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: Rio Bravo (1959)  ( 62142 )
T.H.
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« #45 : 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.



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« #46 : 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.


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« #47 : February 28, 2010, 09:02:17 PM »

Yeah, Groggy has his target perfectly bracketed. Add two degrees and fire for effect.

« : February 28, 2010, 09:03:37 PM dave jenkins »


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« #48 : 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. :)



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« #49 : March 01, 2010, 09:53:46 AM »

The deguello is excellent, I'll grant you that. The rest of the score, not so much.



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« #50 : 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.



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« #51 : March 01, 2010, 04:18:04 PM »

Could you clarify what you mean, please?



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« #52 : 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 :)



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« #53 : 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.



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« #54 : 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?



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« #55 : 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 :)

















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« #56 : 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.

« : March 02, 2010, 12:49:17 PM T.H. »


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« #57 : March 02, 2010, 12:54:42 PM »

Sounds pretty good to me.



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« #58 : 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.



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« #59 : 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.



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