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Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)

What a great movie! And what an influential movie Rio Bravo was. It's so good that it was remade twice more and by the same director too, Howard Hawks. But it's Rio Bravo that's the 1st and best of the three....and it inspired the next wave of spaghetti westerns too.

I know a lot of people don't like John Wayne, why? Maybe because of his politics? I never was a fan of his until I actually starting watching his movies! Then he just grew on me. Wayne is in top form here, doing the character he does best. BTW I've seen him do other roles and he was a much better actor than was ever given credit for.

I'm also a big fan of Dean Martin...Dino and his 'drunk trying to go straight' is one of his plumb roles. I liked the way they give him a rough and tumbled look with dirty & tattered clothes and Martin makes the most of it too. I like the way we follow Martin's struggle away from the bottle back to redemption and in that way the character's are more important than the plot. And that's by design.

...And the rest: Angie Dickson: decent I could have seen a more gritty actress playing her role, but she's serviceable,. Ricky Nelson: for an actor turned pop star he did OK, no complaints here. Walter Brennan: what's a western without Walter Brennan? He provides the comic relief so that the serious moments can be, well, more serious. Shout out to Ward Bond too. This was his last film and he pairs very well with John Wayne.

I noticed the music score which had a trumpet playing a Mexican sounding melancholy melody. I stopped the film and said to my wife, 'the soundtrack sounds alot like the spaghetti westerns'. Then after watching the film I read the IMDB trivia and seen this:

The score includes the hauntingly ominous "El Degüello" theme, which is heard several times. Colorado identifies the tune as "The Cutthroat Song".... Composer Ennio Morricone recalled that Sergio Leone asked him to write "Dimitri Tiomkin music" for A Fistful of Dollars (1964). The trumpet theme is similar to Tiomkin's "Degüello" (the Italian title of Rio Bravo was Un dollaro d'onore, "A Dollar of Honor").
Then I also read this:
The film was a huge success in Italy, laying the groundwork for the following decade's Spaghetti Western boom.
But most importantly I read this trivia at IMDB:
Howard Hawks...saw how popular western TV shows had become, and realized that audiences cared more about the characters, than the plots to the shows... Rather than making a movie that centered around one main plot, he decided he wanted to make a completely character driven western with several story-lines running through it simultaneously...
And that's exactly what the film does, it gives us time with the characters as if we were part of the story. Such a good movie!