26:30 PM
thanks for the link !

Although it is less than fantastic. Schickel's audio commentaries aren't worthwhile and I was hoping that Carpenter saved the day - obviousely he didn't.

The biggest dissapointment is the missing of the rare behind the scenes footage Warners have in their vaults.
It is in color and shows Wayne & Ford (visitor that day) on the set and Dino & Ricky singing between takes. All in color!

Damn it, took them almost 10 years for that SE and still the good stuff stays in the vaults.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2007, 05:27:07 PM
I didn't say the DVD was fantastic (I haven't seen it), only the review. It is a model of what all such should be.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: tucumcari bound on May 23, 2007, 11:49:14 PM
so you guy's think i should double dip and buy the Special Edition?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: mike siegel on May 24, 2007, 07:32:29 AM
Sure.
I'm certain it'll be good. I was just dissapointed in terms of a missed opportunity. This could have been a GREAT DVD, like ROBIN HOOD...


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2007, 05:02:06 PM
Very true. Btw, your avatar keeps cracking me up.... ;D


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2007, 05:47:15 PM
Beaver comparison: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews8/rio-bravo.htm


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Leone Admirer on May 25, 2007, 02:44:11 PM
I know I'll end up double dipping. Been reading an on going feud about the colors over at thedvdforums (I don't know why I go there still as I think the classical section is a shadow of it's former self and the news tends to crop up on the HTF first) but I'll still probably get it  ;D


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: cigar joe on March 09, 2008, 07:57:07 PM
I actually watched this all the way through today, I've seen bits and pieces before but never a proper sitting. Howard Hawks and John Wayne's answer to High Noon. 

Cast includes John Wayne .as Sheriff John T. Chance,  Dean Martin as Dude ('Borachón') ,  Ricky Nelson as  Colorado Ryan,  Angie Dickinson as  Feathers, Walter Brennan as  Stumpy, Ward Bond as  Pat Wheeler,  John Russell as Nathan Burdette,  Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez as Carlos Robante,  Estelita Rdoriguez as Consuela Robante, and  Claude Akins as Joe Burdette.

First off its practically all town bound,  most of the outdoor locations filmed in Old Tuscon Arizona, no landscape whatsoever which is a minus in my book, and even though its an answer to High Noon it seems that High Noon has much more establishing scenery. Basically Joe Burdette taunts Dude (who is a drunkard) in a saloon drinking in front of him. He asks him if he wants a drink and throws a dollar coin into a spitoon. Chance witnesses this and kicks the spitoon away from Dude before he goes diving for the dollar. Dude grabs a piece of wood and conks Chance over the head kncking him out, then he lunges at Burdette but some of Burdettes men grab him and Burdette begins to punch Dude out. Another bystander comes to Dudes rescue and Burdette shoots him point blank and leaves the saloon.

Burdette walks down the street to his own saloon and there a little while later is confronted by Chance. Some more of Burdettes men get the drop on Chance, but Dude sneaks in and grabs a gun and hip shoots the gun out of Burdettes man's hand while Chance slams Burdette up side the head with his Winchester. Chance & Dude drag Burdette off to jail and the premise of the film is set. Joe Burdette in jail and Nathan Burdette is out to save his brother.

Never is any adequate screen time given the villians John Russel and Claude Adkins never seem all that menacing, way way too much time is spent with Chance, Dude, Stumpy, Colorado, and Feathers. Lots and lots of dialog that goes on way way too long its more of a character study that is never all that very interesting. The realtionship between Chance & Feathers seems like a serious case of cradle robbing and its not believeable for an instant.

So the answer to High Noon is Chance don't need any help he can manage with his deputies a drunk, a kid, and a cripple old man, against the outlaws.

I just don't see what is so great about this film its a bit tedious. 


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on March 09, 2008, 08:12:54 PM
Thanks for the Beaver link, DJ. Looks like I won't be double dipping for the 3 disc SE after all. The newer disc's picture is much too dark, it almost appears that the old transfer is wearing sunglasses or something.

The hometheaterforum review is spot on, I agree with every word of it. Bravo is a great movie despite not being very good.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on March 09, 2008, 09:52:38 PM
I just don't see what is so great about this film its a bit tedious. 
I agree, although it does have its moments (I especially like the bit where Dean-o wheels and shoots the wounded guy up above, tipped off by the blood that has dripped on the bar counter). But Angie Dickinson, much as I love her, should not be in this movie. Ricky Nelson should not be in this movie. And Walter Brennan should not be in this or any movie subsequent to To Have and Have Not (where he's already too obnoxious for words).


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: cigar joe on March 10, 2008, 03:13:39 AM
I like Deano's turn as the drunken deputy, and the scene you mentioned is good also.

Walter Brennan by that time was a little grating with his goofy old man shtick, he's much better as the villian in "My Darling Clementine" or even where he sends that image up in "Support Your Local Sheriff".


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on March 10, 2008, 07:00:04 AM
I loved this film as a kid, but I rewatched it a year or two ago and wasn't impressed. I still enjoy it but it's not a phenomenally great film. As CJ said, the bad guys aren't properly developed and I could do without Angie Dickinson and Ricky Nelson. Jenkins, I believe it was YOU who yelled at me when I suggested Angie Dickinson shouldn't be in the film. Now you're agreeing? :D The Duke is in top form, Dean Martin is fabulous, and I like Walter Brennan, so screw you guys. Lots of cool moments and some fun shootouts, but nothing truly spectacular.

I prefer "El Dorado" personally. Mitchum is better than Dean Martin IMO, although James Caan is more than a bit annoying. "Rio Lobo" on the other hand is an atrocious film, save for the final shootout, which ALMOST saves it.

And CJ... director was Howard Hawks, NOT Henry Hathaway. O0


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on March 10, 2008, 08:20:44 AM
I love this movie for its "atmosphere". Yes, I realize that's a cheap way of putting it but this is one of those rare films which I am actually bold enough to make that claim. I thought El Dorado was a lifeless movie, the first 25 mins are simply not needed and it feels like a cheap sequel.

I like Brennan in RB, I think he's fantastic. It's true that Nelson and Dickinson can't really hold their own, but I don't really mind all too much. Nelson is masked enough by Hawks for me not to be too bothered by his awkward, wooden delivery. Dickinson has spunk and a really nice smile. I also can't argue the lack of a strong antagonist. Again, this films excells in its atmosphere, to the point in which it negates all of its flaws imo.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on March 10, 2008, 09:32:02 AM
Jenkins, I believe it was YOU who yelled at me when I suggested Angie Dickinson shouldn't be in the film. Now you're agreeing? :D
I don't remember ever saying that. Give me a link and I'll own up, otherwise quit making up stuff about me. >:(


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: titoli on March 10, 2008, 11:09:40 AM
Without these (holly)woodish, makwish movies Leone couldn't have come on the scene so forcefully. This movie, as good as it is in places, helps you more than any other artifacts to get the difference. I mean, here you have 2 singing cowboys, not 1: it is incredible, if you think about it (though. like me, you like the songs and the singers). And Wayne still playing the beau: but in Hollywood they still go for the same because it should attract female audiences. The saloon scene is masterful but you keep crying vainly for more of same. As I said in another thread, El Dorado is much better, though still hollywoodish. Brian Garfield, most notable SW detractor, treats this worse than any Leone.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on March 10, 2008, 12:17:33 PM
This movie, as good as it is in places, helps you more than any other artifacts to get the difference. I mean, here you have 2 singing cowboys, not 1: it is incredible, if you think about it (though. like me, you like the songs and the singers). And Wayne still playing the beau: but in Hollywood they still go for the same because it should attract female audiences. The saloon scene is masterful but you keep crying vainly for more of same. As I said in another thread, El Dorado is much better, though still hollywoodish.
Word.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on March 10, 2008, 06:43:42 PM
After a careful examination I see I probably confused you with someone else.

I know you're a cranky old bastard but are there any films you DO like Jenkins?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: cigar joe on March 10, 2008, 08:16:16 PM
You are right grogs, fixed it to Howard Hawks.

As far as Walter Brennan, you had to be there he was playing the same shtick as Grandpa McCoy on an awful TV series "The Real McCoys" and his limp and goofy hooting got old quick, so he was basically reprising that role in Rio Bravo.

http://imdb.com/title/tt0050053/

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsR1D-uPanM


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on March 11, 2008, 01:37:44 AM
I know you're a cranky old bastard but are there any films you DO like Jenkins?
Those by Leone, Hitchcock, Ozu, Naruse, Bresson, Herzog . . . .


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on March 11, 2008, 10:23:53 AM
I thought you didn't like most Herzog films because you thought they lacked a second act? Was that just Aguirre?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Ben Tyreen on March 11, 2008, 11:21:58 AM
 Rio Bravo is one of my favorite John Wayne movies even if some of the cast is pretty grating, especially Angie Dickinson but even with her it depends on what mood I'm in watching the movie.  Ricky Nelson wasn't gonna win any Oscars, but he was okay.  Deano is great as Dude and Walter Brennan is hilarious.  My favorite part is definitely when Stumpy is complaining about how badly he's treated and that Chance and Dude take him for granted.  Chance's reply,"You're right, Stumpy, you're a treasure" and kisses him on the top of his head!  I love the Duke doing comedy.

 Speaking of RB, does anyone know the role Harry Carey Jr was supposed to play?  IMDB says his scenes were deleted, and I've always been curious.

  Lucky for me, I got to see this in theaters two summers ago.  It's not like The Searchers or OUATITW where the big screen is needed to appreciate the movie, but it was worth the price of admission for sure. O0


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on March 11, 2008, 11:54:25 AM
I thought you didn't like most Herzog films because you thought they lacked a second act? Was that just Aguirre?
Your comment intrigued me, so I went back to the Aguirre thread to see what I'd written. Here's the remark you alluded to:
Quote
I like Aguirre (hence my presence on this thread) but it's always struck me as a film with no second act. Great beginning and finish, but a bit of a meander in the middle. This is often the problem with Herzog's features, as he is an intuitive creator but with a limited story sense. I am thinking here of Heart of Glass, Kaspar Hauser, Fitzcaraldo, all of which begin and end well but seem to be missing something in the center. Nosferatu, as a remake of a film with a strong story, doesn't have this problem.
I stand by this statement, but ask you to note that although I fault Herzog on his story construction, that alone does not outweigh his other virtues as a filmmaker. Second-act problems would be fatal to most other directors; I find, however, that I like Herzog features in spite of the failing.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on March 11, 2008, 01:07:13 PM
I love Stroszek, Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. I think they are pretty much perfect films despite any meandering. I think his style, when it succeeds, is a thing of beauty. I love the first 40-50 mins of Nosferatu but I find the second half to completely sputter out and lose focus. Same with Woyzeck. Granted, I need to see more of his movies to have a true opinion of his career, but I understand the lack of a second act comment; it's just that I feel his movies (well the three I love) need a lack of plot development in the 2nd Act for its climax or payoff to properly succeed. I think the second act, more than anything, is best suited for nature and/or the character's environment. That's why I think it's so hard to stay consistent with this method of filmmaking, tippy-toeing the line of narrative and documentary. I think it's much easier to lean more in one direction than the other, someone like Ulrich Seidl comes to mind. I think that's why I admire Herzog so much.

Fitzcarraldo is obviously much more of a straight narrative than Stroszek and Aguirre, that's why I think it's much easier to digest for most people.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on May 12, 2008, 12:05:17 AM
Quote
The “Duke” and Democracy: On John Wayne
By Charles Taylor
ONE OF THE great joys of the movies is their ability to convince us that we know the people on screen. Even the varied performances of the most versatile stars are often not strong enough to prevail against the overarching image we’ve formed of them. When Joan Didion met John Wayne on the set of the 1965 The Sons of Katie Elder, she wrote of having the sense that his face was more familiar to her than her husband’s.

And yet Wayne, whose centenary occurred this past spring, remains in some ways the most undefined of iconic movie stars. When we say we “know” Humphrey Bogart or Greta Garbo, or George Clooney or Julia Roberts, we’re talking about the intimacy we feel from having watched them at work. But much of what’s “known” of John Wayne depends on ignoring what’s on screen.

To the left, Wayne has always been close to a comic-book version of American power in all its swaggering crudeness. That his screen persona was neither swaggering nor crude hardly mattered. It was easier to think of Wayne as something like the vigilante of the plains—macho, indomitable, always in the right, ordering women and Indians around because that’s the way God planned it.

It’s inevitable that with nearly two hundred pictures to his credit (Wayne’s 1939 breakthrough, John Ford’s Stagecoach was his eightieth movie), some of Wayne’s roles do fit the traditional macho hero mold. But the image that persists of him seems more reinforced by things like his public support of conservative causes, as well as by his directing and starring in the pro-Vietnam War picture The Green Berets. And it’s been reinforced by the fact that Wayne worked primarily in Westerns, the most frequently, and often baselessly, stereotyped of movie genres.

”John Wayne represents more force, more power than anyone else on the screen,” his frequent director Howard Hawks once said. A performer who wields that kind of force, and has a physical presence to match, does not provide nuanced pleasure. But only the crudest reading would reduce the overwhelming force of Wayne’s persona to gung-ho cheerleading for American right and American might. To be true to the contradictions and moral ambiguities of Wayne’s best performances—Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers, True Grit, El Dorado—you’d have to say he stands not so much for American power as for the American experiment—and thus for the possibility that it could all go wrong.

