May 3, 2009

Musical Interlude from Rio Bravo

Rio Bravo is on TCM this Wednesday evening... thought I'd post the above performance by Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson since it's mentioned in this wonderful review where Leo Grin explains that Rio Bravo came about as an answer to Gary Cooper's "High Noon"

In his now-famous 1971 Playboy interview, John Wayne recalled his own loathing for the film:

Everyone says High Noon was a great picture because [Dmitri] Tiomkin wrote some great music for it and because Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly were in it. In the picture, four guys come in to gun down the sheriff. He goes to church and asks for help and the guys go, “Oh well, oh gee.” And the women stand up and say, “You rats, you rats.” So Cooper goes out alone. It’s the most un-American thing I ever saw in my whole life. The last thing in the picture is ole Coop putting the United States marshal’s badge under his foot and stepping on it.

Some critics like to nitpick and remind us that Cooper doesn’t actually step on his discarded tin star, but Wayne’s then-twenty-year-old memory is plenty close enough for government work. The conclusion of High Noon (former President Bill Clinton’s favorite movie, natch) has marshal Will Kane casting his badge into the dirt with a sneer, his features oozing contempt for the yellow-bellied townsfolk he defended. “That was like belittling a medal of honor,” Wayne seethed privately to his friends.

No comments: