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Rio Grande (Collector's Edition)
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The last and least memorable of John Ford's famous cavalry trilogy (following Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon), Rio Grande nonetheless has an interesting continuity about the gentlemanly rules of military conduct. Here the focus is on the family. While creating a heated controversy over his handling of the Apache war, John Wayne must also contend with disgruntled wife Maureen O'Hara and estranged son Claude Jarman Jr., a new recruit trying to earn his father's love and respect. Ford seems to suggest that there are two conflicting codes of honor in every cavalry officer's life, the personal as well as the professional, and that it takes an act of heroism to maintain both. It's fascinating to observe Wayne's progression throughout the trilogy, as his personal stakes intensify. Also, this is the first of five onscreen appearances between the Duke and O'Hara, each filled with a competitive spirit and stormy sexuality. --Bill Desowitz --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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It is remarkable that 'Rio Grande' ever got to the screen; Ford hadn't planned to make it, but in order to get Republic Pictures to agree to his demands for 'The Quiet Man' (he wanted the film to be shot on location in Ireland, and in color), he had to agree to do a 'quickie' western that would turn a quick profit for the usually cash-strapped studio. This is, perhaps, a reason why the film is held in less esteem than it deserves. 'Rio Grande' may have not been born with high expectations, but with John Ford in the director's chair, and John Wayne and the Ford 'family' in the cast and crew, the potential for something 'special' was ALWAYS present!
A few bits of trivia to enhance your viewing pleasure: Yes, that IS Ken Curtis, singing with The Sons of the Pioneers, in the film...while uncredited, he made a favorable impression with Ford, and soon became a part of his 'family'...Read more ›
Yates must have had to eat a lot of crow because not only was "Rio Grande" a box office success, but "The Quiet Man" went on to become an all-time classic masterpiece. "Rio Grande" is an exceptionally wonderful film, and I feel is equal to "The Quiet Man" in it's own genre (Calvalry/western). It is romantic, sensitive, full of action, and everything you would expect from hero John Wayne...and his lovely lady, Maureen O'Hara - plus a happy ending.
This is a subject close to my heart because I maintain a website on Ms. O'Hara and have interviewed her, as well as many of her peers, including Harry Carey, Jr., Anna Lee and John Agar. The chemistry of O'Hara and Wayne in itself is an interesting study and long underrated by Hollywood historians....
John Ford has a cast of charecters that is hard to beat, starting with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and moving on to the standard issue cast of supporting charecters. Ford also examines the issues of why the Cavalry is where it is and does an excellent job there too.
This is the Army not on the edge of civilization, but beyond it as was known in the 1870s. Even on the best of days, privation was there at these small posts. You also see family life to a degree not seen in other films. I mean the family life of the soldiers, not the hero. The opening scenes with the troop coming back into the post and the wives gathered by the gate to see if their husband is returning upright or not, and then those who find thier husbnads on stretchers walking along with them. This to me, sets the tone of the movie. One of the most moving scenes I felt was of a corporal saying goodbye to his wife as the families are evacuated and making sure she has enough money and later this same man wants to be with his wife when her body is found. He asks permission to go to her but Wayne denies it and explains why. The emotion is palpable and heartfelt. It is a scene that Ford works to perfection without being overly emotional and exploiting the moment.
The outdoor scenes are excellent and in keeping with Ford's love of vistas.
This under rated film is actually a classic in it's treatment of the whole fabric of Army life in the west, the privation, the boredom and terror, the dangers and simple pleasures. This film hs it all and is the better for it.
Most recent customer reviews
Love John Wayne. All his movies are great. This is a true classic. Watched it many times on VHS mikePublished 21 months ago by michael eaton
I,ve never heard of a Blu-ray in black & white format !! Although the movie itself was great I returned it for credit and will purchase a colour version .Published 23 months ago by Gary R
If you enjoy the early westerns produced by John Ford and starring John Wayne then you will want to purchase this. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2013 by Ladybird