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Rio Bravo [HD DVD] [1959] [US Import]

John Wayne , Dean Martin , Howard Hawks    HD DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
Price: 11.64
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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan
  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: B.H. McCampbell, Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, Original recording remastered, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Jun 2007
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000P6XU56
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,007 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



When it comes down to naming the best Western of all time, the list usually narrows to three completely different pictures: Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo, Hawks' Red River and John Ford's The Searchers. About the only thing they all have in common is that they all star John Wayne. But while The Searchers is an epic quest for revenge and Red River, a sweeping cattle-drive drama, Rio Bravo is a much calmer film. Basically, it comes down to Sheriff John T Chance (Wayne), his alcoholic friend Dude (Dean Martin), the hotshot new kid Colorado (Ricky Nelson), and deputy-sidekick Stumpy (Walter Brennan), sittin' around in the town jail, drinkin' black coffee, shootin' the breeze, and occasionally singin' a song. Hawks--who, like his pal Ernest Hemingway, lived by the code of "grace under pressure"--said he made Rio Bravo as a rebuke to High Noon, in which sheriff Gary Cooper begged for townspeople to help him. So, Hawks made Wayne's Sheriff Chance a consummate professional--he may be getting old and fat, but he knows how to do his job, and he doesn't want amateurs getting mixed up in his business; they could get hurt. If the configuration of characters sounds familiar, it should: Hawks remade Rio Bravo two more times--as El Dorado in 1967, with Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and James Caan; and as Rio Lobo in 1970, with Wayne, Jack Elam, and Christopher Mitchum. The film achieved additional notoriety in the 90s when Quentin Tarantino revealed that he uses it as a litmus test for prospective girlfriends. --Jim Emerson,


No-nonsense Texas border sheriff John T. Chance (John Wayne) fights off ruthless mercenary gunmen in order to keep a murderer in custody. A ragtag band of volunteers, consisting of a singing kid, a toothless old man, a recovering alcoholic, and a spunky woman, assists.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rio Bravo On Blu Ray 8 May 2009
Apart from the fact that Ricky Nelson couldn't act to save his life (he plays the fast gun Colorado), the big revelation in Howard Hawks' High Noon rerun is Dean Martin who is just superb as the drink-obsessed Dutch - sidekick to sheriff John Wayne and his trusty buddy Walter Brennan.

The Blu Ray version is disappointing print wise for the opening credits - there's blocking, speckles on the print etc, but thankfully it doesn't stay that way for long. Although there are other weak points in the transfer later on in the movie, for about 90 % of the time I'd say it looks really good - not great - but certainly better than any other version of it that I've ever seen.

There's a night time sequence where one of the bad guys hiding out in a barn near the prison tries to shoot John Wayne - it cuts to Dutch outside worried about his friend inside - the clarity of sweat and dirt on Dean Martin is wonderful to see - and startling. When John Wayne stops Angie Dickenson at her bedroom door suspected of card shark tricks in the saloon she's just left below, her face and clothing look sensational too (what a beautiful woman she was). But then in other places there's a disappointing feeling of the focus being slightly off or the print's vibrancy being washed out.

It might just be that in 1959 the colour process was not quite there yet, but you can't help but feel that if this negative had been given real care and effort - the print would have been a genuine joy to look at - rather than being something that just elicits the word 'good' out of you every now and then.

"Rio Bravo" is a very good transfer to Blu Ray, but like so many oldies that aren't treated to proper restoration, you can't help but feel that an opportunity was missed here - because it's a Western that's stood the test of time.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Hawks' great film finally gets a special edition DVD release. RIO BRAVO is one of the finest American Westerns from one of the greatest American filmmakers, although sadly the cult of Hawks seems to be waning amongst younger film fans. Nevertheless, this 'special edition' DVD release of RIO BRAVO is exemplary, a dream come true for the film's fans. The documentaries are brilliant, offering great insight into Hawks' craft and themes, and the commentary track with Richard Shickel and John Carpenter is excellent: Carpenter clearly knows this important and influential movie inside out, and on the commentary track he laments the way in which society has turned against the professionalism of Hawks and now venerates the amateur. Nowhere is this more apparent than in modern popular cinema, where the professionalism, honesty and narrative economy of a filmmaker like Hawks seems to have been almost completely neglected in favour of spectacle and narrative 'flab'.

