Rio Lobo (1970)

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    There are 62 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Rio Lobo (1970)

      RIO LOBO


      Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas


      Plot Summary
      Col. Cord McNally an ex union officer teams up with a couple of ex Johnny Rebs
      to search for the traitor who sold information to the South during the Civil War.
      Their quest brings them to the town of Rio Lobo,where they help recover this little Texas town
      from ruthless outlaws who are led by the traitor they were looking for.
      Summary written by Christopher D. Ryan

      Full Cast
      John Wayne .... Col. Cord McNally
      Jorge Rivero .... Capt. Pierre Cordona aka Frenchy
      Jennifer O'Neill .... Shasta Delaney
      Jack Elam .... Phillips
      Christopher Mitchum .... Sgt. Tuscarora Phillips
      Victor French .... Ketcham (boss of Rio Lobo)
      Susana Dosamantes .... Maria Carmen (Tuscarora's girlfriend)
      Sherry Lansing .... Amelita
      David Huddleston .... Dr. Ivor Jones (Rio Lobo dentist)
      Mike Henry .... Rio Lobo Sheriff 'Blue Tom' Hendricks
      Bill Williams .... Blackthorne Sheriff Pat Cronin
      Jim Davis .... Rio Lobo Deputy
      Dean Smith .... L/Cpl. Bide
      Robert Donner .... Whitey Carter (Rio Lobo deputy)
      George Plimpton .... Gunman #4
      Edward Faulkner .... Lt. Harris
      Peter Jason .... Lt. Forsythe (gold train detail officer)
      Chuck Courtney .... Chuck
      Robert Rothwell .... Gunman #3
      Don 'Red' Barry .... Feeny (bartender of saloon outside POW camp) (uncredited)
      Harold Cops .... (uncredited)
      Stanley Corson .... (uncredited)
      Sondra Currie .... (uncredited)
      José Espinosa .... (uncredited)
      Chuck Hayward .... (uncredited)
      Lance Hool .... Picket (uncredited)
      Frank Kennedy .... (uncredited)
      Charlie Longfoot .... (uncredited)
      John McKee .... (uncredited)
      Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... Train engineer (uncredited)
      Gregg Palmer .... Pete (henchman) (uncredited)
      Jim Preiean .... (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... Corporal in baggage car (uncredited)
      Danny Sands .... (uncredited)
      Anthony Sparrow Hawk .... (uncredited)
      Bob Steele .... Rio Lobo deputy (uncredited)
      Tommy Tedesco .... Guitar player (opening credits) (uncredited)
      Ethan Wayne .... (uncredited)
      Hank Worden .... Hank (hotel clerk) (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Leigh Brackett
      Burton Wohl also story

      William H. Clothier

      Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
      Yakima Canutt .... second unit director
      Mike Moder .... assistant director

      Joe Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
      Tap Canutt .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Courtney .... stunts (uncredited)
      Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
      Ace Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
      John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
      Terry Leonard .... stunts (uncredited)
      John McKee .... stunts (uncredited)
      Boyd 'Red' Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
      Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
      Rudy Robbins .... stunts (uncredited)
      Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
      Danny Sands .... stunts (uncredited)
      Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
      Neil Summers .... stunts (uncredited)
      Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
      Rodd Wolff .... stunts (uncredited)

      Writer and reporter George Plimpton was cast in a minor role in this film (4th Gunman) while collecting research on the film industry.

      Howard Hawks's final film.

      Howard Hawks later said, "I didn't think it was any good." He also blamed the film's poor critical and commercial performance on John Wayne, saying that at 63 the star was now too old to carry a movie.

      Robert Mitchum declined an offer from Howard Hawks to reprise his El Dorado (1966) role in this film. He told Hawks the script was "an even bigger piece of crap than 'El Dorado'."

      When John Wayne visits Bill Williams in the sheriff's office, there is a wanted poster on the wall for Hondo Lane, the character Wayne played in Hondo (1953).

