The first of Howard Hawks’s two variations on his own Rio Bravo finds Robert Mitchum playing a hard-drinking sheriff who teams up with an old friend (hired gun John Wayne) to protect a wealthy rancher (Ed Asner) and his family from the threatening advances of another rancher’s fearsome gang. Along the way, they enlist the help of a gambler with a distinctive hat (James Caan) and an aging, Native American deputy sheriff (Arthur Hunnicutt)—but, against such great odds, will this motley crew survive? Mitchum supplies his own distinctive charm and charisma, and Hawks masterfully imbues the proceedings with both a narrative leanness and an expansive sense of character. Print courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive.
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