Many John Wayne Westerns get more attention than Rio Grande but, to my John Wayne loving heart, this is one of his best Westerns. Granted, Rio Bravo, El Dorado, McLintock!, The Searchers, Stagecoach and many others are extraordinary but so is Rio Grande.
Rio Grande was directed by the legend, himself, John Ford. Ford directed John Wayne in quite a few of his films, as well as Maureen O’Hara.
Speaking of Maureen O’Hara (something I, her biggest fan, do many times throughout the day), this was Maureen and John Wayne’s first movie together. I love the fact that, even in this their first film, the magic is most definitely already there. They had something extra special and they had to have known it from the start.
This wonderful Western also stars… among others…. Claude Jarman Jr (wonderful as their son), Ben Johnson, Chill Wills, Harry Carey Jr., and Victor McLaglen, in my favorite of all of his roles. He almost steals every scene he’s in! It was an exceptional story with an exceptional director who was given an exceptional cast.
What more could you ask for?!
You can find Rio Grande on dvd (Amazon link).
Claude Jarman Jr. and Maureen O’Hara