      John Wayne was seriously ill during filming, and had great difficulty getting on and off his horse.

      Jack Elam, playing the "Old Man", was more than a decade younger than John Wayne.

      During a break in filming John Wayne collected his Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969) from Barbra Streisand at The 42nd Annual Academy Awards (1970) (TV). When he returned, every member of the cast was wearing an eye patch - including his horse!

      Film debut of Peter Jason.

      * Anachronisms: In the railroad track greasing scene, some of the Confederate cavalrymen are wearing bandoleers containing post Civil War metallic cartridges.

      * Errors in geography: Many scenes that take place "in Texas" have saguaro cacti in them. Saguaros only grow in parts of Arizona and Mexico; they don't grow in Texas.

      * Continuity: When Col. McNally, Capt. Pierre Cordona, and Shasta Delaney awake in their camp at the burial site, it is morning, but the lack of shadows would indicate a time closer to midday.

      * Continuity: In the saloon, the cork in whiskey bottle disappears and reappears between shots.

      * Anachronisms: All of the major characters in the film are seen wearing/using Colt Single Action Army revolvers shortly after civil war ends (1865). The gun wasn't introduced until eight years later (1873).

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When McNally and his companions arrive at Phillips's farm, Phillips walks to the window saying a phrase without moves his lips.

      * Continuity: When McNally, Cardona and Shasta knock on Maria Carmen's door, she rushes to put on a shawl which barely covers her. But, when the door opens and the shot is from outside, the shawl completely covers her shoulders.

      * Continuity: Shortly before the fast going captured train is stopped by ropes tightened across the rails there are a number of shots in which there is no one on the second wagon of the train. It is obvious from the foregoing shots that there should be about nine confederate soldiers on it - including Capt. Cordona.

      * Continuity: When Cordona and Tuscarora are released from the POW camp, Col McNally buys them a drink. When he picks up the glasses from the bar, they are upside down in his hand, when he sets them down on the table they are right side up with his hand never having changed position.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: During the final shootout, when Hendricks shoots Ketcham, McNally mouths some words right before he shoots at Hendricks, but there is no audio.

      * Continuity: When McNally, Cardona and Shasta are in Cardona's room and Shasta is just waking up after fainting, she sits up and the covers fall down to her waist, then they show a distant scene and the covers are around her neck, then a close up scene and the covers are around her waist again.

      * Continuity: When McNally is carrying Shasta, Cordona is leading the way to the stairs. When the camera angle changes, McNally is in front of Cordona.

      * Continuity: When Mr. Phillips is showing Ketchum that he has the triggers tied back on his shotgun right after they capture him, the long shot shows Ketchum buckling his belt, when they go to a close up, his hands are gone and the belt is buckled. When the camera angle changes back to a longer shot, he is still buckling his belt.

      * Anachronisms: Most of the repeating rifles being used are Winchester model 94's, introduced many years after the time that the movie is set.

      * Revealing mistakes: Leaving Ketchum's home, a body double is used for John Wayne. There seems to be no reason for it as it is a benign scene requiring very little physical exertion.

      * Continuity: During the fight inside the house, a lamp breaks and Ketcham's pants catches fire. When he leaves the house there are no scorch marks on Ketcham's pant legs.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico
      Old Tucson - Tucson, Arizona

      Previous discussion:-
      Rio Lobo
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Rio Lobo was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett.
      The film was shot in Technicolor with a running time of 114 minutes.
      The musical score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith and the movie was filmed
      at Cuernavaca in the Mexican state of Morelos and at Tucson, Arizona.

      It was the third film in a trilogy directed by Hawks varying the idea of a sheriff
      defending his office against belligerent outlaw elements in the town:
      the other two films were Rio Bravo (1959) and El Dorado (1966)

      Part 3 of the Howard Hawks, trilogy, although I thought this was quite different from the other two!
      Whilst I thought Rio Bravo, and El Dorado, followed a very similar patterm, I felt this one didn't.
      Ok, there were, similarities, but I don't know, it just was.well....different!!
      Duke was great cast as the Colonel, but some of the others, in comparison, were weak.
      Mexican, Jorge Rivero, a good looking, former Olympic swimmer, was pretty inept in his part.

