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Author Topic: Rio Grande (1950)  (Read 1900 times)
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« on: September 01, 2008, 04:21:00 AM »

Rio Grande (1950) - 8/10
Unfortunately I had to split it up on two days.

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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2008, 04:03:51 PM »

Rio Grande (1950) - 8/10
Unfortunately I had to split it up on two days.

Well, if you still got an 8/10 from that, then it can't have been all bad. Afro I loved it as a kid but rather disliked it as a quasi-adult. It's easily the most formulaic and simplistic of the Cavalry trilogy, without much to recommend it in my view. I did like the theme of reconciliation between North and South, as portrayed through the Duke and Maureen O'Hara's relationship, but Ford dealt with that topic much better in the previous installment, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. 5 or 6/10 for me.

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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2008, 04:19:59 PM »

What he said.

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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 03:59:44 PM »

I liked it a lot more on a semi-recent rewatch, I might bump it all the way up to a 7/10. It's a lot more action-driven than the other Cavalry films, and Victor McLaglen is horribly obnoxious, but you've got cool shootouts and nice Wayne-O'Hara chemistry.

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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 04:08:13 AM »

This is visually as good as anything Ford ever made. The problem lies with the O'Hara's part which could have been cut to advantage (even if it was in the original story. So absurd), the too many songs, the pure idiocy of the Indians tactics (especially in the finale. It seems that even though ambushed a couple of times the cavalry can districate itself unscathed), some stilted dialogue (as usual in Ford). McLaglen made me laugh once. 6\10

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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 03:05:26 PM »

Savant reviews the Blu-Ray:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s3918rio.html

I note Erickson echoes John Wayne's assertion that the movie serves as a Korean War allegory. Presumably he doesn't share Wayne's enthusiasm for it.

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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 04:34:26 PM »

I saw this movie once, a couple of years ago, and did not think it was very good

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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 05:21:13 PM »

I didn't think so for a long time but it improved on rewatches. It's the most simplistic of the cavalry films but is plenty entertaining.

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 02:50:32 PM »

just saw the film on TCM (second viewing; part of the 5-day Duke marathon that ends on Saturday morning), and I give it a 7.5/10.


IMO this film suffers for a few reasons:
-- It's clearly the worst of a trilogy in which the other two films are among the top 15 AW's of all time;
--  there are too many Sons of the Pioneers songs; a few of them are nice, but having so many eventually gets on my nerves.
-- the topic/theme of the movie - the conflict between duty to the military and duty to one's own family - is a completely uninteresting one.
-- I'd have liked to see more action, and less of the chiutchat with O'Hara in the tents. We rarely see the cavalry in action till the end; I think that having more action can still be possible even with this theme/topic and the necessity of some chitchat between Wayne and O'Hara; I suppose that having such a strong female character demands that she be given lots of time to be a woman - not merely exist for the men like the Shirley Temple character in Fort Apache or the Joanne Dru character in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - hence too much chitchat and too little cavalry action scenes. And btw, by "action," I don't necessarily mean fighting; I am talking about even some good riding scenes with nice tracking/crane shots would have been nice, and perhaps could have been done even keeping the basic script intact; maybe they could have had Wayne/O'Hara take a ride together and do some of the chitchat scenes in a nice scene of them riding rather than that damn tent
-- the ENDING is not a good one; it's nothing really exciting or any major battle (though it was preceded by a nice chase scene) the kids get kidnapped, they free them pretty easily, and that's all, it's disappointingly THE END.
I suppose that in the end (while there is some compromise, as Wayne does agree to release his son from military obligation), O'Hara realizes the importance of military duty. Whoopdy-do.

NEVERTHELESS: I enjoyed most of the movie until the ending. Maureen is beautiful (and a wonderful actress as well). The scenes between her and Wayne - while certainly not as enjoyable as, e.g., the ones between Fonda and Wayne in Fort Apache - are still enjoyable. If they didn't have such great actors as Wayne and O'Hara, I suspect these scenes would be pretty bad.
The scenes on the fort are mostly fun to watch. (Happily, Ford didn't use any of the annoying characters in his stable for this film, like the insufferable Hank Worden.)
I really like the military music that comprise much of the scores of the cavalry films; a nice scene with the US Cavalry riding with a good military march playing is a joy to watch Smiley
Anyway, I knew going in that the ending would be a letdown and would leave a bad taste, so I told myself to judge the majority of the film separately and not let the disappointing ending ruin it. So, with all the problems it has, if I am mostly entertained for pretty much the whole movie until the kids are kidnapped, I think that I can give this baby a 7.5/10.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 03:02:00 PM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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