(Review originally written at 25 November 2009)

This movie has lots of great movie elements in it. A decent story, likable characters, some well placed humor and some action and romance in it as well. It's a good movie that entertains throughout and puts John Wayne in the saddle as a lieutenant colonel of the United States cavalry, after the civil war. It was the same character he had played before in the other John Ford directed movie "Fort Apache".

Basically you can really see this movie as good entertainment. Story-wise, acting-wise and everything else it isn't the most outstanding or classic movie. It isn't very original and especially once you have seen a couple of genre movies like this one before you know how it's all going to progress and end up. But that's OK really, fore "Rio Grande" is foremost really entertainment and the movie does not fail at what it tries to achieve all with it.

It's also still a movie that holds plenty of drama and romance in it. In its core the movie is also still perhaps a family drama, in which Waynes son suddenly after 15 years pops up as a trooper under his command. It doesn't take long for his wife to show up as well, who he also hasn't seen for several years. Suddenly the lieutenant colonel needs to be an husband and father again, something he obviously wasn't used to. He is especially having an hard time treating his son right and decides on acting as a commander, rather than a father, though deep in his heart it's not what he wants to.

But well, before letting the movie sound more melodramatic than it really is, the movie also really stands out with its action. It's an all American story about heroism. Toward the end the movie gets more and more action packed when the troopers are taking on the Indians. It still doesn't really feel right though for these sort of movies to always put down the Indians as savage, murderous villains and how heroic and brave the soldiers are for killing and shooting them.

All in all this movie is simply a very entertaining one that delivers.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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