Rio Bravo

John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson team up in this idiosyncratic take on the “singing cowboy” Western from the ever-versatile Howard Hawks. When aging Sheriff John T. Chance (Wayne), who oversees a very small, unnamed Western town, arrests and jails accused murderer Joe Burdette (Claude Akins), Burdette’s brother Nathan vows revenge and hires guns with the intention of breaking Joe out. Chance, knowing he will be unable to hold off the Burdette clan, enlists Stumpy (Walter Brennan), his faithful deputy, Dude (Martin), the town drunk with demons to spare, and Colorado Ryan (Nelson), a young gunslinger with much to prove, to help him with the Burdette problem. Meanwhile, Feathers (Angie Dickinson), a beautiful local innkeeper, becomes increasingly involved in Chance’s affairs, much to his not-so-reluctant chagrin. As a showdown with the Burdettes looms, Chance is forced to evaluate his place and what kind of life he wants to live. “To watch Rio Bravo is to see a master craftsman at work. The film is seamless. There is not a shot that is wrong. It is uncommonly absorbing.”—Roger Ebert.

Genres: Western

Other Films by Howard Hawks

his girl friday- offer

His Girl Friday

One of the most famous products to come out of Columbia Pictures during its late-’30s/early-’40s heyday, His Girl Friday is a model of wisecracking, fast-paced dialogue directly springing from its screwball forebears of the ’30s (in particular Frank Capra’s Columbia films). Walter Burns (an effervescent Cary Grant) is a newspaper editor whose ex-wife Hildy Johnson

BFI Southbank, Howard Hawks season. January 2011

The Big Sleep

One of the key noirs of the 1940s, The Big Sleep features several legends of the American page and screen—Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Howard Hawks, Raymond Chandler, William Faulkner, and Leigh Brackett—collaborating on a messy masterpiece that, fittingly, lacks traditional narrative logic but more than makes up for it with dripping atmosphere and fine performances.

ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS

Only Angels Have Wings

Hawks’ fourth film about air-bound transit stars Cary Grant as Geoff Carter, a pilot for a small airline whose main task is delivering the mail to and from a remote camp in the foothills of the Andes. Carter manages several other pilots who repeatedly take massive risks due to the treacherous terrain and the limitations