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Rio Grande

Posted by martinteller on May 7, 2010

Sigh.  Yet another John Ford/John Wayne western on the TSPDT list, but fortunately the last one (still a few more Fords, but none with Wayne).  Let’s start with the good.  Wayne is actually okay in this.  Maybe the suave ‘stache mellows him out, but he seemed less brutish and cocky than usual.  The cinematography is fine as always.  Some impressive horsemanship.  And the overarching plot is generally well put-together.  And now… the bad.  The comic relief moments, although thankfully pretty scarce, are terrible, and often punctuated by some goofy musical cue.  Speaking of the music, that’s wretched too.  During the action scenes it’s okay, but everything else is stupid or sappy, including most of the numerous songs that are performed.  And then there’s the portrayal of Native Americans as ruthless savages (they steal white children!).  And most importantly, I just didn’t give a shit about most of it.  It’s all so sentimental in a way I find very disagreeable.  I’m willing to admit that I have a chip on my shoulder about Ford, but he has managed to win me over on occasion.  Not this time, but there were enough elements that I didn’t hate to make it a not entirely unpleasant experience.  Rating: 6


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