In a career full of excellent films, Rio Bravo surely stands as one of Howard Hawks’ best. Made as a right-wing riposte to High Noon, Rio Bravo also functions as a study of masculine notions of duty and camaraderie. Hawks’ direction is superb: cut out all but the most essential close-ups, and add as much relevant detail to the screen as possible. Nothing to waste. John Wayne is at his very best here, a great hulking presence that holds the screen together in a way few other actors could, but the supporting cast are great too – I’ll never not get a laugh out of Walter Brennan for sure. One of the best of the old Hollywood Westerns.