Cautions: violence, brief mild language, brief immodesty and mild sensuality, and brief drunkenness
Rio Bravo brings together the adventurous, and sometimes humorous, trio of John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson, and corners them in a small western town surrounded by hired killers. The white hats and the black hats battle it out with guns, bluffs and ambushes, a handful of men on one side, trying to keep a murderer in jail, and thirty or forty professional thugs on other side, trying to get him out.
1959 | Howard Hawks | 141 min
There are several scenes of shooting, though none are graphic. Several men, both good and bad, are killed. The climax involves a lot of shooting and some explosions.
Men and women are taken hostage, and one of the men is threatened with a piece of broken glass to make his wife scream. Another man is briefly beaten up and his head is held underwater for a bit.
A wounded man’s blood is seen dripping, though he himself is off screen.
There are several peril scenes, but these are more adventurous than emotionally intense.
Brief Mild Language
Brief Immodesty and Mild Sensuality
The ending scene involves a female character in immodest saloon dancer attire, trying to make a man jealous over the idea of other men seeing her dressed like that. Earlier, a woman is seen in late-nineteenth-century undergarments, just getting out of bed to argue with the sheriff; she does not appear particularly conscious of any immodesty and he does not pay much attention to it. A woman changes clothes behind a screen, but is only visible from the neck up.
There is occasional kissing between an unmarried couple, usually initiated by the woman. A song includes a line about a woman hugging and kissing a man.
A woman, confident that he wouldn’t really do it, challenges the sheriff to search her person after he accuses her of hiding extra poker cards, though she later apologizes for getting out of line and embarrassing him.
When the sheriff begins having to take precautions to avoid being shot while he’s sleeping, a female friend suggests that he stay in her room, which is across the hall, where the villains wouldn’t suspect him to be. There is mild tension about the idea, but nothing sensual is intended, and she indicates that one of them would sleep in a rocking chair. Nothing is shown to come of the idea.
A man is said to have gone away for six months with a woman who was “no good”.
A female character, after seeing a man almost be killed, has three drinks which noticeably affect her equilibrium. This is not portrayed positively or humorously.
An irritated side character complains that “a fellow’s got to be drunk to get anywhere around here,” and says he might as well start now, although he doesn’t.
The sheriff talks about “accidentally” shooting an incarcerated murderer if his gang attacked the jail to free him. This is probably, though not definitely, a bluff. Likewise, an attempt to trade a captured bad guy for a hostage is not designed to allow a criminal to go free but to provide an opportunity to get the villain out in the open.
A man and woman fall in love, but frequently express their concern for each other’s safety in terms of frustration rather than affection.
There is a stray reference to luck.
Prominent side characters play poker and either gain or lose money. A female side character states that she likes gambling, though she is currently gambling simply to win stage fare.
A character is shown overcoming his alcoholism in the course of the movie. However, other characters occasionally have strong drinks (though without ill effect), and the alcoholic’s attempt to avoid drinking still allows beers, although he says that they don’t do him any good.
Scenes take place in saloons.
A captured good guy lies to the villains.
Characters roll and smoke cigarettes throughout the movie.