Friday, April 6, 2012

retreading it to death

Howard Hawks & The Duke
Howard Hawks directed the John Wayne classic Rio Bravo.  It was a cinematic masterpiece on all accounts.  He then retold the story in El Dorado.  Both movies are good, but the original telling could never be out done.  For some odd reason, Hawks tried to repackage the same Rio Bravo story for a third time and failed miserably.  I watched Rio Lobo last night and it simply couldn't hold my interest.

The story had a great cast.  Robert Mitchum had declined to costar in this film because he said that the script was crap.  He was right.  His son Chris Mitchum had a roll in the film and did a good job.  Chris and Jack Elam seem to be the only characters that really stood out in this tale - even over The Duke.  All the actors did good job, but the script was of course unoriginal and uninteresting and basically crap.

This wasn't one of John Wayne's best works.  Pretty much everything about Rio Lobo is lack luster - from script to direction to the end.  Heck, I didn't even wait till the end of the movie.  I don't recall ever walking out on a Duke movie from sheer boredom.  I turned it off during the final gunfight.  I read where John Wayne was really sick during the production of Rio Lobo.  Maybe that just added to the train wreck of a movie.

Speaking of train wreaks.  The movie actually started off nicely...when the Confederate soldiers highjacked the Union train.  What would've been nice is if Hawks had tried not so hard to re-write Rio Bravo and just tell a different tale.  It's unfortunate because Howard Hawks was a good director and sad that this was his last work.
Post a Comment