And in Howard Hawks’s 1959 Rio Bravo, the director’s masterpiece (now out in a beautifully remastered DVD from Warner Bros.), Wayne gave us the richest, most likable, and probably the most daring version of his screen persona. The story, by the veteran screenwriters Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman, couldn’t be simpler. Joe Burdett, the youngest brother of ruthless power broker Nathan Burdett, kills an unarmed man in cold blood. Sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne) arrests Joe, intending to hold him in the local jail for the six days it will take the marshall to arrive and transport Joe to trial. Burdett, rich enough to believe the law doesn’t apply to him, orders his men to bottle up the town. His plan is to bust Joe out and kill anyone who stands in their way. Chance’s only help comes from his two deputies, the once-capable Dude (Dean Martin), who’s been in a heartbroken alcoholic stupor for two years, and the elderly, crippled Stumpy (Walter Brennan), swindled out of his land by Burdett years ago.

The inspiration for Rio Bravo came from perhaps the most praised of Westerns, Fred Zinnemann’s 1952 High Noon. High-Minded Noon it might have been called. Existing for no other reason than to impart a lesson in good citizenship, High Noon was a transparent metaphor for the failure of Americans to stand up to Joe McCarthy. Hawks hated it. Narratively, Hawks felt it made no sense for Gary Cooper’s sheriff to spend the movie soliciting the townspeople’s help to fend off the killers coming for him only to prove, in the end, that he didn’t need help. Hawks was offended by the idea that a sheriff would endanger the lives of the people he was meant to protect by trying to recruit them to save his skin.

So Hawks made a movie in which Wayne’s sheriff turns down the help offered him, and needs it at every turn. In other words, it was another of Hawks’s celebrations of the sustaining communities that are at the heart of his best films. Over and over, Hawks tells the stories of disparate individuals who, by necessity or fluke, drift together into groups that meld their professional and personal lives. The ad hoc communities of Only Angels Have Wings, To Have and Have Not, The Thing . . . From Another World, Hatari!, and El Dorado are held together by an unspoken ethos that values competence, confidence, resourcefulness, respect and self-respect, stern generosity, shared good humor, empathy, and the ability to recognize and appreciate those qualities in others. Human frailty (Dean Martin’s alcoholism in Rio Bravo; Walter Brennan’s in To Have and Have Not) is acknowledged but never judged to be the sum of a person’s character. Women are assumed to be every bit as capable as men. Hawks recognized the differences between responsibility and duty, sympathy and pity, honesty and cruelty, individualism and selfishness.

None of this is conveyed in the speeches or grand gestures common to prestige pictures.. Instead these values are conveyed in the smallest moments. The dramatic weight in Rio Bravo is reserved for the moments when the characters’ faith in each other, or in themselves, is tested. The suspense of the sequence where Dude and Chance follow a killer into Burdett’s saloon doesn’t come from whether or not they’ll get him, but from whether Dude is going to be able to recover his confidence enough to keep in charge of the situation. Each incident flows so unobtrusively into the next that you’re scarcely aware of structure, but so delighted by the supreme relaxation of the performers (particularly Martin, who’s superb) that you’re never bored.

GIVEN THE traditional solitary nature of the Western hero, Wayne would seem to be the wrong choice for a Western that celebrates community. And in our first glimpse of Wayne, a low-angle shot, he literally towers over us. The point of view is Dude’s. Broke and in bad need of a drink, he slinks into a saloon where Joe Burdett cruelly tosses a gold piece into a spittoon. Dude stoops down to fish it out only for a boot to kick the spittoon away from him. Looking up, Dude sees Chance, whose stern face conveys both disgust that anyone could sink so low and the conviction that no one need do so.

A conventional director might have followed through with Dude steadying himself, rising to his feet, and walking out of the bar, still dry but with his remaining dignity intact. Hawks, the iconoclast, gives us something more unexpected, and truer to the desperation born of weakness: Dude waiting for Chance to turn his back before clubbing him unconscious.

That action undercuts any potential for the scene to turn into Dude’s sentimental redemption. But just a few moments later, proving Chance’s implicit admonition that he can pull himself up from the depths, Dude saves Chance’s life when the Burdett men have the sheriff surrounded.

Chance is the heroic figure whose self-sufficiency inspires the others to rise above their shortcomings. But because this is a celebration of democracy, the result isn’t a race of isolated heroes but a community in which the strength of each individual buoys up everyone else. Even Chance, the strongest person in the movie, can’t do without those people. “You start,” Hawks said of casting the movie, “with the idea that if you don’t get a damn good actor with Wayne, he’s going to blow him right off the screen, not just by the fact that he’s good, but by his power, his strength.” Hawks’s faith in the cast he assembled here mirrors Chance’s faith in his comrades. He may inspire them to rise to their feet, as he does with Dude, but each one is finally capable of standing alongside him.
Cont.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: dave jenkins on May 12, 2008, 12:06:26 AM
Quote
PART OF THE beauty of Wayne’s performance here is the way, even when Chance is refusing help, he never undervalues others. When Chance’s friend, the cattleman Wheeler (the inevitable Ward Bond), derides his deputies by asking, “A bum-legged old man and a drunk—that’s all you’ve got?” Chance answers, “That’s what I’ve got.” It’s the single best line reading of Wayne’s career. There’s a world of respect in the weight he puts on that one word, “what,” an irreducible sense of people’s worth as individuals. Bill Clinton might have been instinctively paraphrasing Wayne with the phrase he kept repeating during his 1992 campaign, “We don’t have a person to waste.”

By contrast, when Dude finds a fifty-dollar gold piece on one of Nathan Burdett’s hired killers he says, “That’s just about what Burdett would figure a man’s life would be worth.” Rio Bravo pits Chance’s refusal to discount people against the cynical appraisal of the Nathan Burdetts of the world.

“When you’ve got some talent, your job is to use it,” Hawks said. He was answering the people who’d criticized him for giving Ricky Nelson a song in the film. But he could have been articulating his own delight in the people he gathers in front of his camera, his respect for them as individuals. And that’s the key to the profound inclusiveness of Rio Bravo. The characters who save Chance’s life—not just a bum-legged old man and a drunk, but Nelson’s teenage gunslinger, and Feathers, an independent woman who lives her life as she chooses, played by Angie Dickinson—are all discounted by a society that sees what they are without bothering to find out who they are.

And Hawks pushes that even further, undercutting Chance, the authority figure who is valued for what he is, by making him prone to harried misjudgments. That’s most apparent in Wayne’s scenes with Angie Dickinson, an extended comic duet in which she gets under his skin just by smiling sweetly in the manner of a woman more amused than impressed by his bluster. In one remarkable sequence a card game in which Feathers is winning turns out to be rigged, and Chance accuses her of being the cheat. He’s wrong. The only evidence he has to go on is a handbill sent out by a sheriff describing a woman who sounds like Feathers and the card sharp she travels with. It turns out that Feathers is the man’s widow, and he became a cheat only after falling on hard times. She’s on the up and up, but this handbill follows her from town to town, making trouble. When she asks Chance what she can do about that, he tells her to stop playing cards and to stop wearing feathers. “No,” she says. “I’m not going to do that. Because that’s what I’d do if I was the type of girl you think I am.” And, true to his better nature, as well as to Hawks’s faith in people to get past their shortsightedness, Chance is chastened.

Hawks would offer another celebration of the group three years later in his rambling African adventure Hatari! And in 1967 he’d rework the main elements of Rio Bravo into El Dorado, a raucous and grimly comic Western about the decrepitude of age. If the frequent sequences where the screen is bordered in black and James Caan reciting Poe’s line “Down the valley of the shadow” weren’t unsettling enough, there was Wayne, a few years after winning his initial battle against cancer, once more undercutting the image of the invincible hero by playing scenes in which he seizes up and becomes paralyzed—as if we were watching him suffer a stroke.

But it’s Rio Bravo that remains Hawks’s deepest expression of his delight in people, and his warmest, most casual vision of the ordinary and profound ways they lift each other up. Rio Bravo rejects the notion that there are people who can be thrown away. When the film critic Robin Wood was writing about the movie, he said, “If I were asked to choose a film that would justify the existence of Hollywood, I think it would be Rio Bravo.” Let me offer my own overstatement: If I were asked to choose a film that would justify the idea of America, it would be Rio Bravo.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: marmota-b on July 08, 2008, 02:28:07 AM
I'm watching this film right now. Oh my, it drags!
It's enjoyable, but slooooow. And too much talking for my liking. They could have done better by showing some of the things they talk about; like when Feathers refuses to leave. Why on earth do we have to listen to all that talking about it? Why didn't they shoot a scene of Carlos trying to put her into the stagecoach and let us have more fun? OK, it would be silly, too, but then what's the point of having such scene there anyway?
Let's see how it goes on.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: moviesceleton on July 08, 2008, 03:15:07 AM
I think I've watched this at least three times but I've never understood all the rave about it. Yes it drags to begin with, plus the romance makes it drag even more. And those singing scenes... But it's anyway pretty solid, I'd give it 7/10. Both Wayne and Hawks have made better movies.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: marmota-b on July 08, 2008, 03:44:26 AM
But I think it's one of the things Support Your Local Sheriff is making fun of, and as such it's worth it. ;D


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: The Peacemaker on July 14, 2008, 10:38:06 AM
I think Rio Bravo is a great movie and the pacing is perfect.

I have only three gripes about the movie. First of all, Ricky Nelson sucked plain and simple, his acting was just horrendous. Second of all, the villains were not all that intimidating and didn't have enough screentime. I know the focus was on the heros side of the story but they could've made the opposing faction more threatening. Third of all ( and this is my biggest gripe ) I LOATHED Angie Dickinson's character. She had absolutely no purpose in the movie except to make the women crowd happy with a romance scene or two. Her character was completely irrelevant and every scene she's in just brings the excellent pace of the film to a screeching halt.


But with those slight faults aside, Rio Bravo is a great film. I can't decide on whether or not Rio Bravo or El Dorado is the better of Hawks' work.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on July 14, 2008, 12:19:36 PM
I think the point Wayne/Hawks were trying to make was that dissenion among people or a community is more dangerous and harmful than any single imposing figure or force. You know, you got to join together, serve your duty and beat those commies, which is communist in itself but that's a different debate altogether.

For the life of me, I'll never understand how people can compare the highly inferior El Dorado to RB. I just don't get it. To me, it's like comparing a very bad movie to a very good movie.   ;)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on July 14, 2008, 01:41:57 PM
I agree with all three of those faults, though for what it's worth I did like that the bad guys wouldn't kill Chance and Co., even though it proved to be a rather stupid move on their part. I also hate the "My Rifle, My Pony and Me" scene. Not a bad song, but it brings the film to a screeching hault just as the tension is building up.

There's an argument on this topic going on on the IMDB Westerns board. Rio Bravo seems to be winning, but then some idiot brings up Rio Lobo (and claims it's better!). :o


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: marmota-b on July 15, 2008, 02:16:59 AM
Yes, I think I agree that the romance and the singing scene are really stopping the pace of the film.

Though I think, if you viewed it as a real-life story (it really had that impact on me - like watching the life of the heroes day by day, almost minute by minute), the singing scene would have its importance as something that unified the heroes. It's boring to watch, but from my own experience I know such singing with guitar makes miracles at making friends with somebody. It's similar to sitting at a campfire with someone. Before the scene they all still kept their own separate problems, and didn't trust one another completely, after that they were one. I hope you know what I mean. This is what makes me think the singing scene should be there, only maybe a bit shorter.

Wow. I think the film grows on me with time, without watching it again!

You know, you got to join together, serve your duty and beat those commies, which is communist in itself but that's a different debate altogether.

I don't think it is. You could just as well say that it's nazist in itself or whatever. The danger is not in joining, the danger is in losing your own personality in the unity. Would you say this board's members are communists because they joined together to persuade the world to believe in Leone's greatness? ;)

I mean, that's exactly what I liked on Rio Bravo. It wasn't like "join together and believe in the same things and be one and everything will be allright". The people were different, and often not very willing to join, and even after they joined, they kept having problems with it.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on July 15, 2008, 06:29:57 AM
Though I think, if you viewed it as a real-life story (it really had that impact on me - like watching the life of the heroes day by day, almost minute by minute), the singing scene would have its importance as something that unified the heroes. It's boring to watch, but from my own experience I know such singing with guitar makes miracles at making friends with somebody. It's similar to sitting at a campfire with someone. Before the scene they all still kept their own separate problems, and didn't trust one another completely, after that they were one. I hope you know what I mean. This is what makes me think the singing scene should be there, only maybe a bit shorter.

I understand the intention, but shouldn't a movie be, y'know, entertaining? This isn't a Goddard film, it's a Howard Hawks Western.

Quote
I don't think it is. You could just as well say that it's nazist in itself or whatever. The danger is not in joining, the danger is in losing your own personality in the unity. Would you say this board's members are communists because they joined together to persuade the world to believe in Leone's greatness? ;)

Agree with this 100%. Unifying doesn't mean Communist. If you want to be extreme you could say fascist, although that's misleading too. Nationalist might not be a bad term.

