In Rio Bravo, Howard Hawks abandoned the sweeping exteriors of the traditional Western for the claustrophobic interiors of a frontier town’s bars, hotel and jail.
John Wayne plays cantankerous loner lawman John T Chance who reluctantly gathers a “family” around him – old-time Stumpy (Walter Brennan), drunken deputy, Dude (Dean Martin), professional gambler, Feathers (Angie Dickinson) and beardless youth, Colorado Ryan (Ricky Nelson) – in order to bring murderer Joe Burdette (Claude Akins) to trial.
Hawks claimed that Rio Bravo was his response to High Noon (1952). “Gary Cooper ran around trying to get help and no one would give him any. And that’s a rather silly thing for a man to do. So I said, we’ll just do the opposite”.
The result is a laconic ‘indoors’ Western in which Angie Dickinson is outstanding as Feathers, a warm and sexy woman moving easily in a man’s world without ruffling any of its conventions.
Sheriff John T Chance
Harry Carey Jr