Rio Bravo

Movie Details

DirectorHoward Hawks
Key CastJohn Wayne, Dean Martin,
Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson,
Walter Brennan, Ward Bond
MPAA RatingNot Rated
Film TypeColor
Genre(s)Western, Drama
Amazon Price: $

John Wayne and Dean Martin Deliver Classic Western Entertainment in “Rio Bravo”

In the colorful Old West saga “Rio Bravo”, John Wayne stars as Sheriff John T. Chance, a Texas lawman facing tall odds after jailing a local ne’er-do-well whose brother is the powerful rancher, Nathan Burdette (John Russell).

As Burdette’s henchmen rally to spring the prisoner by whatever means necessary and in order to prevent Chance from transporting him elsewhere, the sheriff enlists a meager roster of allies. Along with Stumpy (Walter Brennan), a loyal but past-his-prime deputy, these deputized helpers include the romantically-tormented and drink-sodden Dude (Dean Martin) and a reluctant, youthful gunslinger (Ricky Nelson). Together with Feathers (Angie Dickinson), the enigmatic showgirl with whom Chance becomes entangled, this little coalition faces off against Burdette and his gang to dramatic effect.

In classic Western fashion, relentless tension eventually gives way to a climactic battle.

Among Howard Hawks’ most well-known pictures, “Rio Bravo”—released in 1959—offers the pleasure of watching some of the era’s biggest stars act off one another. In between gunfights and saloon hijinks, Martin and Nelson—two hugely popular entertainers of different generations—find time to sing a few tunes, not least the languid ballad, “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me.” John Wayne, meanwhile, performs in one of his many iconic roles as a hard-bitten, tough-talking, and self-reliant figure of justice who nonetheless needs a little help now and then.

“Rio Bravo” excels as a fine-crafted and action-packed embodiment of the Hollywood Western genre—among the American entertainment industry’s most enduring creations.

  • “Rio Bravo” was the highest-grossing western of 1959, making over $10.5 million at the box office. This western was the first collaboration for director Howard Hawks and actor John Wayne since their other blockbuster film “Red River” which was made ten years prior to this film.
  • “Rio Bravo” is John Wayne and Howard Hawk’s response to the movie “High Noon” starring Gary Cooper. Wayne and Hawks did not like how the townspeople in “High Noon” were depicted as cowardly and lacking the moral fiber to help their sheriff when he was in need. They also didn’t like the idea of a town lawman, who was supposed to be the epitome of law professionalism, went around begging for help from amateurs. Thus, they made this western which is in sharp contrast to “High Noon.”
  • Elvis Presley was going to play the role of Colorado in this movie, but his manager wanted more money than director Howard Hawks was willing to pay. Therefore, Ricky Nelson, who was a teenage heartthrob at the time, was cast in the role instead. Howard Hawks later told reporters that he believed that casting Ricky Nelson in the movie added at least $2 million in sales at the box office.
  • Because of the success of “Rio Bravo,” director Howard Hawks decided to use a similar plotline in two other western movies that he later made. They were “El Dorado” in 1967 and “Rio Lobo” in 1970. Both of these westerns starred John Wayne.
  • “Rio Bravo” is based on a story of the same name by B. H. McCampbell.


Rio Bravo Movie DVD

Rio Bravo stars John Wayne as a Texas lawman facing tall odds after jailing the brother of a powerful rancher. Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin & Walter Brennan costar in this classic western favorite.

Blu-ray Disc

Rio Bravo
Blu-ray Disc

Watch this famous John Wayne western in high-quality Blu-ray!

Also get bonus material, including a John Wayne westerns trailer gallery and the following two featurettes:
• Commemoration: Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, Old Tucson: Where The Legends Walked

• Career Profile The Men Who Made The Movies: Howard Hawks

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