- Adaptation Displacement: There was originally a short story by Barbara Hawks McCampbell, Howard Hawks' daughter, who paid her to write it.
- Awesome Music:
- Ethnic Scrappy: The hotel owner and his wife are more annoying than comical to some.
- 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.
YMMV / Rio Bravo