Rio Grande Reviews
It is actually the third film in the 'Cavalry Trilogy' yet the first entry I have watched. The other films I must now see are Fort Apache (1948) and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949).
John Wayne films just make you feel good and probably what spur right wing Americans at times.
The story revolves around Captain Kirby York (Wayne) who trains recruits to the US army at a Rio Grande post.
One day his estranged son of 15 years recruits.
Later in the film his estranged wife (Maureen O'Hara) enters proceedings trying to buy her son out of the army.
The youuthful son becomes an accomplished soldier thanks to Wayne's influence and becomes a hero when York leads his men against Mexican Indians who kidnap the posts children.
The film features some great action scenes featuring horse riding stunt work.
The estranged wife elements adds some romance to the film as York reconciles with her.
Apparently this film is viewed as the weaker episode in the Trilogy. I can't wait to view them then!
Action scenes are great, as is the scenery and cinematography. All this you would expect from John Ford. Shooting a western in black-and-white does not sound like the best idea, but Ford makes it work.
Great performance by John Wayne. He gets to show off a bit more acting range in this movie. There is the usual action-hero John Wayne, and then the romantic, concerned husband/father John Wayne.
Maureen O'Hara is wonderful in the female lead, and stunningly beautiful even in black-and-white.
Good support from Claude Jarman Jr and Chill Wills. J Carroll Naish gets the award for looking exactly like the historical figure he is portraying (General Sheridan).
Only negatives are the singing and that there are a few moments where the plot seems to briefly stall. All the singing and music started to feel like padding after a while. The plot has some "clunky" moments, where you thought - why is that necessary? Minor issues, that's all.
Rio Grande may not be as memorable as the first 2, but it's got all the right ingrediants that make a great western.