Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, VHS version
Five out of five stars
This is an action western that was also a bromance before the term existed. John Wayne is Sheriff John Chance and when the story opens, Dean Martin (Dude) is a drunk about to dive into a spittoon in order to retrieve a coin to buy a drink. Sheriff Chance and Dude have a long history and when the sheriff gets in trouble when holding a man for murder he needs help. The murderer’s brother is a powerful man accustomed to getting his way and he hires a gang of guns to take him away from the jail. Desparate for help, Chance gives Dude a deputy’s badge.
Ricky Nelson plays a young man (Colorado) very good with a gun that seems to not have a care in the world when his boss is gunned down. As the story unfolds, Colorado aids Chance and joins the bromance. Together, they face down the gang, winning in the inevitable gunfight.
Walter Brennan stars as a crotchety old man that manages affairs in the jailhouse, Angie Dickinson (Feathers) plays the love interest and Ward Bond is an old friend of Sheriff Chance. These supporting characters strengthen the story, providing the backdrop so this is much more than a shooting western, the men stand together against long odds and have a close relationship as each man comes to grips with facing their fate together.
There is some humor included in the movie, it is very appropriate to the context of men working a dangerous lawman’s job in the old west. With little in the way of fistfights and the men doing more talking than shooting, this is one of the best of the Wayne western movies.