Quote
I mean, that's exactly what I liked on Rio Bravo. It wasn't like "join together and believe in the same things and be one and everything will be allright". The people were different, and often not very willing to join, and even after they joined, they kept having problems with it.

Good show Marmota. You said all this more eloquently than I probably could have. O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on July 15, 2008, 10:18:20 AM
I don't think it is. You could just as well say that it's nazist in itself or whatever. The danger is not in joining, the danger is in losing your own personality in the unity. Would you say this board's members are communists because they joined together to persuade the world to believe in Leone's greatness?

I mean, that's exactly what I liked on Rio Bravo. It wasn't like "join together and believe in the same things and be one and everything will be allright". The people were different, and often not very willing to join, and even after they joined, they kept having problems with it.


I was being facetious when I made the original post. In no way do I think that the characters or their motivations were communist. I was just playing on the notion of how Rio Bravo was made as a response to High Noon, which was interpeted by many as an allegory to McCarthyism (not to bring that Hollywood 10 crap to light, I don't want to discuss it). I guess I should use more emoticons from now on.

Would you say this board's members are communists because they joined together to persuade the world to believe in Leone's greatness?

No, fascists.  ;D


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: marmota-b on July 16, 2008, 12:00:24 AM
I understand the intention, but shouldn't a movie be, y'know, entertaining? This isn't a Goddard film, it's a Howard Hawks Western.

Well, then maybe a lot shorter. I still think it should be there. Most of the film nothing really happens, in terms of action, so I think it wouldn't change much. If you took it away, something would change, at least in my eyes.

And thanks for the compliment. :)


I was being facetious when I made the original post. In no way do I think that the characters or their motivations were communist. I was just playing on the notion of how Rio Bravo was made as a response to High Noon, which was interpeted by many as an allegory to McCarthyism (not to bring that Hollywood 10 crap to light, I don't want to discuss it). I guess I should use more emoticons from now on.

That's perfectly OK. I just "caught you by word", as we say in Czech. ;D


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on July 16, 2008, 04:46:59 AM
My entire reason for making the quip was that it makes more sense to create a film about the strengths of individualism, if hatred of communism is a catalyst for making a film.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on July 16, 2008, 06:44:25 AM
My entire reason for making the quip was that it makes more sense to create a film about the strengths of individualism, if hatred of communism is a catalyst for making a film.

It was hatred of High Noon much more than Communism. And I'm not sure I buy your argument anyway.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: T.H. on July 16, 2008, 10:49:11 AM
Well, agree to disagree. I am quite tired of defending a comment made in jest.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: Groggy on July 16, 2008, 04:33:45 PM
Well, agree to disagree. I am quite tired of defending a comment made in jest.

Why would we do that?

In the words of a great man:
"There's only one way to win an argument: Shout, shout, and SHOUT AGAIN!!!!!" :D


Title: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 28, 2009, 12:33:55 PM
Rio Bravo at 50: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123802062186941663.html


Title: Re: Rio Bravo SE DVD
Post by: marmota-b on March 28, 2009, 02:42:11 PM
My entire reason for making the quip was that it makes more sense to create a film about the strengths of individualism, if hatred of communism is a catalyst for making a film.

Thinking of it months later, not necessarily. If the film is not good enough, you might end up either convincing everybody that only individualism at the brink of egoism is good, or convincing them that communism is in fact good...
The question is, what aspects of communism you're fighitng against. If you're fighting against the cruelty of communist regimes, or against the economic theory of communism, or what... and by the answer to that question you'd answer the question of how to do it. :)
I suppose in the times of Rio Bravo you'd be simply fighting against the expansionism of it. Though I might be wrong. I was born decades later, and on the other side of the Iron curtain, so I can't tell.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 03, 2009, 08:01:10 PM
Wow: http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/lgrin/2009/05/03/haunted-by-the-memory-of-her-song-fifty-years-of-rio-bravo/


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on July 19, 2009, 10:16:17 AM
Ebert's latest great movies article:
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090715/REVIEWS08/907159989 (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090715/REVIEWS08/907159989)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on February 28, 2010, 05:18:07 PM
Second time in a week I've rewatched a film I hadn't seen in years.

To paraphrase Titoli's post above, this movie perfectly encapsulates everything that was both good AND bad about classic American Westerns. It has a great Wayne performance and some excellent set-pieces, but it definitely isn't the sum of its parts.

For future reference, allow me to ennumerate the film's biggest flaws:

- It's long and slow-paced. Most members of SLWB, I imagine, wouldn't have an inherent problem with a long and slow-paced movie, but Rio Bravo is filled with padding, long and repetitive dialogue scenes and side-tracks that don't add much to the film, and it really drags in spots. With such a simple, straightforward story, a leaner, more fast-paced treatment probably would have worked better. Someone needed to teach Hawks dramatic economy, I guess.

- Ricky Nelon isn't completely horrible - he ain't good but he's balanced out by Dean-O and Brennan, and he's sidelined for most of the film anyway. What is troubling about him, though, is that Colorado is the progenitor of all the colorless young sidekicks the Duke would take on, and those flicks wouldn't have the benefit of strong supporting players.

- Angie Dickinson. I don't know if her presence is so much a bow to commerciality, as CJ and others seem to think, as that Rio Bravo is a Howard Hawks film. Hawks loved strong female characters, which worked wonderfully in his screwball comedies, but he didn't seem to know what to do with them in Westerns (see also: Red River). Dickinson, lovely as she is, does nothing but flirt with Duke and hover around the bar, and there's no justification for her presence whatever.

- The singing. Please stop it.

- I don't mind the lack of action out of town, but I did mind that we saw maybe a half-dozen townspeople in the whole movie. I guess Chance is Sheriff of a film set.

- A pretty bland, unremarkable musical score. I like some of Tiomkin's stuff but his best work was generally outside of the Western genre.

- The bad guys. Joe Burdette is completely absent for most of the film's second half, even though we spent a lot of time in the jail - did Stumpy knock him unconscious every night? Plus the bad guys outside the jail are completely stupid, not the least for their "don't kill anyone" rule. There's not a lot of dramatic tension when the baddies are complete pushovers.

It also occurred to me that this movie is pretty much the template for all of Wayne's later films. He was getting on in age by 1959 and not able to carry a lot of the physical action. He had sidekicks before this, but as said above, Colorado is the clear precursor to the colorless pretty-boy dopes in The Alamo/The Comancheros/Rio Lobo/The Shootist/etc. This also applies to the weak plot and the generic, unthreatening bad guys. Rio Bravo has the good fortune of being a Howard Hawks film, which mot of the above do not (I won't try and account for Rio Lobo).  


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: T.H. on February 28, 2010, 07:16:29 PM
- It's long and slow-paced. Most members of SLWB, I imagine, wouldn't have an inherent problem with a long and slow-paced movie, but Rio Bravo is filled with padding, long and repetitive dialogue scenes and side-tracks that don't add much to the film, and it really drags in spots. With such a simple, straightforward story, a leaner, more fast-paced treatment probably would have worked better. Someone needed to teach Hawks dramatic economy, I guess.

I completely understand why many claim it's slow paced, but the 'hanging around' aspect of the movie is arguably more important than the actual plot. That's what makes it unique, just as Wilder's Avanti is a lot more than a story about the transfer of a corpse.

- Ricky Nelon isn't completely horrible - he ain't good but he's balanced out by Dean-O and Brennan, and he's sidelined for most of the film anyway. What is troubling about him, though, is that Colorado is the progenitor of all the colorless young sidekicks the Duke would take on, and those flicks wouldn't have the benefit of strong supporting players.

Good point. I'm a Ricky Nelson fan, so I like seeing him in the movie. He had just enough screen time to be a central figure without being exposed.

- Angie Dickinson. I don't know if her presence is so much a bow to commerciality, as CJ and others seem to think, as that Rio Bravo is a Howard Hawks film. Hawks loved strong female characters, which worked wonderfully in his screwball comedies, but he didn't seem to know what to do with them in Westerns (see also: Red River). Dickinson, lovely as she is, does nothing but flirt with Duke and hover around the bar, and there's no justification for her presence whatever.

If I read the script before seeing the movie, I would agree with you; but the movie is all atmosphere and I found those scenes to be charming and somehow not creepy.

- The singing. Please stop it.

Outside of the mexican death march tune scene, this is my favorite moment in the movie.

- I don't mind the lack of action out of town, but I did mind that we saw maybe a half-dozen townspeople in the whole movie. I guess Chance is Sheriff of a film set.

I think Hawks/Wayne's point was that their job is to protect the town and let them go about their everyday business. I'm almost positive that Wayne specifically commented that he hated that Cooper's character had to ask townsfolk to help defend the town.

- A pretty bland, unremarkable musical score. I like some of Tiomkin's stuff but his best work was generally outside of the Western genre.

You don't like the mexican death march scene? Really? I think that's absolutely brilliant--imo one of the best examples of sound + image in movies.

- The bad guys. Joe Burdette is completely absent for most of the film's second half, even though we spent a lot of time in the jail - did Stumpy knock him unconscious every night? Plus the bad guys outside the jail are completely stupid, not the least for their "don't kill anyone" rule. There's not a lot of dramatic tension when the baddies are complete pushovers.

That's what separates Rio Bravo from the average western, though. There isn't a strong villian, the plot isn't tight and there aren't the dramatic moments you see in most westerns: ie no "I'm about to die" speeches.

It also occurred to me that this movie is pretty much the template for all of Wayne's later films. He was getting on in age by 1959 and not able to carry a lot of the physical action. He had sidekicks before this, but as said above, Colorado is the clear precursor to the colorless pretty-boy dopes in The Alamo/The Comancheros/Rio Lobo/The Shootist/etc. This also applies to the weak plot and the generic, unthreatening bad guys. Rio Bravo has the good fortune of being a Howard Hawks film, which mot of the above do not (I won't try and account for Rio Lobo).  

Yeah, that's a good point. To hopefully not be too redundant, I think that's the point of the movie, to not resemble the average western. While that's a bit vague, this is clearly an atmospheric movie, you either strongly care for these characters or you don't and you'll spend a very long 140 mins watching this movie. This might be my favorite AW, my appreciation for the movie grows with each subsequent view.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: The Peacemaker on February 28, 2010, 08:36:35 PM
I don't know, I think Groggy summed it up perfectly. Especially the points made about the push-over baddies and Angie Dickinson.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 28, 2010, 09:02:17 PM
Yeah, Groggy has his target perfectly bracketed. Add two degrees and fire for effect.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: marmota-b on February 28, 2010, 10:28:59 PM
- The singing. Please stop it.

Outside of the mexican death march tune scene, this is my favorite moment in the movie.

Glad to find someone who agrees with me on this point. :)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 01, 2010, 09:53:46 AM
The deguello is excellent, I'll grant you that. The rest of the score, not so much.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: T.H. on March 01, 2010, 10:59:03 AM
In my mind, you guys are completing missing the point of the movie. And all the criticisms lead to a wanting of another "protect the fort" movie.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 01, 2010, 04:18:04 PM
Could you clarify what you mean, please?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on March 02, 2010, 06:25:44 AM
In my mind, you guys are completing missing the point of the movie. And all the criticisms lead to a wanting of another "protect the fort" movie.

Taste one can't teach.
I myself find Eric Rohmer & von Trier rather pretentious and boring.
Maybe I'M MISSING something TOO.
But I won't discuss it. Doesn't do any good. After such a discussion some time ago
I watched the film in question again and didn't like it ANY better. On the contrary.

As great as these forums are sometimes, I confess it hurts me here and there
when my holy cows get butchered. Then again I love BAD CRITISICM. People who
think they know about people, life & films (and film making) ... I kept fantastic contemporary
negative reviews on  THE WILD BUNCH, OUATITW, OUATIA, 2001, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and framed
them. 

It amazes me time and again, that taste is spread out so widely. I loved what James Caan
said about Hawks in a documentary in the 90's: ''He showed me how to look at things and
understand life in a way: THIS A TASTY STEAK, THIS ONE AIN'T. THIS IS A GOOD-LOOKING GIRL  -
THIS ONE AIN'T....
I guess this is how I see life too. The 1967 Mustang is a great-looking car, the new model ain't.
RIO BRAVO is a fantastic film, KEOMA ain't :)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 02, 2010, 06:59:09 AM
I guess this is how I see life too. The 1967 Mustang is a great-looking car, the new model ain't.
RIO BRAVO is a fantastic film, KEOMA ain't :)
I take your point, but surely one can like neither Rio Bravo nor Keoma. One is an AW, the other an SW. My tastes these days, however, run almost exclusively to SLs.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 02, 2010, 11:18:35 AM
Taste one can't teach.
I myself find Eric Rohmer & von Trier rather pretentious and boring.
Maybe I'M MISSING something TOO.

Why bring them into the discussion?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on March 02, 2010, 11:29:13 AM
I take your point, but surely one can like neither Rio Bravo nor Keoma. One is an AW, the other an SW. My tastes these days, however, run almost exclusively to SLs.

Don't take everything toooo serious :)

Just a personal statement from an individual.
(I always run into people who can't believe I think that KEOMA is not a SW-masterpiece.)
To compare Hawks with Castellari wasn't my goal either. They are not in the same league.

