YMMV / Rio Bravo

  • Adaptation Displacement: There was originally a short story by Barbara Hawks McCampbell, Howard Hawks' daughter, who paid her to write it.
  • Awesome Music: The score by Dimitri Tiomkin.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • John T. Chance from Rio Bravo and Will Kane from High Noon. Both find themselves in imminent danger from a gunfighter who wants revenge. Both need help taking their respective foes down. However, while Kane has the humility to admit he can't take on the Miller gang alone and spends the movie trying to get special deputies, Chance refuses to recruit those without experience to help him take on the Burdette gang, only to be assisted by those without experience anyway. Additionally, Kane is a Punch-Clock Hero with an unglamorous job who fights the Miller gang because he has to, while Chance can actually afford to choose.
    • Feathers and Amy Kane. Both are young love interests for the respective heroes. Their roles are reversed. Amy, an intense Quaker, refuses to wait around to find out if she's going to be "a wife or a widow" and chooses to leave Will, her husband, on the noon train. Feathers is a gambler who has had no previous romantic connection to Chance, and is urged by Chance to leave on the train but refuses.
    • According to film scholar Peter Cochran, High Noon and Rio Bravo have two of the same types of characters who show up in the film: the town drunk and the old-timer, but the two are presented very differently.
      • In High Noon, the drunk, Charlie (Jack Elam) is asleep in a jail cell for most of the movie, and just before the shootout, when the marshal releases him, he’s still fuzzy and appears to have no idea what’s going on. All the marshal can do is try to send him home. His Rio Bravo counterpart Dude (Dean Martin) is one of the sheriff's deputies, and is fast on the draw when the script requires him to be.
      • The old-timer in High Noon, Martin Howe (Lon Chaney, Jr.) is the retired marshal of Hadleyville and would be useless in a gunfight because of his arthritic hand and busted knuckles. In Rio Bravo, the old-timer Stumpy (Walter Brennan) is the sheriff's other deputy, and has a gammy foot so he's still able to shoot.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: The hotel owner and his wife are annoying comical figures.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film was a huge success in Italy, laying the groundwork for the following decade's Spaghetti Western boom.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Despite appearing to call for nothing more than John Wayne's typical performance, the film lets him show more range than usual, as Chance has quite a few vulnerable moments where it's clear how worried he really is about making it through the standoff. He also gets really flustered in his scenes with Feathers.
    • The film allso showed people that Dean Martin could do more than sing or be straight man to former comedy team partner Jerry Lewis. The scenes where recovering alcoholic Dude is going through withdrawal and has the "shakes" proved how good a dramatic actor he could be.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Nathan Burdette has a band play music that was used to intimidate the defenders at the Alamo. A year after this film, John Wayne directed and starred in The Alamo as Davy Crockett.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If you didn't think Joe Burdette was a Jerkass for tossing a coin in a spittoon for Dude or forcing a kiss on a woman, you will when he murders a man for absolutely no reason other than he tried to break up his fight with Dude.
  • The Woobie: Dude. He's left broken from an unhappy affair, and has turned to alcoholism, which has taken a toll on his confidence.