Rio Bravo (1959)


A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy. (IMDb)
It dawdles (see the silly romance; two songs in a row to show off Martin and Nelson), but in the end that’s part of its charm (bashful Wayne and chatty Dickinson are a fun pair; Nelson’s such a dreamboat) and along with the repeated settings (jail, hotel, saloon), laugh-out-loud humour (Stumpy had me in stitches every scene he’s in), and character drama (see Dude’s development) it really makes you feel a cozy sense of familiarity along with the excitement you get from the bursts of action.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

The Searchers (1956)


A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (IMDb)
With as many cozy wooden indoor sets as wide sandy outbacks, as much drawled dialogue as gun fights and horseback riding, dashes of wry humour (“you chunkhead, you got yourself a wife!”) amidst the tragic central storyline, and a hotheaded young sidekick to go along with Wayne’s chill and cocksure lead, this is a well-rounded, if not groundbreaking Western–and although it’s undoubtedly a bit dry and meandering (fairly stale performances don’t help) it seems to fit the sprawling, dusty setting.
7/10 (Good)