There are veery few films, everybody agrees upon they're (almost) flawless or just plain GREAT.
For some Leone was the Tarantino of the 60's, for some Tarantino is a lesser Leone of these days...
The point of Hawks statement was to open your eyes and trust your taste. To me it means that know a great film when
I see one. RIO BRAVO for instance :)



(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravoitrr6.jpg)












Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: T.H. on March 02, 2010, 12:48:00 PM
Could you clarify what you mean, please?

If you eliminate Dickinson's character, ditch the singalong, cut the movie by twenty-thirty minutes and add a stronger antagonist, you get another movie with characters stuck in a hectic situation defending a town and/or jail. Not much time would be left for the characters to interact with one another and would be impossible for the movie to succeed as a laid-back charmer.  

For the record, I'm not a fan of Keoma.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 02, 2010, 12:54:42 PM
Sounds pretty good to me.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: T.H. on March 02, 2010, 01:19:35 PM
Rio Bravo is one of my favorite movies, and is a rare breed, only the aforementioned Avanti is similar. I haven't seen anything else that's really comparable. There are already movies and westerns that fit that bill, like the unofficial RB remake: Assault on Precinct 13, which I like quite a bit.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 02, 2010, 01:46:11 PM
If I found those parts entertaining it would not be an issue. As a general rule they're tedious, whatever Hawks' intentions.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 02, 2010, 02:19:02 PM
Rio Bravo is one of my favorite movies, and is a rare breed, only the aforementioned Avanti is similar. I haven't seen anything else that's really comparable. There are already movies and westerns that fit that bill, like the unofficial RB remake: Assault on Precinct 13, which I like quite a bit.
I like AoP13 much better than Rio Bravo. Let's see, is there a love story in that? There's certainly no Ricky, and no stupid songs, so maybe that's what makes all the difference.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 03, 2010, 10:37:20 AM
I like AoP13 much better than Rio Bravo.
+ your OUATITW review
= and why do DJs burn?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: moviesceleton on March 03, 2010, 11:11:12 AM
+ your OUATITW review
= and why do DJs burn?
Because DJ is a... duck!


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 03, 2010, 01:21:41 PM
+ your OUATITW review
What would that review be?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: noodles_leone on March 03, 2010, 03:43:39 PM
Check out on the OUATITW thread... Last topic by FC...


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 05, 2010, 10:09:13 AM
What would that review be?

Too late to deny anything.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 05, 2010, 02:10:59 PM
I've been raped! :o


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Dust Devil on March 09, 2010, 04:17:48 PM
I watched it and I have to say I'm in agreement with the old tomcats: it is a movie that is somewhat enjoyable and that you can watch, but apart from a few memorable moments (blood dripping in the glass, etc., all mentioned already) I just don't see why is this supposed to be a masterpiece. The bad guys are lame, good for nothing; the best they did was make the good guys sing around a campfire, and Walter Brennan's show is truly tedious (I had the feeling I saw it like a 1000 times before). The ending was like written for a Chuck Norris flick.


around 6.8/10


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 04, 2011, 07:48:09 AM
Rio Bravo is my favorite American Western of all-time 10/10 O0

with a wonderful score by Tiomkin.

and o btw, the film kills High Noon, which I always believed to be very overrated

RE: the criticism of lack of landscapes/scenery:I think one of the purposes is that we should feel the claustrophobia of Chance and his deputies holed up there all paranoid; I think vast landscapes would have taken away from that

I usually hate love aspects of a movie, unless they fit really well into the movie; but I think this one fits very nicely, and Angie Dickinson is really good here. so are Dean and Ricky. The comic relief with Walter Brennan and Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez is very good.



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 11, 2011, 03:14:14 PM
just watched Rio Bravo for the second time, and my initial feelings are indeed confirmed. This film is my favorite American Western of all time.

In Roger Ebert's review (which I linked to in the post above), he says "The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong." I couldn't agree more. A wonderful film, with a great score by Tiomkin. (Repetitive, but that's how Western scores often were. There are basically only 2 melodies; the main theme and the de guello. Both are beautiful).



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: The Firecracker on March 12, 2011, 12:33:13 AM
I've written this elsewhere but being that this is the "official" thread...

I like Rio Bravo a lot but I do prefer El Dorado.
Mainly because I prefer James Caan in the Ricky Nelson role and Robert Mitchum in the Dean Martin role.
Also, they get out of the town a little bit.

There are no songs in it either but I like My Rifle, My Pony and Me.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on March 12, 2011, 12:52:15 AM
just watched Rio Bravo for the second time, and my initial feelings are indeed confirmed. This film is my favorite American Western of all time.

In Roger Ebert's review (which I linked to in the post above), he says "The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong." I couldn't agree more. A wonderful film, with a great score by Tiomkin. (Repetitive, but that's how Western scores often were. There are basically only 2 melodies; the main theme and the de guello. Both are beautiful).


It is my #2 (after THE WILD BUNCH).
I never understood people who do not like it. One feels so much at home with these characters. It could go on forever :)
That fact that it runs so long and plays so well in just one basic location (town) shows the skills of one of my favorite
Directors.
  couple of my lobby cards :
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravousa.jpg)
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravouk.jpg)
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravodt1.jpg)
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravodt2.jpg)
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/wayne/riobravoit1.jpg)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 12, 2011, 06:13:04 PM
I've written this elsewhere but being that this is the "official" thread...

I like Rio Bravo a lot but I do prefer El Dorado.
Mainly because I prefer James Caan in the Ricky Nelson role and Robert Mitchum in the Dean Martin role.
Also, they get out of the town a little bit.

There are no songs in it either but I like My Rifle, My Pony and Me.

El Dorado annoyed me cuz of how much of a  direct ripoff it was of Rio Bravo. (True, Rio Lobo also had some of the same plot elements, but not as blatantly). So while El Dorado may have been good in its own right, I honestly never gave it a chance cuz it just pissed me off how badly it was ripped off. Considering how great a director Howard Hawks was, I don't think he needed to recycle material like that.

I think Nelson and Martin were just terrific

Also, as I've said before, I think the reason they showed no scenery outside the town (aside from during the credits) is probably to emphasize the claustrophobia Chance and his deputies were felling; big scenery shots would have given the film a more expansive, breathable feeling which was not appropriate here. Though I agree that maybe some scenery would have indeed been nice at the very beginning, (and I'm not sure why it wasn't included....)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 12, 2011, 09:48:10 PM
I prefer El Dorado, too. Despite being blatantly derivative of the earlier film, the plot holds together much better than in Rio Bravo and aren't too many bits that insult my intelligence. Mitchum and Deano are a wash, but Caan is preferable to Nelson and Christopher George is a much better bad guy than either of the schlubs in Rio. Plus very few romantic scenes which is a big plus.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: The Firecracker on March 13, 2011, 01:01:26 AM
And arguably Michele Carey is hotter than Angie Dickinson...

(http://www.cinemaretro.com/uploads/MICHELECAREY.jpg)

(http://www.doctormacro.com/Images/Dickinson,%20Angie/Annex/Annex%20-%20Dickinson,%20Angie%20(Point%20Blank)_01.jpg)


What say you?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2011, 01:18:27 AM
I don't know who's hotter; but what I care about is what works in a film. And the scenes with Angie work very well here.

Groggy: While I agree that most love scenes in movies are forced and detract from the film, I don't agree that every time there is a love scene it must be wrong...


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: cigar joe on March 13, 2011, 03:55:31 AM
Well, I grew up having to sit through "The Real McCoy's" on TV while waiting for something else to come on and Walter Brennnan was cackling on and on in "Stumpy" mode throughout and it got quite grating, I never appreciated him as an actor till later when I saw "My Darling Clementine", "The Westerner", and "Support Your Local Sheriff".

He most probably latched on to that schtick from this movie, lol.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2011, 04:50:52 AM
Well, I grew up having to sit through "The Real McCoy's" on TV while waiting for something else to come on and Walter Brennnan was cackling on and on in "Stumpy" mode throughout and it got quite grating, I never appreciated him as an actor till later when I saw "My Darling Clementine", "The Westerner", and "Support Your Local Sheriff".

He most probably latched on to that schtick from this movie, lol.

Rio Bravo was the first film I ever saw Brennan in, and I absolutely love his performance. He plays a similar role in The Far Country, and is very good in that film as well


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: cigar joe on March 13, 2011, 04:54:49 AM
Well see the three I mentioned where he's playing more serious villains and he's downright menacing, they really show his range. They are eye openers. O0


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on March 13, 2011, 05:27:08 AM
For me Brennan's best western performances are Rio Bravo and The Westerner. Followed by Support Your Local Sheriff and then Clementine and then the others like Far Country, Blood on the Moon, Along the Great Divide and Red River.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2011, 06:03:35 AM
Brennan also plays the pastor in Sergeant York. (I didn't see the whole film, but I saw the first half-hour or so, which has plenty of scenes with him). He is so young and unrecognizable; the only reason I realized it was him was his voice/accent!


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 13, 2011, 10:01:17 AM
Groggy: While I agree that most love scenes in movies are forced and detract from the film, I don't agree that every time there is a love scene it must be wrong...

I always enjoy being misinterpreted.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 13, 2011, 10:36:19 AM
Groggy: While I agree that most love scenes in movies are forced and detract from the film, I don't agree that every time there is a love scene it must be wrong...
Yeah, even I know Grogs never said anything like that.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 13, 2011, 10:48:14 AM
I always enjoy being misinterpreted.

aww Groggy, sorry if I sounded like gettin' carried away. I know you didn't mean that literally  ;)

RE: your comment earlier that Nelson was a precursor to the bad young sidekicks Wayne would later have: I agree with you there, except that I happen to think Nelson was wonderful here. I agree that eg. Patrick Wayne and Christopher Mitchum in Big Jake were just totally out of place (as was P. Wayne in McLintock!, and in The Searchers). But I think Nelson was great here. When I first watched this film, I had no idea that he was a famous singer back in the 50's, and I still really loved his performance. (Just a normative argument, I guess  ;) )

I also think the singing scenes were good. They may well have been a bow to Martin & Nelson being 2 big singing stars at the time, but I think they work. I mean, they have to do something to pass the time, being holed up in there for all that time. Isn't it normal that they'd sing a bit?

I really hate cheap bows to commercialism and love interests in movies, but I think everything fits really well in Rio Bravo. (It may well be that Hawks's intention was a bow to commercialism, but) there isn't a scene in the film I would do without.  I just think it had the perfect amount of tension, comic relief, claustrophobia, light moments, and Angie really held her own...

And I think any Leone fan appreciates the opening scene, without a word of dialogue... Who knows how much of an influence that may have had on Leone...  :)



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on March 13, 2011, 11:11:00 AM
The problem is that Dickinson's scenes don't really connect with the narrative - they're long and tedious digressions from the actual story. I think the film could cut them out completely without losing much.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on March 13, 2011, 01:09:33 PM
The problem is that Dickinson's scenes don't really connect with the narrative - they're long and tedious digressions from the actual story. I think the film could cut them out completely without losing much.
Yep. Angie got hit with a case of Rhonda Fleming Syndrome.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: T.H. on April 22, 2011, 11:36:03 AM
I don't understand the criticism about the Angie scenes when the movie is built on the relationships between characters. It dawned on me the last time I watched this recently that it's more of an anti-western than anything.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on April 22, 2011, 11:49:59 AM
I don't understand the criticism about the Angie scenes when the movie is built on the relationships between characters. It dawned on me the last time I watched this recently that it's more of an anti-western than anything.

1. at least it's the anti-High Noon, which is always a good thing  ;) O0

2. I really enjoyed Roger Ebert's review of Rio Bravo; check it out here http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090715/REVIEWS08/907159989/-1/RSS
 
(btw, he mentions comments John Wayne made to him RE: High Noon. While I  think that High Noon is very overrated, I actually think Wayne is mistaken in one of his criticisms: When he says that if he was the sheriff in High Noon and been refused help from the townspeople, he would have been so disgusted that "I would have just taken my wife and rode out of there..." The Gary Cooper character did indeed initially want to take his wife and ride out of there; he only came back cuz he knew that Frank Miller would eventually catch up with him, so he figured he'd face him down once and for all)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on April 22, 2011, 12:08:33 PM
I like both equally, High Noon and Rio Bravo.

But the angie scenes are indeed a bit  too extensive for the good of the story. I don't like in Rio Bravo some of teh typical weak Hollywood humour, which unfortunately is in every Hawks adventure film (not to mention the Ford westerns).
And I'm not talking about Stumpy. He's a great character with  great lines.

Apart from that Rio Bravo is excellent.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 24, 2012, 03:03:27 PM
Just watched Rio Bravo for the 3rd time. Still love it. For a while, I said it was my favorite AW. Now, I don't want to say that for sure -- I still love RB, but there are so many other great ones, I don't wanna pin myself down with a single greatest. But it's up there.

-- Although i hate the love aspects of so many AW's, I still think Angie's scenes work here. I could do without the one where she gets all hysterical after she helps Wayne and Nelson kill the 4 bad guys. But otherwise I think she is fine. I just wish the idiots at Wardrobe had dressed her in something better than that awful brown checked suit and yellow shirt outfit that she wears for the first couple of days. I thought she'd be better in red and black... and indeed, she does wear those colors later in the movie  ;) That brown and yellow outfit was atrocious.