      Hawks said:-
      In order to do anything, he had to think in Spanish, and then transfer his lines,
      mentally, into English....He was really too slow, and didn't have any authority at all

      Jennifer O'Neil, just seemed swamped by Duke!
      However, with great character actors like Jack Elam, Hank Worden
      and other Duke's friends, the picture is better with their presence.

      An enjoyable movie.

      User Review
      Much maligned, better than you're told
      20 June 2004 | by (maxbrand) (NY, NY)

      OK, put down the film criticism texts and just watch this fun movie for what it is. Feels like a TV movie, but several cuts above one. The opening train robbery sequence is pretty damn breathtaking for a "bad" movie. Bet some action directors have studied that one. "Lobo" is collection of a lot of good Hawks-ian moments recycled, sort of like a retrospective of his bag of tricks ie. "Yer necks broken," etc. The Duke aging, beat up, but still The Duke. Sherry Lansing pretty hot looking in her one role. Jack Elam the scene stealer. Too bad they didn't have the money to cast the other parts better--Mitchum or Martin would have helped a lot. Duke looks a little lonely. Plot sorta strung together, but Hawks was concentrating more on characters in his Bravo/Dorado/Lobo "trilogy." "Smart" dialog, while not up to 30s & 40s banter, still has clever moments by today's standards. Clever rifle bit at the end shows old timers' practical knowledge of things, like weapons. If you like old westerns, you'll like this one. Not among his greatest, but low end Hawks is better than no Hawks. I've seen much thinner stuff win awards
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Hi

      In an earlier post when talking about this film I commented that in the scene where Ketchum is set on fire he shows no signs of being burnt. After lwatching the film last Saturday you see him doing up his belt on a new pair of pants. So he was allowed to change.


      Walk Tall - Talk Low
    • The movie was somewhat enjoyable and it was Jack Elam that made it so. I thought that there was no chemistry at all between O'Neill and Rivero. Just two pretty faces who couldn't act. Film was noteworthy for the fact that writer George Plimpton had a cameo as a Ketchum gunman who gets his in the first half of the movie. In fact, some years ago, Plimpton did some tv specials about some of the jobs he did over the years to see hwat they were like. And one was about his time on this movie and I remember it was interesting to watch. At one time, Wayne called him Pimpleton. Anybody know just how many movies Mike Henry did with Wayne? I know he did this and The Green Berets but, I can't remember any others. I always like his style. He made a good villain and he did a good role in the original Longest Yard. Also, Sheree Lansing, who played Amelita, went on to run one of the big studios for a short while. I think it was 20th Century Fox.
    • Hi WaynamoJim,
      Those two films were the only ones Mike Henry did with the Duke.
      I agree about the documentary with George Plympton, and it's very funny.
      For those who haven't seen it, George a journalist, is taught a line, in the film,
      which he labours over, only for Hawks to change it at the last minute.
      Duke shows him how to walk, and talk, and hold a rifle.
      Good stuff, and a great doc!!
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Hi,
      I have been researching all the threads, back to the start of the JWMB,
      looking for previous discussion, relating to this movie.
      I have found the following, comments, and have copied them here,
      so that they are now under one forum:-

      If you are interested, please click on the link:-

      Rio Lobo, Noticed Points

      Rio Lobo, Not bad, but should have been better

      Rio Bravo, El Dorado, Rio Lobo,the Similarities
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Originally posted by WaynamoJim@Jan 27 2006, 12:42 PM
      The movie was somewhat enjoyable and it was Jack Elam that made it so. I thought that there was no chemistry at all between O'Neill and Rivero. Just two pretty faces who couldn't act.

