Rio Lobo

  • 1970
  • Movie
  • G
  • Western

This is probably the hardest film to watch that either Howard Hawks or John Wayne ever took part in, surpassing even Wayne's early days in Republic's "Three Mesquiteer" series for forced acting and situations. The 1930s pictures are more forgivable because the budgets were limiting and the outings were approached routinely. But for such a refined director...read more

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This is probably the hardest film to watch that either Howard Hawks or John Wayne ever took part in, surpassing even Wayne's early days in Republic's "Three Mesquiteer" series for forced acting and situations. The 1930s pictures are more forgivable because the budgets were limiting and

the outings were approached routinely. But for such a refined director as Hawks to end his career on a note like this, having made some of the finest films in the history of American cinema, is an atrocity not worth the silver used in the negative. The story isn't so bad, taking place soon after

the Civil War. Union captain Wayne teams up with two Confederate soldiers to track down the man responsible for stealing a shipment of gold. Their efforts land them in the middle of a town being terrorized by a crooked sheriff. Wayne and company put an end to the sheriff's tyranny by rallying the

townspeople to stand up for their rights. Witty lines are injected that would normally provide a chuckle but are so poorly delivered here that veiwers are left sighing. The common Hawksian theme of male comradeship can be found in the relationship between Wayne and his Confederate cohorts, but the

way Wayne and his supporting cast walk through their roles is ridiculous. Rivero and O'Neill face the Duke like beginning stars in the shadow of a great master, something Wayne is aware of and can't seem to shake. Only the performance of Elam remains lively, but it is the type of characterization

he has done dozens of times. A sad finale to Hawks's magnificent career.

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  • Rating: G
  • Review: This is probably the hardest film to watch that either Howard Hawks or John Wayne ever took part in, surpassing even Wayne's early days in Republic's "Three Mesquiteer" series for forced acting and situations. The 1930s pictures are more forgivable because… (more)

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