-- I think all the characters were terrific. There are a few moments of Nelosn's dialogue that I don't think he did very well -- he sometimes speaks in a monotone, which I don't like. Specifically a couple of bits of dialogue in that final shootout. But otherwise, I think he was very good, as was the rest of the cast. Wayne, Martin, Dickinson, Nelson, all terrific; Brennan was hilarious, as was Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez (what a great name  ;))

-- RB and Red River probably have my two favorite scores for an AW -- (though I love the military music in Ford's Cavalry trilogy and The Horse Soldiers, so they are in the conversation as well). Of course, both RB and RR were Hawks movies scored by Tiomkin, and use some of the same music (arranged very differently). The singing scene with Martin and Nelson was great as well -- they're cooped up in a little jail for days... they have to pass the time somehow. (Though I thought the second song was silly). Some people automatically criticize the singing as some cheap commercial shtick, but I think it fits well with the movie and, as Roger Ebert said, "I wouldn't do without it."

-- DVD: I saw the Special Edition dvd. And this was after reading Beaver and seeing his screencap comparisons with the single disc. So i was looking out for it, and definitely, the color seems way too dark in the SE. I just ordered the single disc from Amazon dirt cheap, so I'll compare it once I receive it. Based on the screencaps from Beaver (as well as the clips of movie in the special features that IMO were taken from the earlier edition), it seems to me that while the SE may be too dark, the single disc may be too light; the colors aren't nearly sharp enough on that one. So pick your poison. I will have to watch the old one when I receive it and report back.

-- ASPECT RATIO, CINEMATOGRAPHY, and EDITING: According to imdb, the negative was in 4:3 though the movie's intended aspect ratio was 1.85:1. So I guess that after shooting and developing the film, they chopped off some of the top and bottom of the picture, to get it to a 1.85 aspect ratio. (Actually, the SE is 1.78, fitting the HDTV screen exactly, so I guess they either chopped a drop off the sides or show a bit more on top on bottom, compared to the theatrical 1.85:1 version). Anyway, you'll notice on the movie's trailer, which is in 4:3, that there is much more head room, and there are wider shots. So basically they chopped much of that head room, which effectively "zooms" in the picture somewhat, and voila, you have a 1.85:1 movie, mostly in medium shot. My problem here is that very often, parts of the actors' heads or hats are cut off, and it is annoying. Unless you are filming a closeup (of which there are virtually none here), IMO you should basically always see the whole head and hat of the actors. I don't know if Hawkes intended to cut off part of the head/hat when shooting, or if that;'s how it worked out when cropping the film; but it gets annoying to see the top of the picture frequently cutting off the hair or hats. And basically the whole movie is filmed in medium shot. The camera is very unobtrusive. I certainly have no problem with a director who doesn't want the camera to be obtrusive (Billy Wilder said, paraphrasing, "If a viewer grabs his friend and says, "what an amazing shot that is," then I have failed as a director.") But I wish there had been some more closeups,  and maybe a few more wide shots, rather than having almost everything in medium shot.

-- The movie was shot on the Old Tuscon set. The set had been dormant for some time; after Hawkes used it for RB, it was revitalized; it was then used for many more, some of which added new structures to it. Old Tuscon is perhaps my favorite Western location not built by Carlo Simi. Very sad that a fire in the 90's destroyed much of it. I hear it's still open for tourists; if I ever get out to Arizona, I'll be sure to check it out.

-- Some may criticize a Western that doesn't have any landscapes (other than the credits sequence, which shows a wagon train passing through the mountains, the entire movie takes place in the town). But that is the whole point of this movie, the claustrophobia felt by Chance and his deputies: they are stuck watching a prisoner in a jail, with the bad guys bottling up the roads and watching throughout the town; any step outside the jail is dangerous. Those who argue for landscapes for the sake of landscapes is missing the point of the movie


Anyway.... awesome movie  :)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 24, 2012, 03:54:57 PM
-- I just wish the idiots at Wardrobe had dressed her in something better than that awful brown checked suit and yellow shirt outfit that she wears for the first couple of days. I thought she'd be better in red and black... and indeed, she does wear those colors later in the movie  ;) That brown and yellow outfit was atrocious.
Yves Saint Laurent! YSL is posting to this board!


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 24, 2012, 04:21:28 PM
-- Some may criticize a Western that doesn't have any landscapes (other than the credits sequence, which shows a wagon train passing through the mountains, the entire movie takes place in the town). But that is the whole point of this movie, the claustrophobia felt by Chance and his deputies: they are stuck watching a prisoner in a jail, with the bad guys bottling up the roads and watching throughout the town; any step outside the jail is dangerous. Those who argue for landscapes for the sake of landscapes is missing the point of the movie
The landscapes themselves aren't the point; they are just markers that help express what is unique about the Western. The strength of the Western genre, it seems to me, is that it features stories that play out against a background that itself is of danger to the protagonists. That is, the hero does not only have to contend with the villain; the very ground on which he walks poses potential challenges. No one took advantage of this approach more than Leone: in GBU, for example, there are the desert crossing scenes; deserts are of course landscapes hostile to human life, and can even be made more deadly when put to use by a murderer like Tuco. But Leone outdid himself later in the film when he featured an even more hostile environment, the town under cannon barrage, a killing floor where death can arrive randomly and instantaneously. But then, Leone uped the ante again, with the bridge-crossing sequence, and his introduction of the ultimate in hostile environments, the War-scape.

The fact that a hero has to fight both an antagonist and a hostile environment is what gives the great Western their one-tow punch. And the heroes who emerge from such dual testings are ones who are truly admirable. A "towny" Western like Rio Bravo can still make a good movie, it just seems like an opportunity has been wasted. If the setting is going to be a civilized one, why not make the film a simple crime picture? Save the Western for what it does best, combining a man-against-man story with a man-against-nature one.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 24, 2012, 04:38:20 PM
The landscapes themselves aren't the point; they are just markers that help express what is unique about the Western. The strength of the Western genre, it seems to me, is that it features stories that play out against a background that itself is of danger to the protagonists. That is, the hero does not only have to contend with the villain; the very ground on which he walks poses potential challenges. No one took advantage of this approach more than Leone: in GBU, for example, there are the desert crossing scenes; deserts are of course landscapes hostile to human life, and can even be made more deadly when put to use by a murderer like Tuco. But Leone outdid himself later in the film when he featured an even more hostile environment, the town under cannon barrage, a killing floor where death can arrive randomly and instantaneously. But then, Leone uped the ante again, with the bridge-crossing sequence, and his introduction of the ultimate in hostile environments, the War-scape.

The fact that a hero has to fight both an antagonist and a hostile environment is what gives the great Western their one-tow punch. And the heroes who emerge from such dual testings are ones who are truly admirable. A "towny" Western like Rio Bravo can still make a good movie, it just seems like an opportunity has been wasted. If the setting is going to be a civilized one, why not make the film a simple crime picture? Save the Western for what it does best, combining a man-against-man story with a man-against-nature one.


Yeah, Frayling mentions on the GBU commentary how Leone uses the Western town in the way that a film noir uses the city streets: it's a place where danger lurks on every side, and the purpose is to get from one side to the other, on your way to your destination, (there, the cemetery with gold) without getting shot. And he uses the landscapes of the desert in a similar manner. They are dangerous, rather than inviting like Monument Valley.

IMO, Rio Bravo uses the town set in a very similar manner. And those scenes of Wayne and Martin doing their night patrols are often mentioned as having an effect on Leone, most notably in OUATITW as Fonda is trying to walk through Flagstone. But it doesn't use the landscapes that way. This movie certainly has a very different feel, the town feels much more menacing and claustrophobic than it typically does in an AW, and I think that the effect is heightened by setting the entire movie that way. If there had been scenes in between that involved going through landscapes, it may have lessened the claustrophobic, menacing effect of the town.  THEY'VE GOT THE WHOLE PLACE BOTTLED UP, NO ONE CAN GET IN OR OUT. It's almost like a hostage movie.

I don't think it's "wasting" a Western to not have landscapes. Yes, a Western provides an opportunity for the landscape element, but something different can also work. eg. in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, which is of course meant as an anti-Western, the whole point is the town location, which almost the entire movie is set in.

Of course, having great landscapes can add so much to a Western. But here, not having them adds so much.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Groggy on June 24, 2012, 04:40:26 PM
If the movie delivered more in the way of tension or threat I would agree with the claustrophobic comment. But even that's not strictly true. The bad guys are pushovers and Chance and Co. leave the jail to drink/flirt with Angie Dickinson/fuck around at will throughout the movie.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 24, 2012, 04:57:50 PM

-- ASPECT RATIO, CINEMATOGRAPHY, and EDITING: According to imdb, the negative was in 4:3 though the movie's intended aspect ratio was 1.85:1. So I guess that after shooting and developing the film, they chopped off some of the top and bottom of the picture, to get it to a 1.85 aspect ratio. (Actually, the SE is 1.78, fitting the HDTV screen exactly, so I guess they either chopped a drop off the sides or show a bit more on top on bottom, compared to the theatrical 1.85:1 version). Anyway, you'll notice on the movie's trailer, which is in 4:3, that there is much more head room, and there are wider shots. So basically they chopped much of that head room, which effectively "zooms" in the picture somewhat, and voila, you have a 1.85:1 movie, mostly in medium shot. My problem here is that very often, parts of the actors' heads or hats are cut off, and it is annoying.


If the intended aspect ratio was 1,85:1, then all the "chopping" of hats and other things was obviously done by purpose. They obviously did not chop something, but add something not intended to be seen for former full scrren versions.

And the DVD's aspect ratio is not 1,78 but 1,85 :1, just like stated on the cover. Why not simply size it instead of saying something wrong again? Mostly the data on covers are correct.
(Not that there is a big difference for the film's impact, if any)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 24, 2012, 05:00:31 PM
-- ASPECT RATIO, CINEMATOGRAPHY, and EDITING: According to imdb, the negative was in 4:3 though the movie's intended aspect ratio was 1.85:1. So I guess that after shooting and developing the film, they chopped off some of the top and bottom of the picture, to get it to a 1.85 aspect ratio. (Actually, the SE is 1.78, fitting the HDTV screen exactly, so I guess they either chopped a drop off the sides or show a bit more on top on bottom, compared to the theatrical 1.85:1 version). Anyway, you'll notice on the movie's trailer, which is in 4:3, that there is much more head room, and there are wider shots. So basically they chopped much of that head room, which effectively "zooms" in the picture somewhat, and voila, you have a 1.85:1 movie, mostly in medium shot. My problem here is that very often, parts of the actors' heads or hats are cut off, and it is annoying. Unless you are filming a closeup (of which there are virtually none here), IMO you should basically always see the whole head and hat of the actors. I don't know if Hawkes intended to cut off part of the head/hat when shooting, or if that;'s how it worked out when cropping the film . . . .
I'm guessing that's how it worked out when cropping the film. Hawks was old school and couldn't be bothered to adapt to the new widescreen format. At least on this film, he shot things just as he always had and let others worry about the final aspect ratio. Some of the up-and-coming directors of the time (Kubrick, for one) also liked shooting 1.37:1, but in so doing would always "protect" the image for theatrical (ie widescreen) presentations. That is, he'd make certain the center of the frame was properly composed and contained all the necessary visual info. I wonder if Hawks original camera negatives survive. I'm guessing they don't, but if they do, it might be interesting to se the film as he actually shot it.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 24, 2012, 05:34:14 PM
If the movie delivered more in the way of tension or threat I would agree with the claustrophobic comment. But even that's not strictly true. The bad guys are pushovers and Chance and Co. leave the jail to drink/flirt with Angie Dickinson/fuck around at will throughout the movie.

 I don't think the bad guys are pushovers: Nathan Burdette acts the part of the "respectable businessman," but uses the methods of the gunfighter. (similar to one of the 5 stock characters from AW's that Leone borrowed for OUATITW  ;)) He has lots of gunmen there, I don't think they are pushovers; Chance & Co. defeat them with a few instances of luck.

yeah, they leave the jail a few times, and realize that's their mistake: leaving the jail puts them in harm's way, and that's why they decide to stay in the jail (but it's too late). and even when they are out and nothing happens, there is a lot of tension, like in those nighttime patrol scenes. That is often more menacing than an actual gunslinger hiding in an alley: the paranoia of every creaking door and whistling wind.

and even if you do not think that Hawkes was successful in creating the proper tension, I don't think that is necessarily an argument against eliminating landscapes in an attempt to create claustrophobia. You can argue that Hawkes wasn't successful in carrying out what he intended, without arguing that the intent/idea was wrong. So if you agree that in theory it makes sense to try to create a claustrophobic atmosphere by setting the entire movie in the town, but that the movie didn't succeed in creating the tension, shouldn't you criticize the failure in creating the tension, rather than criticizing  the elimination of landscapes in an attempt to heighten the tension?

btw, on the bonus features, someone (I forget who) mentions an interesting point: the scene in the saloon when the murder takes place was initially intended to be used as the opening/credits sequence; while the scene with the wagon train traveling through the mountains was supposed to be used later (I am not certain if it was supposed to be the first scene after the credits, or if it was gonna be used later, perhaps just before the wagon train arrives in town. Either way,) perhaps Hawkes did it deliberately for that reason: maybe he decided to use the one scene that takes place outside the town in the opening credits, so that once the "movie proper" begins, (or once the murder takes place) the entire story stays in the town, so we don't lose the claustrophobic feel by cutting to the scenes with teh wagon train traveling through the mountains.

