Rio Bravo

  • PG
  • Howard Hawks (1958)
  • US
  • 135 min
Rio Bravo
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Underrated at the time of its release, this majestically paced western is one of the finest achievements of the genre and stands as a career-best for many of its participants, its above-average length and simplistic plot - a sheriff and a motley group of helpers stand firm against a ruthless land baron - masking a work of depth and artistry. Originally intended by director Howard Hawks as a riposte to the liberal High Noon, the movie boasts a class and quality that owe little to what had gone before, save some dialogue lifted from Hawks's earlier To Have and Have Not. It's a definitive study of male camaraderie, particularly in the wordless opening sequence as John Wayne attempts to preserve the drunken Dean Martin's dignity. The casting is perfect (if you believe Ricky Nelson as a gunslinger) and the sense of fun contagious. Superb Technicolor photography and a Dmitri Tiomkin score provide the icing on a very impressive cake.

Plot Summary

Western starring John Wayne and Dean Martin. In a Texas border town, the brother of a ruthless cattle baron is arrested for murder following a brawl at the saloon. Determined to keep his prisoner in jail until he can stand trial, the local sheriff has only his alcoholic former deputy and a disabled old man to help him in his battle to uphold the law.

Cast and crew


John T Chance
John Wayne
Dean Martin
Colorado Ryan
Ricky Nelson
Angie Dickinson
Walter Brennan
Pat Wheeler
Ward Bond
Nathan Burdette
John Russell
Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzales
Estelita Rodriguez
Joe Burdette
Claude Akins
Harry Carey Jr
Malcolm Atterbury


Howard Hawks

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Warner Bros Pictures Ltd
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG

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