In praise of Rio Bravo

A wonderful essay by Charles Taylor , a critic I have always loved.

Great writer, he has a great eye.

PART OF THE beauty of Wayne’€™s performance here is the way, even when Chance is refusing help, he never undervalues others. When Chance’€™s friend, the cattleman Wheeler (the inevitable Ward Bond), derides his deputies by asking, “€œA bum-legged old man and a drunk -€”that’s all you’ve got?” Chance answers, “That’s what I’ve got.” It’s the single best line reading of Wayne’s career. There’€™s a world of respect in the weight he puts on that one word, “€œwhat”, an irreducible sense of people’s worth as individuals.

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4 Responses to In praise of Rio Bravo

  1. Dan says:

    That was great! Thanks for posting it.

  2. DBW says:

    “you’d have to say he stands not so much for American power as for the American experiment—and thus for the possibility that it could all go wrong.”

    Thanks for linking to this. I have always wondered how Wayne’s detractors consistently misread him and his characters, but, often, they seem to misread the country and its character also.

  3. red says:

    Yeah, it’s a definite blind-spot, I think.

  4. Hank says:

    Been busy but I wanted to drop a quick note to say that I really enjoyed that article.
    I saw Rio Bravo a long time ago and have it queued up to watch again. I think I’ll be looking at it a bit differently.

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