Rio Bravo (1959)
Rio Bravo is a curative, a medicine sent from the heavens when I need it most. Two or three times a year, I find myself feeling lost. Nothing sounds good. I find myself flipping through channels and Soft! What light through yon window breaks? It is TMC, and Rio Bravo is the sun.
Magnificent Bastard sez:
#89, April 16, 2011
Rio Bravo is one of my must-see movies. If I see that it’s on, I must watch it. And it’s on frequently. I’ve seen Rio Bravo no fewer than 20 times (I think it’s closer to 40; better to underestimate, lest one exaggerate), yet I don’t own a copy. I think it would spoil the magic. Rio Bravo is a curative, a medicine sent from the heavens when I need it most. Two or three times a year, I find myself feeling lost. Nothing sounds good. I find myself flipping through channels and Soft! What light through yon window breaks? It is TMC, and Rio Bravo is the sun. That’s my cue to spend the next 2 hours or so with John T. Chance, Feathers, Colorado, Dude, and Stumpy; facing down Nathan Burdette and his hired guns.
lady lascivious discovered this screening one afternoon as she was knitting her way through an afternoon of movies. TCM was doing a screening of Rio Bravo, with Ben Mankiewicz hosting and leading a Q&A with special guest Angie Dickinson. The only catch was that the screening would take place in the historic and beautiful Paramount Theater. If you’ve never been to the Paramount, that sounds really nice. If you’ve been, you know it’s the most uncomfortable place to watch a movie in all of Austin. The seats are uncomfortable, small, and too close together. Rio Bravo is 141 minutes. And there’s going to be a Q&A before the film. I’m going to be sore for days. I’m not complaining. It’s a cost/benefit analysis. Rio Bravo with Ben Mankiewicz and Angie Dickinson vs discomfort and pain?
We headed downtown early and went to Frank’s for hotdogs. Big hotdogs. For mine, the one they call The Bigfoot, they took the frank, stuffed it in an artisan bun with some cheddar cheese and horseradish mayo, wrapped the whole thing in bacon, and baked it in the oven. Then, just for fun, I had them upgrade it to a Yeti… smothered in chili and grated cheese. And since Frank’s is the only place I know of in Austin that has it on the menu, I had to have some poutine as well. Mmmmmmm… poutine.
It’s ok, we took a long walk after. I’m sure that worked it all off. We strolled by the Paramount occasionally, and once we saw a line forming, we jumped in. The woman who was first in line? Never seen the movie. Grew up in a home where movies weren’t allowed, and she still doesn’t have a TV. I wish I could have found her after the movie. I would have loved to hear her thoughts on the movie, and the experience as whole. If you’re going to see a classic piece of American cinema for the first time, this was certainly the way to do it.
Rio Bravo is one of those rare movies that can work for me no matter what I’m in the mood for. There’s an element of tension throughout that gives the movie an edge, light-hearted banter between the tough guy leads, romance courtesy of a damsel in distress who has an edge of her own, action, and if you’re looking for a more cerebral experience, there’s a world of political subtext to consider, as Rio Bravo was made as a response to what Wayne and Hawks considered to be leftist political sentiments behind High Noon.
I’m afraid that John Wayne and I might differ in our interpretations of Rio Bravo. If I were to pick out one character that best represents the ideals of the GOP today, it would probably be Nathan Burdette. Were I in a more political mood at the moment, this could probably take an interesting turn. As I am not in said mood, nor do I wish to be, I’ll stop myself after one final thought. If the conservative leadership was more like John T. Chance, the world would be a better place.