As a response to High Noon, Zach examines what a “real Western” is as he takes a look at John Wayne’s 1959 movie, Rio Bravo.

Rio Bravo is a 1959 American Western film produced and directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, and Ward Bond. Written by Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett, based on the short story “Rio Bravo” by B. H. McCampbell, the film is about a sheriff who arrives in the town of Rio Bravo, Texas and arrests the brother of a powerful local rancher in order to help his drunken deputy sheriff friend. With the help of a cripple and a young gunfighter, the two friends hold off the rancher’s gang. Rio Bravo was filmed on location at Old Tucson Studios outside Tucson, Arizona in Technicolor.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. The past few episodes make me ask . . .

    Did Zach put all the westerns off until he had nothing else to watch?

  2. Hawks and John Wayne seemed to realize the same flaws in Rio Bravo that you mention as they essentially remade the movie twice with El Dorado and then Rio Lobo. Honestly I would say El Dorado is the best of the three. It is still a John Wayne Western and not as deep as High Noon, but he and Robert Mitchum as the sheriff are far more flawed characters then in Rio Bravo.

    I honestly think it would have been even better had they stuck with the original script in which John Wayne’s character dies in the end, but that wasn’t going to happen.

  3. I do have to say that you guys are really hard on John Wayne. Yeah, his movies don’t get Oscars but the same thing happens with Schwarzenegger movies. He was the action hero of the time. Most of his movies might not be works of art but he did like 175 of them. That means they make them in a matter of weeks. You just picked one of his worst ones. Strangely enough The Searchers is lauded to be one of his best and many felt like it was an Oscar performance.

    • Keep in mind that we picked this movie for a very specific reason – it was John Wayne and Howard Hawkes response to High Noon. That’s the only reason. We didn’t pick this movie to bash on John Wayne.

    • I liked The Searchers. I LOVE Hondo, I enjoy Big Jake, I kinda dig Stagecoach and The Shootist.

      That said, I feel like ‘High Noon’ is a hell of a movie, and this one I judge harshly because of its status as response to that movie, and I very much disagree with Wayne’s stance on HUAC and the blacklisting of creators in the 50s. Those concerns overwhelmed even the good parts of Rio Bravo for me, but as always, mileage may vary…

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