Rio Bravo (movie)

From Academic Kids

Rio Bravo (1959) is a western movie, directed by Howard Hawks. It stars John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, with Angie Dickinson and Walter Brennan.

Sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne) has arrested a murderer, Joe Burdette (Claude Akins), brother of powerful rancher Nathan Burdette (John Russell). The rancher's men surround the town and try to break Burdette from jail. The only help Chance has is his deputies, Dude (Martin), an alcoholic, and Stumpy (Brennan), a cripple. Tensions are further strained by the presence of a young gunslinger, Colorado Ryan (Nelson), and the arrival of a mysterious woman, Feathers (Dickinson), on the last stagecoach; the plot building to one of the most explosive climaxes in film history.

The script was written by Jules Furtham and Leigh Brackett and the musical score was composed by Dimitri Tiomkin. His score contained the haunting, Tijuana brass style tune De Guella, which was played several times to build up the tension. When the cast characters asked for the name of this tune, they were given the answer, that "it is the "Mexican Death Song", played on the orders of Santa Anna (Antonio López de Santa Anna) to the Texicans, who were holed up in The Alamo. The tune was used in the following year 1960, over the opening credits of Wayne's film, The Alamo.

As the film starred a crooner, Martin and a teen idol, Nelson, Hawks included three songs in the soundtrack. During the jail scenes, Nelson sang a brief version of Get Along Home, Cindy and later he joined Martin in a duet, when the pair sang My Rifle, My Pony and Me. Finally Martin, backed by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra sang a specially composed song, Rio Bravo over the closing credits. Nelson later paid homage to both the film and his character Colorado, by including the specially written song Restless Kid on his 1959 LP, Ricky Sings Again.

Harry Carey, Jr. was hired to act in Rio Bravo, but angered Hawks by calling him "Howard" rather than the preferred "Mr. Hawks." Carey was paid his salary and received a screen credit, but his scenes were cut from the film. Ward Bond, a long time friend of Wayne, was also in the cast. He took time off from his starring role in the long running TV series, Wagon Train, to play a wagon master.

Rio Bravo is regarded as one of Hawks's best, and is notable for its lack of closeup shots. The film received favorable reviews, and was financially successful, earning over US$5.5million. It was filmed in Technicolor.

The film has been remade twice as a western movie, although on each occasion under a different title. Both of these remakes were directed by Howard Hawks, both starred John Wayne and in each case, the script was written by Leigh Brackett.

The first remake was made in 1967 and was titled El Dorado. In this film, Robert Mitchum took over the Dean Martin role, Arthur Hunnicutt took over the Walter Brennan role and James Caan took over the Ricky Nelson role. Hawks again named the James Caan character after a State of the Union, although on this occasion, it was Mississipi. In a wry, humourous twist on the original film, Hawks made the Caan character inept in the use of firearms, but skilled with a knife.

The second remake was made in 1970 and was titled Rio Lobo. This was a looser remake and had scenes from the American Civil War, before moving, some time later, to the town under siege, which was central to the original film. This film starred Christopher Mitchum, Robert Mitchum's son, Jack Elam and Jennifer O'Neill.

Rio Bravo was all but remade, in a modern setting, in 1976 by John Carpenter as Assault on Precinct 13. Carpenter paid homage to the original by giving credit for the musical score to John T Chance, the name of Wayne's character in the original film and including in the cast Henry Brandon as Officer Chaney. Brandon had starred as Chief Sicatrice (Scar) in Wayne's 1956 film The Searchers. Carpenter's film was later remade in and of itself in 2005 (Assault on Precinct 13 (2005 movie)).

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