----------------

p.s. Truth is, even the credits sequence is no great landscape shot. The camera is sitting one place, on a mountain pass, as the wagon train goed by http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3dMgEYXw3k I guess that even if you accept that Hawkes deliberately kept the movie in the town to achieve a claustrophobic effect, perhaps you can argue that at least the credits sequence should have showed some nice  landscape shots. That way, at least we could have had one nice scene showing the beautiful Western landscape, before a the claustrophobic effect is necessary. I can accept that argument. (This was apparently a big-budget movie, so I don't think money was the concern). Doing that shot might have achieved a couple of other effects: a) give the audience false expectations, by showing a vast landscape in the opening credits but having the rest of the movie in the town; and b) perhaps provide a great contrast to (or even heighten?) the claustrophobia of the movie: they are bottled up in this street while just outside, there is a vast land...


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 24, 2012, 05:59:56 PM
RE: the aspect ratio stuff:

I am NOT complaining that the top and bottom of the movie were chopped to get it from 1.37:1 to 1.85:1 As long as Hawkes intended all along to screen it in 1.85:1, that means he set up the shots that way, assuming the top and bottom wouldn't be used. So I am in no way complaining that the movie is "cut." My only complaint is that in the final product, I just find it annoying that the tops of heads/hats are constantly cut. I just wish the top of the picture would show the actors'  entire head/hat (except, of course, in a closeup shot - of which there are virtually none in this movie). The fact that the movie being shot in 1.37:1 but being cropped to 1.85:1 is only a peripheral point here, ie. my complaint that the heads are so often chopped. The reason I mention the cropping of the image is that I wonder if the heads would have been cut if the movie had actually been shot in 1.85:1 (does film exist of that size?) So Hawkes definitely knew all along that he would crop the top and/or bottom of the image and release the movie in 1.85:1 -- so the top and bottom were never intended to be released, so I have no complaints about the 1.85:1 image: it is 100% authentic. I just wish that the heads wouldn't constantly be cut off, and I wonder if that is somehow a by-product of the cropped image, ie. it may be difficult to know precisely what will be cut at the time of shooting; whereas if Hawkes could know the exact image that would be used at the time of shooting, he may have been able to position it properly to keep the heads in (-- assuming he cared about it. I mean, of course, Hawkes may well have not given a damn about heads, and even if he had actually shot in 1.85:1, maybe he would have cut the tops of heads there too. Who knows. I just found it a little annoying).

@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.

UPDATE: I believe I found it, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k


@ stanton the reason I say it is 1.78:1 is cuz A) it fills up my entire tv screen with no black bars (hdtv screens are all 1.78:1); and B) Beaver lists the aspect ratio as 1.78:1 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews8/rio-bravo.htm  (I guess he goes by what he actually sees on tv, not what is printed on the dvd box). Almost all the 1.85:1 movies that I have seen on dvd, fill up the entire hdtv screen, and therefore are cropped to 1.78:1 -- no matter what aspect ratio is listed on the box -- either by chopping the sides or showing more info on top and bottom. If the aspect ratio was really 1.85:1, there would be tiny black bars on top and bottom of the hdtv screen. (Anyway, I don't mean to harp on the issue of 1.78:1 vs. 1.85:1 for Rio Bravo. Yes, it generally annoys me that studios change the original aspect ratio just so it can fit on hdtv's without black bars, but that's a general point and in no way the focus of my discussion on the technical aspects ofRio Bravo).


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 24, 2012, 08:30:33 PM
@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.

UPDATE: I believe I found it, on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k
I doubt the trailer was made specifically for TV. Because it was going out to theaters quickly, in advance of the release, the trailer used the images immediately at hand--those Hawks had shot, before any cropping was done. However, the prints of the film itself must have circulated only in the cropped version--by 1959, features released by the major studios would not have gone out any other way but in widescreen. All theatrical presentations of the film would have been in widescreen.

Now, the interesting question is, when the film started appearing on TV, it was presented of course in 4:3. How was that image obtained? By either pan-and-scanning the release print OR cropping the release print (that is, cropping it again, making a crop of a crop--and as Don Adams would say, "That's a lot of crop")--OR did they go back to the original negative and create a new print in the aspect ratio it was composed in? Looking at that trailer, it's clear that the scenes we're seeing there were composed for 1.37:1. Are those the actual scenes in the film, or alternate takes? If some at least are identical to scenes in the finished film, then suddenly I'd be very interested in seeing the film as it was originally shot. Again, I doubt very much the original negative still exists, and if no full screen prints were ever struck from it, there is no way we will ever be able to recover Hawks's original compositions. It's an interesting question, and I certainly have no way of finding out what's what, but if someone can--maybe Glenn Erickson?--it would be nice to know.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 02:29:47 AM
Before the era of widescreen TVs started I have watched Rio Bravo a dozen times in the open matte full screen aspect ratio. Like nearly every other film which was shot in 1,37:1 but intended by masking for a 1,85:1 (or 1,66:1) aspect ratio for cinemas. I have compared my VHS recording with the Rio Bravo DVD, and yes, it was always the unmasked 1,37:1.
I have checked only the first scene, but after watching Rio Bravo for 30 years full screen,  I can't say that while watching the DVD that I thought that there was something at top and bottom which I would liked to see.

Why should the original negative no longer exist? It is normally that which is used for DVDs, or at least then for the newly remastered Special Editions or HD Masters for the Blus.

And btw Drink, the name is Hawks not Hawkes.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 02:48:34 AM
RE: the aspect ratio stuff:

I am NOT complaining that the top and bottom of the movie were chopped to get it from 1.37:1 to 1.85:1 As long as Hawkes intended all along to screen it in 1.85:1, that means he set up the shots that way, assuming the top and bottom wouldn't be used. So I am in no way complaining that the movie is "cut." My only complaint is that in the final product, I just find it annoying that the tops of heads/hats are constantly cut. I just wish the top of the picture would show the actors'  entire head/hat (except, of course, in a closeup shot - of which there are virtually none in this movie). The fact that the movie being shot in 1.37:1 but being cropped to 1.85:1 is only a peripheral point here, ie. my complaint that the heads are so often chopped. The reason I mention the cropping of the image is that I wonder if the heads would have been cut if the movie had actually been shot in 1.85:1 (does film exist of that size?) So Hawkes definitely knew all along that he would crop the top and/or bottom of the image and release the movie in 1.85:1 -- so the top and bottom were never intended to be released, so I have no complaints about the 1.85:1 image: it is 100% authentic. I just wish that the heads wouldn't constantly be cut off, and I wonder if that is somehow a by-product of the cropped image, ie. it may be difficult to know precisely what will be cut at the time of shooting; whereas if Hawkes could know the exact image that would be used at the time of shooting, he may have been able to position it properly to keep the heads in (-- assuming he cared about it. I mean, of course, Hawkes may well have not given a damn about heads, and even if he had actually shot in 1.85:1, maybe he would have cut the tops of heads there too. Who knows. I just found it a little annoying).

The camera has marks on the lens so that the DoP can easily see what will be seen later in the theatres. It is unlikely that they didn't cared for the picture composition.

It is also often that in these open matte full screen versions you see thing which don't belong in the film, like micros hanging in the image. In the Mount Rushmore scene of North By Northwest even a part of the studio became visible where the studio built set had ended.


Quote

@ dave jenkins: If you look on the bonus features of the first dvd of the SE, the have the Rio Bravo trailer, it is in 1.37:1 (I guess it was the trailer shown on TV?) and you can tell that in the trailer, here is much more information on top and bottom of the image (and therefore the image is in  much more long shot; the cropping of to get it to 1.85:1 also had the effect of effectively "zooming" the shot, making the long shots that were filmed seem like medium shots in the final product. Perhaps when you know you will be cropping the image, the safest thing to do is to film in long shot, so that you have more options when editing/cropping?) So I guess that to get the trailer to 1.37:1, rather than chop the sides off of the 1.85:1 theatrical image, they used the full picture that was shot. So dj, if you are looking for the full image, I guess you can at least see it on that trailer.



@ stanton the reason I say it is 1.78:1 is cuz A) it fills up my entire tv screen with no black bars (hdtv screens are all 1.78:1); and B) Beaver lists the aspect ratio as 1.78:1 http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/dvdreviews8/rio-bravo.htm  (I guess he goes by what he actually sees on tv, not what is printed on the dvd box). Almost all the 1.85:1 movies that I have seen on dvd, fill up the entire hdtv screen, and therefore are cropped to 1.78:1 -- no matter what aspect ratio is listed on the box -- either by chopping the sides or showing more info on top and bottom. If the aspect ratio was really 1.85:1, there would be tiny black bars on top and bottom of the hdtv screen. (Anyway, I don't mean to harp on the issue of 1.78:1 vs. 1.85:1 for Rio Bravo. Yes, it generally annoys me that studios change the original aspect ratio just so it can fit on hdtv's without black bars, but that's a general point and in no way the focus of my discussion on the technical aspects ofRio Bravo).

Yes, you obviously see only the 1,78;1 image, but if you downsize the image via your DVD player you can check the size. And it is 1,85:1.
You can also notice that most likely not only on the sides but also on top and bottom a little bit of the image is missing due to the overscanning of the TVs. All 2,35:1 films are of course also missing parts of the image on the sides.

But in the theatres you can often notice that also some parts of the image are beneath the screen. On all 4 sides. So no big deal.

The trailer is then in 4:3 because they obviously thought it wasn't necessary to show it in the correct aspect ratio.



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on June 25, 2012, 03:30:57 AM
These aspect ratio discussions are as old as homevideo I guess. Before the 80s nobody talked about it except for the occasional complaint when the projectionist messed up a 1:1,85 screening of an 1:1,37 print.

I didn't read it all, but Stanton seems to be on target.

First, all non-anamorphic films (except VistaVision and Super-35) used to be filmed 'Open Matte'. Few cameras before the 80s were equipped with a 1:1,85 mask. (Sometimes B-Cameras. You see a mix of aspect ratios sometimes when you look at 'Open Matte' prints. CROSS OF IRON for instance. The film was shot Open Matte. But one or two Arri 3C had 1:1,85 masks. So if you screen a 35mm print of CROSS, I have one, in 1:1,66 ratio (my favorite format for this film), occasionally black bars show up due to the ''1:1,85 B-cameras''. Not perfect but that's how it used to be. I'm sure we have some guys here older than STAR WARS who will smile when I tell you how ordinary it was to see scratchy prints, missing scenes (especially during reel-to-reel exchanges), wrong aspect ratios, bad sound and especially 'half frames' due to bad splices. But that's how it was. For all of us, incl. Cinematographers etc. The world changed boys. And for the better this time. One look at our old 1984 VHS tapes and we must realizes how spoiled we are now. Of course I wished that this last issue, regarding aspect ratios, would be handled better. But it used to be a mess and it always will be due to its complicated (and creative) nature.

In general masking takes place in the projection room. Europe used to screen (and compose!) most 'flat' films in 1:1,66; USA in 'American' WideScreen 1:1,85. Cinematographers had their 1:1,37 camera viewfinder and were used to compose their shots considering the international format-chaos: just be sure no important information is outside the 1:1,85 picture area (so European Widescreen was always on the safe side anyway). Composing 'Widescreen' with such a viewfinder is not that easy. Some frames are easy to compose 'wide', some cry for full frame. I used to mask my viewfinder so I'd be forced to ignore bottom & top of the 1:1,37 frame.
Once the film was in distribution, there was no control over the projection. Today we hear big screams about ''a bit more picture information on the right'' or what have you. Most homevideo freaks would be surprised how much picture information is ''lost'' due to masking while projection. Flat AND Scope. For homevideo it is much easier to control, so we see better prints than we used to decades ago. The only major problem nowadays is that 1:1,66 is lost for good. TV set have 1:1,78, modern cinemas 1:1,85 only.

Trailers are not masked for homevideo because the main show is important, not the trailer. But of course they were masked in cinemas just like the feature films.
In the end it is no exact science. Try to discuss it with a cinematographer and he'd tell you the same. If you have a sense and an eye for composing, you feel how a film SHOULD look like. Like I said, there never was a way for the ONE solution. In Paris a 1972 film looked different in theaters than in Chikago. With the new TV-sets again it looks different! Some open matte films look great in 1:1,85, some long for the European widescreen. As a film maker you have to shake it off, there's no point. Except for Stanley Kubrick of course who checked the projection rooms himself !

(as for my Top 10 film RIO BRAVO, I prefer 1:1,66. It looks best that way. I saw it open matte once in a theater (they must have thought it was filmed in 1934) and it was not very good. Interesting yes. Too see 'so much' RIO BRAVO :). 1:1,85 is much too wide for such a theatrical film which lives 90% from its excellent dialogue and character constellations. 1:1,78 is OK,  yet 1:1,66 still better. It 'feels' right.
 


