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Walter Brennan

Walter Brennan

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Photo:John Wayne;Flickr;SableyStarting on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 8PM ET, American Movie Classics (AMC) will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of one of the most renown westerns of all time, Rio Bravo.1959's Rio Bravo was an all-star collaboration featuring Hollywood icon John Wayne, and directed by legendary director Howard Hawks.

Wayne is supported in the film by rat-packer Dean Martin, 1950's teen idol Ricky Nelson and the lovely Angie Dickinson.

Rounding out the cast are Walter Brennan, Ward Bond, John Russell, Harry Carey Junior and Claude Akins.Wayne portrays small town Sheriff John T.


Chance is responsible for holding a murderer named Joe Burdett (Claude Akins) in the town lock-up until Burdett can stand trial.

Joe Burdett is the brother of a wealthy land baron (John Russell as Nathan Burdett), who is determined to spring his miscreant brother from the hoosgow before the U.S Marshal can arrive and seal Joe's fate.

Nathan Burdett has extensive financial resources at his command, which he utilizes to employ hired guns to get the job done.

Sheriff Chance's forces originally consist of two deputies, an alcoholic named Dude (Dean Martin) and a senior citizen with an impaired leg named Stumpy (Walter Brennan).

This trio is eventually joined by a young sharpshooting drifter with the moniker Colorado (Ricky Nelson).

Complicating the sheriff's dilemma is his evasive relationship with a beautiful dance hall performer called Feathers (Angie Dickinson).

Dude sobers up to better the odds, and though some ingenuity, combined effort and expert marksmanship, the good guys eventually prevail.There is considerable time within the movie when the group is holed up in the town jail house in order to secure their prisoner.

At one point, Martin and Nelson, both accomplished musical performers, employ their vocal talents in order to pass the time.

Martin and Nelson sing the song "My Rifle, My Pony and Me", with a Nelson's accompaniment on the guitar.

Martin and Nelson then pick up the tempo by jamming the folk song "Cindy, Cindy", with Brennan offering his contribution as well.Howard Hawks is considered to be one of the finest directors in history and this project was one of his best.

Hawks received a "Best Director" nomination for his efforts.

The film was so popular and successful that Hawks resurrected the plot two times after "Rio Bravo", both times with John Wayne as the leading man.

The more conspicuous of the two remakes is the 1967 film El Dorado, with Robert Mitchum in Dean Martin's role, Mitchum being the drunken town sheriff sobered up by Wayne, his loyal friend.

James Caan filled the place of Ricky Nelson, except this time the young character was called Mississippi and he couldn't shoot.

El Dorado was also James Caan's first film role.

Arthur Hunnicutt's character Bull replaced Brennan's Stumpy.If you enjoy movies, never got into westerns and want to make an effort, this is a right fine place to start.

In addition to Tuesday night's broadcast, TMC will air "Rio Bravo" on Wednesday, July 15 at 3PM ET, Thursday, July 23 at 8PM ET and Friday, July 24 at 5PM ET.
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