Rio Bravo Lobby Card
I guess the fact that I am infatuated with Westerns shouldn’t surprise me – my dad was one of the three biggest Westerns fans in the entire world. Literally, the first movies I remember watching involve cowboys, dirt roads, shootouts, ladies in long skirts, and lots of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Even some of my earliest television memories are of Gunsmoke.
Now married to another Western fan, my love for the genre continues. I was once asked who I preferred in Westerns, John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. I told them that was like asking me to choose between coffee and sweet tea – the answer is whichever one’s in front of me at the moment.
Two of my favorite all-time Westerns are Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1966). Even today, they’re just good, clean, outrageous fun to watch. I actually feel sorry for anyone who can’t sit back and enjoy a good old movie and simply take it for what it is. F-U-N. Picking my favorite between the two would, again, be like choosing between coffee or raspberry tea. I’ll take whichever one is in the room at the time.
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson (Feathers), Ricky Nelson, Ward Bond – with a cast like this, how could it not be a classic?
In a pretty limited role – Carlos Robante, as Pedro, is also the very definition of scene-stealer.
Rio Bravo Movie Poster
Plot: In a small town in Texas, John Wayne is Sheriff John T. Chance. Along with his “drunk” deputy/friend, Dude (portrayed brilliantly by Dean Martin), a crankly old man deputy with a limp “Stumpy” (Walter Brennan at his best), and a singing young sure-shot named Colorado (a VERY young Ricky Nelson), he has to keep an eye on a murderer whose very wealthy and powerful brother is trying to break out of jail. As if Sheriff Chance doesn’t have his hands full with these characters, a beautiful distraction named Feathers (beautifully played by Angie Dickinson) comes to town on the stagecoach. She’s mysterious, chatty, and filled with equal amounts of energy and trouble.
Let the games begin!
I could watch this movie once a week and never complain – even though I’m pretty sure I could quote every line that comes out of “Stumpy” and “Feathers.” How are you going to miss with names like those? The wonderful Walter Brennan (Stumpy) and too gorgeous to even be believed or forgiven Angie Dickinson (Feathers) are at their best – and that’s saying something.
If you’ve never watched Rio Bravo or El Dorado, I’d whole-heartedly recommend buying the DVDs. You’ll fall in love with both movies. If you HAVE seen them, watch them again.
Somehow they just get better and better with each viewing.
Angie Dickinson and Dean Martin, Behind the Scenes of Rio Bravo
You can also find (and should find!) El Dorado on Amazon!