If you're a fan of the movie, no doubt you've already made up your mind and ordered this disc; if you've never seen RIO BRAVO before and are considering ordering the DVD, please do so--you won't regret it, and you'll see how one of the best examples of how movies used to be made, and perhaps more importantly how more modern movies should be made.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic! 7 Jan 2001
Format:VHS Tape
One of the best westerns ever made, this is the typical Howard Hawks movie. Themes of friends coming together, loyalty and an unwritten code of honour run through the film. With an assured hand, tough and a gentle, yet never dull, Hawks first lets us understand who these people are; from Dean Martin's drunk (caused by a woman) to Ricky Nelson's novice hired gun who has more morals than he suspects the cast fill the screen with an ambling warmth.
Leading them all is Wayne in one of his most relaxed, iconic performances. He is as straight as a arrow and uncorruptable. What really makes this fun though is his growing romance with Angie Dickinson's saloon moll. Wayne and Dickinson do the usual Hollywood dance, but with enough sassy dialogue and feeling to make one wonder why they didn't appear more together on celluloid. Add to this great action scenes and it all adds up to a great movie.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warner Bros - Low Bitrate Issues 11 Aug 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Rio Bravo is a classic western, i was looking forward to buying it on blu ray after seeing the stellar results that Warner produced for The Searchers, well i am a little disappointed, i view using a film projector in a dedicated home cinema room at a size of 106inches, blu ray can look stunning and film like at that size if the transfer is done correctly, now let me say this isn't a terrible release, its actually reasonable in a number of scenes and i think it may even look very good at smaller screen sizes, i have my own film review website and i tend to analayse these films more than the average consumer might so take that into account when reading my thoughts on this blu ray release.

Warner originally released this on HD-DVD and thus tried to keep the transfer at under 25GB of data, to do this they have kept bitrates extremely low in some scenes, indeed it falls to under 11mbp/s at times which is too low and causes issues, grain had to be reduced because of these low bitrate levels, that means the original filmed look is sometimes compromised.

i can see that grain reduction has been applied in at least a significant number of scenes but surprisingly not all as some scenes are left untouched, sometimes the studio when degraining will do it on an individual scene basis and you can usually grab the first frame with all the grain intact before the grain reduction kicks in for every frame that follows, that is what i am seeing with this release on some scenes after careful examination, i suppose its a question of whether people believe enough grain has been left in, going by this thread then many do believe enough has been left in.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Mr. David Holland
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good movie.
Published 18 days ago by Karen Butler
As in El Dorado a great western era where values and respect underwrote all the scripts I love them John wayne should have been President
Published 3 months ago by HARLEYBOY
4.0 out of 5 stars The film's great but has no Polish subtitles though it promised to...
I'd rate it "I love it" but it doesn't have Polish subtitles though the description on the box promises it does. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Marek
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
very good story line especially if you like john wayne as always ienjoyed the dvd i would recommend if you like westerns
Published 3 months ago by jc
4.0 out of 5 stars What I ordered
Arrived when told, packed well, but a present for someone so can not rate contents. Other wise all just fine
Published 6 months ago by Mr Brian R Knott
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic film
Great John Wayne film that still stands the test of time. Love the characters and the songs. Would recommend it for any cowboy fan.
Published 6 months ago by SWilliams24
5.0 out of 5 stars Rio Bravo (Blu ray)( Region Free)
Fan of John Wayne films I cannot fault this DVD - the reproduction is so much better on blu-ray was very impressed...........
Published 8 months ago by Norton33
4.0 out of 5 stars Western
One of the great westerns. Brilliant actors, including Ricky Nelson, and a good story line. Great film to watch & never get fed up with John Wayne westerns.
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Brian S. Adsett
4.0 out of 5 stars The good old fashion estern
A Wayne movie is always special not too much American and nearly always entertaining. My cup of tea always, and it doesn't teach the wife too much bad Language.
Published 9 months ago by Terry France
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