      I couldn't agree with you more. I really enjoy Jack Elam (saw him recently in Support Your Local Gunfighter and Support Your Local Sheriff). The Mrs. dislikes this film specifically because of the women in it - she says they are "annoying."

      Deep Discount DVD has the movie and two posters.

      Amazon has the film in the new John Wayne Collection series, as well as an older version.

      Chester :newyear:
    • I agree that while this film is enjoyable, it is not a great film. As someone else stated, O'Neill and Rivero were just not good actors. To me, the best part of the story is the opening train wreck. Once the Civil war ends, the films turns more formulatic (good guy hunting down bad guy, who just happens to own all the townsfolk water rights).

      The DVD quality of this film is outstanding, but there is one very annoying and distracting trait on it. Whenever a male is walking, there is a LOUD sound of his spurs accompying him. Sometimes it's so loud, it is actually hard to hear the dialog. Hawks should have realised this during the mixing process, but seeing as it was his last film, perhaps he either (1) didn't care, or (2) just didn't notice. Whatever the case, it certainly hampens the enjoyment of it.

      I'd give it 7/10 rating
    • I like Hawks' joking about Duke, like in Rio Bravo he has a girl, in El Dorado he "knows a girl" and in Rio Lobo he's "comfortable". And that scene at the dentist, (from memory) "I wouldn't need to hurt you, if you could act". :P
      The film has a warm feeling in it, Howard and Duke are both comfortable, it doesn't take much effort from them to make a small movie like this, and the same time it's nostalgic, they are not coming any younger. As Hawks put it "Duke was not that big cat anymore"
      I don't believe in surrenders.
    • Originally posted by etsija@Mar 14 2006, 01:55 PM
      I like Hawks' joking about Duke, like in Rio Bravo he has a girl, in El Dorado he "knows a girl" and in Rio Lobo he's "comfortable". And that scene at the dentist, (from memory) "I wouldn't need to hurt you, if you could act".  :P
      The film has a warm feeling in it, Howard and Duke are both comfortable, it doesn't take much effort from them to make a small movie like this, and the same time it's nostalgic, they are not coming any younger. As Hawks put it "Duke was not that big cat anymore"

      John Wayne wasnt a big cat anymore, I couldn't agree less as he had just won the Academy award and his stature was only getting bigger.

      That was a good interview with O'neill although I was disappointed that she didnt consider duke a 'great actor'.

      I always thought that the scene at the Dentist was improvised about Duke not being a good enough actor on account that he had just won the oscar. Does anyone have that great picture from the set of Rio Lobo showing the entire cast along with Dukes horse wearing eyepatches.

    • Originally posted by Robbie@Mar 14 2006, 07:55 PM
      John Wayne wasnt a big cat anymore, I couldn't agree less as he had just won the Academy award and his stature was only getting bigger.

      Well, Hawks was referring to the way he moved, or used to move, very agile and even graceful for a big man, like a panther or other big cat
      I don't believe in surrenders.
    • Re: Rio Lobo (1971)

      I was disappointed that Hawks blamed the failure of this movie almost exclusively on John Wayne. Claiming he was too old to make movies, needed a big co-star like Mitchum to help carry the movie and questioned whether Duke was worth his one million dollars per picture fee.

      Hawks should have remembered that only before this movie in True Grit and after it in Big Jake and the Cowboys, Duke was able to carry the movie himself and these movies were superior in quality etc compared to Rio Lobo. I feel Hawks has to take much of the blame for the failure of Rio Lobo.

    • Re: Rio Lobo (1971)

      There has not been much talk about this movie on this board. I thought I'd post the following movie review that I found on the Internet.