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 03:43:13 AM
Thanks, Mike. That's very interesting.

So I am correct that this trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iBJMtfGx1k shows the full image that Hawks shot (top and bottom cropped for theatrical and dvd release)? There is way too much headroom here, I can't believe anyone wants to see all that. It was definitely intended to be cut all along. (Even though I think too much of the heads is cut on the 1.85:1 version; there is waaay too much headroom in this 1.37:1 trailer. It was definitely intended to be cut all along). But perhaps it was shot in 1.37:1 so that various theaters could use their own aspect ratio. Eg. like you say Europeans use 1.66:1 so i guess for Rio Bravo they show a little more of the top and bottom. (If the film itself was 1.85:1, then in order for Europeans to get it to 1.66:1, they'd have top crop the sides. Instead, since the film was 1.37:1, they could show a little more of the top and bottom.)

If 1.66:1 indeed shows more on top and bottom, then I am sure I'd love that version -- cuz my one complaint about this picture is that the heads constantly seem to be cut off! Are all current European dvd's of this movie 1.85:1, or are any in 1.66:1?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on June 25, 2012, 04:08:11 AM
Yes, that trailer shows the 1:1,37 shooting ratio. Very nice :)
But you see it is composed in such a way even a 1:185 screening would not hurt the picture information: there's enough space below the writing in the red area. Also one can easily see what the bosses hammered in the cinematographers heads: ''NO chopped off heads!''. Therefore they always cared about the top of the image while the bottom was most of the time of no importance.
If you check 0:57 (youtube trailer): dead area on the top (''NO chopped off heads!!'') while it's a shame the bottom will be cut of off. Looks good the way it is shown here!

Coming back a sec regarding theatrcial prints: almost ALL flat (no anarmorphic process) prints were 1:1,37! Masked prints rarely existed. Projecting those is risky: If your print is 1:1,85 and your mask in the projector is 1:1,85, you don't have any room for tolerance!
The projection needs to be 95% on the target then or else you see black bars on the screen! Like I said: the masking takes place in the projector. Most of the time. So the right or left of the image stayed the same, only top & bottom altered due to country / projector / skill of my drunken colleagues.

Here are two film cells from my prints. Both first release prints (1969). You see EASY RIDER (looks best in 1:1,66, maybe because the cinematographer came from Europe :)), full frame shot, the way unmasked  ARRI cameras film. I was very surprised when I got my SILENZIO print and realized it was masked! So Corbucci wanted to make sure his film was projected this way and only this way ..

(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/IMG_0005-kl.jpg)
(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/silenzioframe.jpg)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 04:55:01 AM
So they basically shot it long, figuring it gave them plenty of options to play around with later on when they cropped it for theatrical release -- ie. they could later choose, when cropping it to 1.85:1,  how much of the top and how much of the bottom to crop, so long as they shot it long enough with plenty of extra room on top and bottom. (Whereas if they had shot it with the top of the heads were close to the top of the screen, that would give them no choice but to cut mostly the bottom when cropping it)

Or, is there some way in the viewfinder that they can see the 1.85:1 image that will be projected, so that during shooting, they know what will be used and what won't?

I guess I am trying to ask if they know what the final 1.85:1 image will look like when they shoot it, or if they don't know that till they actually edit it?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 05:46:03 AM
Normally they had / have marks so that they can exactly see what they will have on the screen.

Another way is, like Mike said, to mask the camera lens. Then the extra space on top and bottom can't irritate, but then you risk to have mics and other unwanted things in the full frame aspect ratio, which then became visible on the full screen home video versions. And in former days one advantage of the flat image was that they could show it on home video open matte full screen, and that is much, much better than a pan & scan version of a 2,35:1 film, which looks horrible. But that was for many years often the only way to watch a film if you couldn't catch it in a theatre.

OuTA was not the only film which was not shot in 2,35:1 in consideration of the home video and TV market.

The other way round in the 50s and 60s many films were only shot in 2,35:1 because they made all their money with the theatrical release, and TV was not a market, but only a rival which they tried to beat with a much bigger image.
Hawks despised 2,35:1, and after shooting Land of the Pharaohs, one of the earliest widescreen films, never returned to the 2,35:1 aspect ratio.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on June 25, 2012, 06:41:15 AM
I only know European equipment. See attached images of the viewfinders. If it was decided to go for 1:1,85, one had to compose in the head. Some made scratches on the viewfinder or other marks. But these were less 'comfortable' times. I'm sure most people would be more than surprised to learn what actually CAN be seen through a 35mm (camera)viewfinder. Not that much :). Everything had to be mathematics (Focus pulling, exposure of course ..).
And when you mention the older cameras with external viewfinders, you couldn't even exactly frame because the image in the viewfinder was not the same as the frame in the camera gate.
Nowadays you have external 'viewfinders' as big as TV-screens. Or at least as big as a box of cigarettes. It is much easier but less adventurous.

That safe area is a thing of the past as well. PC's etc. shows 100% of the filmed (or released) image while old TV-sets varied on that field. So you needed a 'safety area' to make sure all important information (especially titles, credit sequences) was 'safe'. I learned the hard way. When I edited my first Digi-Film PASSION & POETRY my viewfinder did not show 100% of the filmed image, rather 95%. So I had unwanted stuff on the left and right sometimes. Later when I edited I was still into that 'safe area' thing so I didn't care about picture content outside of that area (animated photos for instance. Sometimes the edge of the photo was not visible (of course) in the wanted frame, but beyond the 'safe area'. At the first public screening I was shocked to see unwanted stuff at the edges here and there. I wasn't into that new technology yet and didn't think of the fact that beamers of course have no masking. Much unlike 35mm, where you NEED masking. So later on I had to mask the film slightly at the right and left for the DVD release ..

(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/aspect-view-1.jpg)(http://i953.photobucket.com/albums/ae15/peckinpah69/aspect1.jpg)


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 07:29:52 AM
I guess that the advantage of shooting it in 1.37:1, rather than shooting it in 1.85:1, is that for the home video release, which is in 1.37:1, you can use the full image, rather than panning and scanning the 1.85:1 image into 1.37:1?

(I really don't know anything about technical terms and I'm kind of learning as I go from these boards and Wikipedia, so please excuse my ignorance on these matters, and some of my posts in which I am struggling to find the correct words to say what I'm thinking cuz I don't know much about this stuff, or the technical terms. I only started being aware of all this technical shit within the past couple of years  :-[ )

From the couple of minutes of 1.37:1 image that we do get in the trailer, it is quite clear that there is a shitload of extra headroom that doesn't belong there; there are so many long shots that don't belong. I guess that seeing the 1.37:1 image is instructive to know what was cropped to achieve the theatrical (ie. proper version) of the movie, but it certainly has no legitimacy as a version of the movie.

It's interesting what stanton says that Hawks hated 2.35:1 after shooting Land of the Pharaohs in it: perhaps the fact that LOTP was a miserable failure (sending Hawks to a 4-year European retirement ) had something to do with it? maybe he just wanted to disavow anything that had to do with LOTP?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 07:43:33 AM
Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.


----------

Anyway, does anyone have an opinion on the cropping of Rio Bravo, ie. the chopping of the heads? Maybe they should have shot it a bit longer so that the heads wouldn't chopped?

Also, anytime you zoom in on an image, it loses some quality. Cropping automatically zooms the image. So if the long shot was taken in 1.37:1 and now it is cropped to 1.85:1 and looked like a medium shot, won't the image lose some quality? So wouldn't it be better quality if it had actually been shot in widescreen?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 25, 2012, 09:16:13 AM
Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.

If your TV monitor has a pillarbox setting (where you can see black on all 4 sides) you may be able to take the correct AR there.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on June 25, 2012, 09:17:45 AM
Like I said, film makers in the 50s/60s/70s had to live with those problems. There were many cinemas that projected films the wrong way. They still do by the way. Each theater has something in common: they have a certain screen and when the projector is installed (no matter which decade) lenses / angles etc. are chosen to fill that screen. It has not much to do with us Cineasts who want to see exactly what the film makers filmed / composed etc. Nobody really gives a damn except cinematographers / Directors and some (true) filmlovers.
So when you make 1000 shots for a feature film there will be shots when you will wind up withan unwanted chopping effect. But that wasn't a matter in the old days, it was just common and not controlable. Lots of re-run theatres loved their new widescreens so much, they tried to fill it up no matter the correct screening aspect ratio. Believe me, the last detail they would discuss on location back then was ''But if we go in that close his hat might be chopped off..''. THey had other problems and priorities and knew that their film who be screened in many different aspect ratios. The films were (much) better, but the technical aspect of projection was not even close to nowadays standards. Not everywhere of course, I used to skip the 'bad' cinemas and only went to the ones where I knew the show would be fantastic. Incl. Sound, focus etc.
 
I once discussed this matter with an old director who hated Scope. At the end I said ''Apart from my artistic arguments there's one reason why Scope isn't that bad: at least you have no foolin around in cinemas around the world when it comes to projection - Scope is Scope.'' He said ''You certainly have a big point here.''

Both Hawks and Ford hated Scope. Hawks did it because it was a big production (he made it for the money and to go and see Egypt). William Faulkner spent enourmous amounts of (Warner Bros.) money to order expensive wine from France & Italy to the set. They had a great time. Ford just tried it out in 1955, wasn't happy and returned to non-anarmophic process (except for CHEYENNE AUTUMN which was a 70mm production).
Hawks said: ''Scope is only good for filming snakes, a dachshund or lines of people. Nothing you use that often..''



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 10:28:19 AM
Interesting,

On Frayling's commentary of GBU (during the scene with the dying Bill Carson), Frayling says that Fritz Lang said that Scope was only useful for snakes and dead people (something like that). I am sure that both Hawks and Lang didn't say the same line. I guess it is one of those statements that has over the years been screwed around with and attributed to different people. But no matter what the precise quote is and no matter who said it, I guess the point is that the old-school directors had a hard time adapting.

I didn't know Ford didn't like wide-screen. The Searchers is in widescreen. And Monument Valley is so much more beautiful in widescreen.

I guess that for film noir (and Lang was one of the great noir directors), 4:3 may be good to bring out the claustrophobia of the tight, dark, gritty, dangerous city streets and alleys. But not for the Western. IMO,  widescreen is one of the best things that ever happened to the Westerns. (Maybe second to color film!) So much of the Western is about the landscapes, which are greatly improved with widescreen.Can you imagine Leone's Westerns in 4:3? PERISH THE THOUGHT! 4:3 black and white may have been great for film noir, but there ain't nuthin like Technicolor widescreen for the Western!


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 12:08:31 PM
Ford and Hawks didn't love to made 2,35:1 films, but they did widescreen films, like anyone had to do after the mid 50s. But they preferred the smaller 1,85 to the extravagant 2,35. And 1,85 was mostly done by masking an 1,37:1 image. Ford's The Searchers was btw shot in widescreen, but as it is VistaVision it is still only in 1,78:1 (or maybe again 1,85:1 like the DVD is). The Tin Star or Gunfight at the OK Corral also used this aspect ratio.

I also prefer generally widescreen for all types of films, but apart from that for me western landscapes (and westerns generally) look in b/w as good as in color.

Many of the early 2,35:1 films look pretty uninspired in their use of widescreen. Hathaway used it beautifully in Garden of Evil, but in From Hell to Texas nearly everything happens in the centre of the image, and the space on the sides isn't good for anything.

I just recognized how much better a visually thinking director like Lean used it in Bridge on the River Kwai compared to a theatrically trained director like Joshua Logan in Picnic. Sex Lies and Videotape is an excellent example of a more modern use of 2,35:1 in a film which is mainly set inside rooms and in which people talk all the time. It looks absolutely stunning.

Imo generally modern directors use widescreen better than the directors did back in the 50s.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 12:54:43 PM


(I really don't know anything about technical terms and I'm kind of learning as I go from these boards and Wikipedia, so please excuse my ignorance on these matters, and some of my posts in which I am struggling to find the correct words to say what I'm thinking cuz I don't know much about this stuff, or the technical terms. I only started being aware of all this technical shit within the past couple of years  :-[ )



This site may be helpful for you to get an appropriate overview over most of the common aspect ratios:

http://www.dvdlog.de/filmformate/filmformate-en.htm



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 01:02:25 PM
Noodles_Leone says in this post http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=10178.msg146634#msg146634 that almost all tv's will crop a little around the edges, and the only way to ascertain that you are getting all the information from the image provided by the dvd is to watch it on a computer.

Or to make the image smaller on your TV with the help of your dVD player.

Quote

Anyway, does anyone have an opinion on the cropping of Rio Bravo, ie. the chopping of the heads? Maybe they should have shot it a bit longer so that the heads wouldn't chopped?

As I said I don't remember when watching the Rio Bravo DVD that I thought anything was chopped. But I watched yesterday the early scene in which Claude Akins lies unconscious on the ground of the Saloon, and yes, it looks a bit strange
Quote
Also, anytime you zoom in on an image, it loses some quality. Cropping automatically zooms the image. So if the long shot was taken in 1.37:1 and now it is cropped to 1.85:1 and looked like a medium shot, won't the image lose some quality? So wouldn't it be better quality if it had actually been shot in widescreen?

