25 Awesome Things About “Rio Bravo”

Fabrizio del Wrongo writes:

Please feel free to add your own.

1. The names: Chance, Dude, Stumpy, Colorado, Feathers.

2. The bit where Chance kisses Stumpy on the head, then runs out the door like a little kid who’s just stolen a piece of candy.

3. The fact that nearly every character saves Chance’s ass at least once.

4. Wayne’s bashful underplaying whenever Chance is shown to have been wrong in his assumptions (which is often).

5. When Dude, upon reclaiming his old clothes, realizes that his silver hat brim is similar to the one worn by the guy who humiliated him at the start of the film, and then tosses it away.

6. The way Wayne’s shotgun is permanently attached to his arm, like a substitute limb.

7. The blood dripping into the beer.

8. “That’s what I got.”

9. The several moments when Dude is feeling humiliated, and Chance nonchalantly diffuses the situation by asking him to join him in a walk around the town.

10. Angie Dickinson in tights. (It comes at the end, like a reward.)

11. The flower pot, and then the supercool way that Colorado tosses the shotgun to Chance. (The toss has been aped a million times in action films, sometimes in slo-mo, but it has never been bettered).

12. The tender, ceremonial way in which Chance removes Dude’s six shooters from the cabinet where he’s been keeping them safe for the last couple of years.

13. The part where the undertaker asks Chance what to do with the bodies of the three men Chance just killed, to which Chance replies, “You’re the undertaker. Bury ’em.”

14. Walter Brennan’s teeth.

15. “I speak English, sheriff. Why don’t you ask me?”

16. Dickinson and Nelson trying to hold their own with Wayne, Martin, Bond and Brennan, mostly failing, and managing to remain incredibly likable just the same.

17. “You’ve got peculiar ways of choosing what is your business.”

18. The wordless opening sequence, which is like an homage to silent films — and Hawks’ kiss goodbye to that entire era.

19. “My Rifle, My Pony and Me.”

20. Chance kidding Stumpy about not being able to throw the dynamite far enough.

21. Hawks allowing both Martin and Nelson to sing lead on a song. Back to back.

22. The way the three leads are described on the poster: “John Wayne: The big guy with the battered hat . . . Dean Martin: Dude — the wreckage piled up by a fast woman . . . Ricky Nelson: The rockin’ baby-faced gunfisted Kid . . . ”

23. “It’s about time. I was gettin’ awful tired of takin’ care of ya.”

24. The fact that it always sounds better when someone calls it “Rio fuckin’ Bravo.”

25. Walter Brennan doing the best Walter Brennan impersonation of all time.

About Fabrizio del Wrongo

Recovering liberal arts major. Unrepentant movie nut. Aspiring boozehound.
This entry was posted in Movies, Music, Performers and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 25 Awesome Things About “Rio Bravo”

  1. Sax von Stroheim says:

    #8 is my favorite line reading in all of American Cinema…


  2. Toddy Cat says:

    All of these thing are great, but #10 is really all you need…


  3. Cypress says:

    #21 has led to obsessive replays for me. Ecstatic ones.


  4. Cypress says:

    Chance’s smile during the song: tender, bemused, benevolent.


  5. Justin Pfizzle says:

    That’s not a silver hat “brim”, that’s a hat band. (The brim is the horizontal part.) Also Dude doesn’t toss it away because it reminds him of someone else… he tosses it because “You could buy a lot of drinks with that”, that is it’s a temptation he doesn’t want.


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