Friday, November 16, 2012

227. Rio Grande

Rio Grande
Directed by John Ford

I just finished watching this movie with my parents as they are avid Wayne fans.  Yep, it is a Friday night and I was watching a movie with my parents.  Shut up!

Anyway, when you look at this film objectively, it is just awful.  We all know that John Wayne makes a better icon than an actor.  There are also really random musical numbers sprinkled throughout this film.  It also is extremely racist, with the Apaches being depicted more like demons than humans.

However, people tend to never look at westerns objectively. Westerns often remind us of parents or grandparents.  This sentimentality we associate with westerns make us excuse all its faults and just have a good time with it.  I am not saying this is a bad thing.  On the contrary, I had a lot of fun watching this with my parents despite all its flaws.

I should mention that the stunts done with the horses are mind-blowing (I actually gasped a couple times) and the scenery is, of course, beautiful at times.  Curl up with some relatives and enjoy the film.  It actually would make a good Thanksgiving film; goes with the theme of mass genocide!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Two stuntmen died during the river scene.

John Wayne considered this a parable for the Korean War.

First of five movies starring Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne.

One of three films from Ford's cavalry collection.


  1. A parable for the Korean War?
    That requires some explanation, please.

    1. According to IMDb, "John Wayne later said he considered the movie a parable for the Korean War. Wayne was in favor of extending the conflict when Chinese forces crossed the Yalu River."

    2. "In favour of extending the conflict"? Presumably as long as the old draft dodger didn't have to join in himself.

  2. In which John Wayne fears that his son might be damn shirtlifter. Happily, the boy turns out to be as willing as the rest of his troop to use guns and cannons to shoot fleeing Indians armed with spears in the back. Hooray!

    Filmed amidst the splendid scenery of valleys, desert and women knowing their place by doing laundry for the men and fainting at the first sign of trouble.

    1. I was just reading Wieland, an old novel where the heroine fainted approximately 100 times. What was up with that? Was it because they couldn't breathe properly from their clothes? Or did they just kind of fake it when they didn't want to deal with stuff? Maybe it was the only way they could get men to listen. Or maybe everyone was just kind of sickly.

    2. Sounds like narcolepsy. She should see a doctor abut it.