Rio Lobo (1971)
Critic Consensus: Howard Hawks and John Wayne reunite to riff on their own Rio Bravo, and while the results are less memorable the movie does offer a curiously cynical perspective.
as Col. Cord McNally
as Capt. Pierre Cordona aka Frenchy
as Shasta Delaney
as Maria Carmen
as Sheriff Tom Hendricks
as Dr. Jones
as Sheriff Pat Cronin
as Lt. Harris
as Whiter Carter
as Lt. Forsythe
as Whitey's henchman
as Whitey's henchman
as Whitey's henchman
as Deputy Sheriff
as Feeny - Bartender
as Rio Lobo Deputy
as Train engineer
as Blackthorne Prostitute
Critic Reviews for Rio Lobo
The Duke knows by instinct what audiences accept without question: whatever he may be called in the script, he is always unmistakably John Wayne. And who would have it any other way?
If it lacks the formal perfection of Rio Bravo and the moving elegy for men grown old of El Dorado, it's still a marvellous film.
In this case, the story itself doesn't matter much. We go to a classic John Wayne Western not to see anything new, but to see the old done again, done well.
The fact that its best action sequence, the first, was directed by the second unit is emblematic of Hawks's relative lack of engagement with the material.
Audience Reviews for Rio Lobo
Not in the same league as Howard Hawks' masterpiece Rio Bravo, or the excellent El Dorado, Rio Lobo is still an overall good western. The weakness of the overall cast is lifted, as happens often, by Wayne.
Kind've just a better version of True Grit, aside from the slightly better performance from The Duke. While this isn't Howard Hawks' greatest movie, it's certainly a great way to go out. This has some real differences from his other work, especially the opening. It's got all the charm and wit necessary for a Howard Hawks vehicle. He made some of the most lovable movies to ever exist and this is no exception.
While hardly the most auspicious of swan songs, Hawks? underrated final film sees a reprise of some of his favorite themes ? including the siege/hostage exchange situation from RIO BRAVO (1959), a Western he had already partially remade as EL DORADO (1966); incidentally, John Wayne starred in all three titles. It opens with an elaborate gold shipment robbery from a moving train by Confederate soldiers; Wayne is a Unionist Colonel who goes after the culprits but, the war over, befriends ?enemies? Jorge Rivero and Chris Mitchum when they reveal the identity of a couple of Yankee traitors ? one is a deputy sheriff and the other an unscrupulous landowner (Victor French). The film shares its partnership-between-Union-and-Confederate-soldiers angle with Wayne?s earlier Western THE UNDEFEATED (1969) ? but, Hawks being Hawks, it?s presented here in a far more complex (and rewarding) manner. As is usual for the director, a spirited female protagonist is thrown into the fray ? in this case, Jennifer O?Neill as a traveling-show performer who falls foul of French and his dastardly sheriff (Mike Henry); of course, she becomes romantically involved with Rivero ? a situation Wayne observes with bemusement. Jack Elam is a delight as Mitchum?s trigger-happy coot of a foster parent, making him an ideal replacement for the Walter Brennan of RIO BRAVO. The film also features an unusually wistful score for a genre effort courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith. All things considered, however, RIO LOBO still emerges as the least of the loose Wayne/Hawks Western trilogy: this is chiefly due to severe undercasting when compared to the earlier efforts ? with, say, Rivero being no match for James Caan from EL DORADO. Though a lot of exposition is necessary for the various plot threads to fall into place, the film (co-scripted by Hawks regular Leigh Brackett) provides plenty of action throughout its almost 2-hour length. The climax is exciting and well-staged, and includes the revenge on Henry by a young girl he has viciously scarred for life (played by Sherry Lansing, future head of the Fox and Paramount studios and currently Mrs. William Friedkin) ? which, however, calls for O?Neill to be virtually absent from these final stages and the film to end abruptly (albeit on a running joke involving Wayne)! Unfortunately, too, the DivX copy I watched proved rather hazy and suffered from occasional compression artifacts.
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