Day 3- A film that makes you happy
Rio Bravo (1959 D: Howard Hawks, W: Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett)
There’s not a sour note in this rousing, funny Western from Hawks. Although I’ve read that some think it’s Wayne’s reaction to High Noon (which he hated), all I see is Hawks’ later obsession with characters over story. Sure, it’s something of a siege movie — and the inspiration for Assault on Precinct 13, among others — but mostly it’s a chance to watch some great character actors work around each other, digging into great dialogue and rich set pieces. Wayne interacting with Dean Martin’s recovering drunk Dude — Wayne doesn’t really do anything, he mostly just waits to see what Dude is going to do next — while Walter Brennan humps around as Stumpy Joe is hearty camaraderie; Angie Dickinson is a real female presence in a deeply masculine movie, and Claude Akins plays the bad guy. Of course he does. Martin and Ricky Nelson get a song each, more or less. When I watched this movie with my pal Orville, during the siege sequence he said “I don’t want any of these characters to die.” Pretty much.