      Reviewed by David Williams (May 12, 2003)

      By the time 1970’s Rio Lobo hit theaters (director Howard Hanks’s last feature and his fifth with John Wayne), Wayne’s persona was starting to become worn out and tired with many viewers and the Western genre was starting to fade into the silver screen background. However, I’m not one of the aforementioned “many viewers” and as I see it, no matter how many John Wayne movies you’ve seen or how many times he’s essentially played the same character over and over, there’s just something nostalgic about watching “The Duke” work. While Rio Lobo isn’t considered one of Wayne’s best – and more than likely considered middle-tier in mot circles – it’s still a treat and a pleasure to see one of the greatest American actors of all-time, John Wayne, do his thing in almost any film.

      The film deals with the spectacular robbery of a Union Army “pay train” that is hijacked by a band of Confederate soldiers. When a protégé of Union Colonel Cord McNally (John Wayne) is killed in the daring robbery, McNally vows to capture the men responsible. However, McNally is the one who ends up getting captured. However, after spending some time with his captors, McNally learns to respect them as soldiers and he holds no ill will towards the Confederates – Pierre Cordona (Jorge Rivero) and Tuscarora Phillips (Christopher Mitchum). Although McNally comes to realize that the men were just doing their job as soldiers, he turns the tables on them and sets them up to be captured by the Union just as the Civil War happens to be winding down. As the War officially comes to an end, McNally approaches the duo of Cordona and Tuscarora, as he knows that they couldn’t have pulled off the job without some sort of insider information from someone in the ranks of the Union Army. McNally meets Cordona and Tuscarora over drinks and while they admit they paid off some Union soldiers to tell them about the shipment, they honestly can’t recall who they were. McNally tells them where he can be reached after the War in case they ever come across the treasonous soldier and the three part ways.

      Fast forward a year or so later and McNally runs across one of his former soldiers now serving as a sheriff in Blackthorne, Texas. As the two are catching up with each other, a beautiful young woman, Shasta Delaney (Jennifer O’Neill), shows up and says she wants to report a murder in the neighboring town of Rio Lobo that was performed by a deputy in the town. The sheriff says that he cannot help the young lady, as Rio Lobo is out of his jurisdiction. Soon thereafter, four deputies from the town of Rio Lobo – including the one that supposedly performed the murder - show up in Blackthorne and attempt to take Miss Delaney back to Rio Lobo at gunpoint. This doesn’t sit too well with the sheriff - or McNally – and a shootout ensues that ends with the four deputies from Rio Lobo being shot dead and Cordona showing up out of the blue to help finish them off. The chain of events peaks McNally’s interests, as he seems to think that there’s more than meets the eye in Rio Lobo. McNally, as well as Cordona and Delaney head out to Rio Lobo to see what’s amiss.

      When they arrive in Rio Lobo, they find the town literally held hostage by a sadistic sheriff named Hendricks (Mike Henry) and a wealthy landowner named Ketcham (Victor French). Ketcham showed up in Rio Lobo after the War ended and hired a bunch of outlaws and gunslingers to help protect his interests and in turn, started muscling in on the other landowners to force them to sell him their property as well. While in town, McNally and crew also hook back up with old friend Tuscarora Phillips and they meet his father (Jack Elam), who just so happens to be a rancher in Rio Lobo that has been threatened by Hendricks and Ketcham. While making a move on Ketcham for his current transgressions, McNally and the others learn that Ketcham also happens to be the Union soldier that they have been looking for who sold out his comrades and the Union “pay train” just a few months back.

      With all that’s developed, a showdown is in order and it’s escalated by the fact that Ketcham is captured and held by McNally and his crew, Hendricks and his deputies have them surrounded, and Cordona is being held captive by Hendricks and his cronies. When the “exchange” of prisoners is set to take place, it erupts into a gunfight galore that ends in true John Wayne fashion.

      Rio Lobo, while entertaining, is a stock Western that managed to generate some genuine action and excitement, as well as some wonderful tension between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”. To top it all off, the whole deal ends up being settled with an Old West style shootout. What more could you ask for?!? The film contained some good performances by all those involved and managed to remain entertaining after many years of having not seen it in any form or fashion.


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