John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, Rio Grande
A few nights ago I watched Rio Grande (1950) and, strangely enough, I realized I’d never seen this particular western before. It’s strange because, for one thing, I’ve seen COUNTLESS old movies – particularly westerns. But the thing that makes it almost too strange to believe is the fact that Maureen O’Hara is one of my favorite actresses in the world! I am a walking/talking Maureen O’Hara encyclopedia – full of quotes, information, and trivia.
How could I have missed one of her movies?!?!
I feel greatly relieved that I’ve set things right now. As you’d imagine, she was beyond lovely and did all but steal each scene she appeared in. I call it the O’Hara Magic.
Rio Grande was directed by the great John Ford. This was the first of five movies John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara would make together (Rio Grande, The Quiet Man, The Wings of Eagles, McLintock! and Big Jake) and was the third (and final) of the John Wayne/John Ford Cavalry films, which started with Fort Apache and was followed by She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
Plot Synopsis: Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War. Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke (John Wayne) and and Kathleen Yorke (Maureen O’Hara) find themselves battling the Apaches and one other.
Yorke leads his Calvary troops to the Rio Grande to fight the Apaches. He finds himself also fighting to keep his family AND his reputation.
The great supporting cast includes Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Victor McLaglen and Chill Wills. Victor McLaglen goes to-to-toe with Maureen when it comes to stealing scenes. He was such a remarkable actor and brought so much humor and lightness to the film.
If you watch (and love) old movies like I do, I don’t have to tell you that the “oldies” aren’t perfect. Whether we’re talking “political correctness,” sets, dialogue, or even acting – watching old movies involves casting expectations of perfection out the window and simply enjoying the ride.
Rio Grande is a very fun and enjoyable movie and it’s John Wayne just how John Wayne fans love him….. as a big tough guy with a big soft heart.
Rio Grande: John Wayne, Victor McLaglen, and Maureen O’Hara