Yes it loses some quality compared to an old 1,37:1 film. Same goes for the 35 mm anamorphic films as the 2,35:1 image is squeezed 2:1 on the same 1,37:1 negative.

70 mm would be the superior choice, but that was in the end too expensive, and only rarely used.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 25, 2012, 01:23:29 PM
NOTE: Though I know that 1.33:1, 1.35:1, and 1.37 aspect ratios were used, for all future posts, for simplicity's sake I will use the simple term "4:3" to refer collectively to anything in those aspect ratios

I guess one advantage of shooting in 4:3 and then cropping the top and bottom to make it widescreen for theatrical release, as opposed to shooting it in widescreen, is that when the videotapes were released for home viewing in 4:3, they could just use the full image, rather than panning and scanning a widescreen film. Neither one is ideal, but I would certainly have preferred to see the full image (even though only part of it was intended to be seen), rather than having it panned and scanned. Too much is better than too little. (Of course, the best option was to have black lines on top and bottom and show it in the intended theaterical aspect ratio as dvd's do now, but studios were too stupid to realize that we wanted to see the full image).

Thanks for the link, stanton. I've tried reading the definitions of various terms on some sites, but I don't understand a lot of it (i think  many of 'em presuppose that you know more than I do. I don't know anything about film  :( ). I won't bother you with providing me an extensive lesson, but can if it is possible to briefly explain to me what "anamorphic" means, I'd appreciate it. I know that that word refers to widescreen images, but what specifically? Ie., anamorphic as opposed to what? (I know about Cinerama, how that was proected on 3 rounded screens -- hence How the West Was Won looks ridiculous on dvd. Does the word "flat" simply mean "as opposed to Cinerama"?). ( i do not understand what i've read about 'em online) , so if it is possible to briefly explain the following terms, I would appreciate it; -- but if it is too much of a hassle, PLEASE do not bother:
1) Anamorphic; 2) Flat 3) Hard Matte vs. Soft Matte

When it says a 4:3 image was "masked" for widescreen, that just means that the top and bottom were covered up so that a widescreen image was shown on the screen? As opposed to the camera "masking" the image, ie. not using the top and bottom of the frame, so that only the "middle" (ie. widescreen" portion of the frame was used), so that on the film itself, only a widescreen image was used?

Finally, is all 35MM film in 4:3? So any widescreen movie shot in 35MM film used some way, such as masking or matting or whatever, to only show part of the image that was shot?


many, many thanks to you guys. if you can explain it in 60 seconds or less, I'd appreciate it. If t's 61 seconds or more, then PLEASE do not bother  O0



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on June 25, 2012, 04:29:40 PM
At first forget what I wrote about VistaVision and The Searchers in one of the above posts. It is not an anamorphic widescreen process. I have corrected it.

1. Basically every 35 mm has an aspect ratio of 1,37:1. And basically for all widescreen images exactly this 35 mm film stock is used. Now and then.
So basically the same film stock was used for the most common formats, for 1,37:1, for 1,85:1, for 2,35:1. And we will ignore here all the exceptions which are also mentioned on that website.

2. Before 1953 nearly every film was shot in the 1,37:1 aspect ratio, and for that simply used the complete frame. (But check the part about silent film)

3. After widescreen was established in 1953 the 1,37:1 aspect ratio nearly completely vanished.

4. To get a widescreen image basically 2 processes were commonly used:

a) Masking for an 1,85:1 (or in Europe partly 1,66:1) image. This is also called Flat Widescreen. Or only Flat.

b) Using anamorphic lenses to get an 2,35:1 image.

5. Anamorphic means that they use a special lens in the camera, an anamorphic lens which squeezes the image from e.g. 2,35:1 down to half of its size, and then needs a similar lens in the cinema projector which expands it back to 2,35:1.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 26, 2012, 02:44:20 AM
At first forget what I wrote about VistaVision and The Searchers in one of the above posts. It is not an anamorphic widescreen process. I have corrected it.

1. Basically every 35 mm has an aspect ratio of 1,37:1. And basically for all widescreen images exactly this 35 mm film stock is used. Now and then.
So basically the same film stock was used for the most common formats, for 1,37:1, for 1,85:1, for 2,35:1. And we will ignore here all the exceptions which are also mentioned on that website.

2. Before 1953 nearly every film was shot in the 1,37:1 aspect ratio, and for that simply used the complete frame. (But check the part about silent film)

3. After widescreen was established in 1953 the 1,37:1 aspect ratio nearly completely vanished.

4. To get a widescreen image basically 2 processes were commonly used:

a) Masking for an 1,85:1 (or in Europe partly 1,66:1) image. This is also called Flat Widescreen. Or only Flat.

b) Using anamorphic lenses to get an 2,35:1 image.

5. Anamorphic means that they use a special lens in the camera, an anamorphic lens which squeezes the image from e.g. 2,35:1 down to half of its size, and then needs a similar lens in the cinema projector which expands it back to 2,35:1.

yeah in the bonus features on one of the Dollars dvd's, they showed how they did the Techniscoope process; they showed how it was a squeezed image (2 for the price of 1) and they had to take the film and expand it to look normal

Thanks  O0


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: mike siegel on June 26, 2012, 04:00:50 AM
Our beloved Italian 60s format TechniScope is a very special case. Because the image was not squeezed while filming, only for producting the needed standard Scope-prints for projection. It's advantages where half price (on film stock) and artistic possibilities because when filming with Scope lenses there used to be a lot of restrictions (technically).

Here's a nice website, in Spanish but the images tell it all.

http://www.google.de/imgres?q=techniscope&hl=de&sa=X&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&rlz=1I7ADBF_de&biw=1280&bih=852&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=chRqfxV83MnQ3M:&imgrefurl=http://www.zonadvd.com/modules.php%3Fname%3DSections%26op%3Dviewarticle%26artid%3D378%26page%3D7&docid=_DqXTbKVMYXpZM&imgurl=http://www.zonadvd.com/imagenes/articulos/cine_formatos/techniscope01.jpg&w=450&h=253&ei=tYLpT7mGMsnUsgau4NTgDg&zoom=1
One thing that confuses many people is the term 'WideScreen'. It is wider than the old
Academy (1:1,33 / 1:1,37) format, but it is not CinemaScope. WideScreen is anything
between 1:1,66 and 1:2 maybe (some VistaVision screenings). From then on (1:2,35
- 1:2,55; the early very wide Scope) the process of projection is anamorphic (squeezed)
and therefore referred to as 'Scope'

You asked something again, maybe I didn't explain it in total: When it comes to masking
the Academy format for a WideScreen effect, there are 3 ways:

- masking in the camera. The camera gate already measures 1:1,66 or 1,85. The final
film print looks like my posted SILENZIO frame.

- masking in postproduction. The film is shot 1:1,37 and the black bars are added optically
while making the the final film prints.

- masking in the projector. Used to be the standard procedure. The good thing: you
can watch it any way you choose (even open matte for TV as you mentioned before)
and it was easier to handle for the projectionist - the frameline was easy to control, when
you project one of the other two solutions theres almost no tolerance.
The bad thing: because it is so easy to project,  the frame line is now controlled by the
projectionst, not by the creative power behind the film.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: Senza on February 23, 2013, 11:12:18 PM
Rio Bravo is one of those movie I only like because of the characters and their stories. It definitely has class. I love the scene where Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson are singing, with the duke himself watching, smiling. To me, scenes like that are gold because you really feel for these characters, and with them singing together shows that they are working together, which in a way strengthens the chemistry between these characters. Even thought I'm 19 years old, I think the pathos created by these characters is sorely missing in today's movies.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 23, 2013, 11:23:53 PM
I recently watched Rio Bravo again, and I think I'm liking it less now. It just seems a bit too lighthearted for me. No, I am not talking about the comedic stuff with Walter Brennan or Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez; that stuff is hilarious and having those jokes don't take away from the movie being serious. And the cutesy stuff with Angie Dicksinson is mostly fine as well. Even a good drama can have plenty of moments of funny shit.

But what bothers me is when, within a scene that is supposed to be serious, there is inappropriate lightheartedness/comedy. The most egregious example is the final shootout. It should be a really good set piece, but much of it is ruined by the clowning around. Firstly, when Chance and Colorado are talking about whether Dude can take Joe, and Colorado says "he's got a funny way of taking him," that whole snatch of dialogue is done in a way too lighthearted manner. And then with Stumpy throwing the dynamite, with all that giggling, and him whining about never being thanked, that's just not the right moment.

I used to consider this movie my favorite AW. After a few re-watchings, I have to say that while it's still a classic, it could have been perfect if it would have stayed serious in those scenes that are supposed to be serious, most importantly the final shootout.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 23, 2013, 06:00:51 AM
 general question about aspect ratios, which we'd been discussing above:

So the two most common aspect ratios of widescreen movies are 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 (at least in America; I know Europe uses 1.66:1 a lot). Is it always the case that the 1.85:1 (and 1.66:1) movies are flat, while the 2.35:1 movies are anamorphic?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: stanton on July 23, 2013, 01:05:52 PM
Not always. There are several exceptions from the rule.

VistaVision for example has a 1,66:1 or a 1,85:1 aspect ratio, but is done with 35 mm film stock running horizontally through the camera. The theatrical print can in that case only be hard matted. The Searchers or The Birds are VistaVision films.

The from Leone preferred Technicsope was not anamorphic, but here the theatrical prints had to be then anamorphic (cause there were no projectors to play the Techniscope prints), but then also not Techniscope anymore. As there are no projectors (or only a few) for Techniscope the restoration of Techniscope negatives is a bit tricky.


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 06, 2015, 11:20:21 AM
Warner Bros. is releasing a BRD set called John Wayne Westerns Film Collection on June 2, 2015 http://goo.gl/fTOjmZ

The set will feature Fort Apache, The Searchers, Rio Bravo, The Train Robbers, and Cahill U.S. Marshal.



As far as I can tell: The Train Robbers and Cahill U.S. Marshal have never been released on BRD; those films will also be available on June 2 for purchase as an individual BRD; pre-order price on Amazon is less than ten bucks.

Fort Apache and The Searchers have already been released as individual BRD's.

Rio Bravo was previously released on BRD, and then it immediately became unavailable (except for one or two people selling rare copies on Amazon for a lot of money), there may have been some problem with the release, maybe it was screwed up, I am not really sure. But I am anxious to see how the new BRD of Rio Bravo looks. Rio Bravo will also be available on June 2 as a single BRD.

I have no idea whether the discs in this boxset will have anything more than each movie's individual discs, or whether Fort Apache, The Searchers, and Rio Bravo will simply be reissues of the previously released BRD, or new versions of it. For that info, I guess we'll have to wait for DJ to share the reviews from Beaver, Blu-ray.com, et. al.

---

As far as I am concerned: I already own the Fort Apache BRD, I am not a big fan of The Searchers, and I haven't yet seen The Train Robbers or Cahill U.S. Marshal but I doubt they'll be that good that I'll need to own them on BRD. So for me it's just a question of Rio Bravo: if the BRD looks good and is an improvement over the DVD, then I'll buy the single-disc BRD. That's all. This boxset doesn't make sense for me unless it turns out that it offers extra stuff above what the individual discs offer.



Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 07, 2015, 12:33:15 PM
Rio Bravo will also be available on June 2 as a single BRD.
This appears to be a reissue of the previous Blu that went OOP. I'm sure it is the same transfer, which Blu-ray.com said had PQ of 3.75/5. Not great, but the disc is so cheap I would imagine anyone who likes the film would want to buy it.
http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Bravo-Blu-ray/dp/B00THZUSR4?


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 08, 2015, 02:49:20 PM
This appears to be a reissue of the previous Blu that went OOP. I'm sure it is the same transfer, which Blu-ray.com said had PQ of 3.75/5. Not great, but the disc is so cheap I would imagine anyone who likes the film would want to buy it.
http://www.amazon.com/Rio-Bravo-Blu-ray/dp/B00THZUSR4?

do you have any reason to believe it will be a reissue, or are you just assuming it because the cover looks the same?

Why did the original BRD disappear so quickly? If it was cuz there were problems, then why would they reissue the same disc?

BTW, if PQ of the BRD is 3.75/5, maybe it won't look any better than the DVD? But as you say, it is so cheap that if you're a big fan of the movie, it's worth just spending the ten bucks on the chance it may offer something good. This is one of my favorite AW's of all time, so I'd spend the ten bucks without blinking unless I hear that it is a disaster


Title: Re: Rio Bravo (1959)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 09, 2015, 03:10:51 PM
Why did the original BRD disappear so quickly? If it was cuz there were problems, then why would they reissue the same disc?
I don't know the answer to any of this, but Blu-ray.com doesn't mention any problems with the disc in the review, and I'm sure they would have if there were some. Companies delete titles for any number of reasons, including rights issues or when the master plan changes at HQ. Sometimes it's because they can improve the release, but this rarely happens. They prefer to have fans buy a substandard release first and then offer them the chance to upgrade so they can get your money twice (this is known in the industry as the Andrea Leone Move). In the present case I haven't heard any news about a Rio Bravo restoration or a new scan of better elements or anything like that. That sort of thing usually commands a higher price tag. But we'll see.