Nov 24, 9:15 p.m.
Howard Hawks, 1959
John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
City Cinema; Admission $10
Saturday night at the City Cinema, Rio Bravo, one of the most iconic westerns ever made, with John Wayne at his peak and Dean Martin who never been better.
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.
‘Howard Hawks didn’t direct a film for four years after the failure of his “Land of the Pharaohs” in 1955. He thought maybe he had lost it. When he came back to work on “Rio Bravo” in 1958, he was 62 years old, working on his 41st film. He was so nervous on the first day of shooting that he stood behind a set and vomited. Then he walked out and directed a masterpiece.
“To watch “Rio Bravo” is to see a master craftsman at work. The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong. It is uncommonly absorbing, and the 141-minute running time flows past like running water. It contains one of John Wayne’s best performances. It has surprisingly warm romantic chemistry between Wayne and Angie Dickinson. Dean Martin is touching. Ricky Nelson, then a rival of Elvis’ and with a pompadour that would have been laughed out of the Old West, improbably works in the role of a kid gunslinger. Old Walter Brennan, as the peg-legged deputy, provides comic support that never oversteps…” –Rogert Ebert