As you can see Mr. Grønmark has quite the cool credentials, so that we were totally totally thrilled that he recently scribed a review of the Dino-classic western, "Rio Bravo." It's part of his quartet flick review, "Four classic Hollywood movies: Holiday, The Enforcer, Rio Bravo and The Garden of Allah."
Likes Scott's perfect praise of our Dino in his excellent essay include these wise words...
"The one outstanding performance is Dean Martin's, as an alcoholic gunslinger...."
" Martin is a revelation - damn fine actor." We gotta 'fess up that we never ever tire of readin' the raisin' of the praisin' of our most beloved Dino, and are totally totally touched to see a man of Mr.
Grønmark's supreme stature in the artistic community give our most beloved Dino such a ravin' review, which, of course, we are in absolute agreement with!
We solemnly salute, Mr. Scott Grønmark for his powerful praise of our Dino's actin' in what many many of us Dino-holics believe to be his finest acted big screen appearance. To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.
Yours In Dino,
Dino Martin Peters
Four classic Hollywood movies: Holiday, The Enforcer, Rio Bravo and The Garden of Allah
Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo (1958) is yet another of those well-known films I thought I'd seen, but hadn't. As its title, and the fact that John Wayne, Walter Brennan and Ward Bond are all in it, would suggest, it's a western. Verywestern. It was apparently conceived as an antidote to High Noon, which many conservatives felt was unAmerican because of the way the cowardly townsfolk refused to help Gary Cooper.
The brother of a local rancher kills a man at the saloon, John Wayne throws the varmint in jail, and sends for help. While they wait, the rancher moseys into town with his gang and they start shootin' and killin' and generally not being very nice. As the sheriff tries to wait them out, he's joined by his deputy (Dean Martin), a young gunslinger (Ricky Nelson), a poker-playing gal called Feathers (a very young Angie Dickinson), and faithful, shotgun-totin' old-timer, Stumpy (Walter Brennan, spouting "authentic frontier gibberish", as Mel Brooks described it). Some of the other townsfolk pitch in on their side, including a semi-comic Mexican couple.
The film was rather dismissed by critics at the time, but has since attained classic status. I'm not sure it really deserves it. The one outstanding performance is Dean Martin's, as an alcoholic gunslinger: the trouble starts when he walks into the local saloon, skint, and Claude Akins offers him a dollar - then tosses it into a spittoon. The humiliated Dino sees red and attacks Akins, who then shoots a bystander who tries to intervene. Martin is a revelation - damn fine actor.
In this scene, a sobered-up Dean Martin and his boss look for a muddy-booted killer:
Ricky Nelson is another matter. Okay, he was only 19 when the film was made, but he'd been acting (and singing) on TV for five years - and yet, judging by his performance here, and despite being a teen idol and all, he's a pallid, charisma-free actor: every time he delivers a line, we don't listen to a word he's saying, because we're wondering how he manages to keep his pompadour in place, what with bathing and shampoo not being all that common in the Old West, and wearing a hat most of the time. Lordy, but he's a waste of space.
Angie Dickinson is presumably meant to be to The Duke what Lauren Bacall was to Bogie in To Have and Have Not - but the latter couple had genuine chemistry, and Bacall was old beyond her years: Angie Dickinson was 28 when Rio Bravo came out, but seems much younger - young enough to be Wayne's granddaughter. Wayne was only 52 - but could be 70: he's fat and stiff and slow and the slightest movement looks like a major effort. It's a shock to realise that it was only 20 years since he played the handsome, athletic Ringo Kid in Stagecoach: he evidently packed a lot of living into those two decades. His sheer presence is magnificent, true - but he's way too old for all that running around, and when he physically picks up Ms Dickinson (in order, presumably, to carry her upstairs for some slap and tickle) it strikes us as both unconvincing and a trifle sordid.
Then there's Dean and Ricky warbling their way through some songs. Really, chaps - leave that sort of filmic nonsense to Elvis. But mostly, what's wrong with the film is its 2hr 21mins length. Like Wayne himself, the whole film is badly in need of a corset: 100 minutes maximum, I reckon. Still worth seeing, though.