"Desire list". Ricky Nelson never did anything that could compare with this film, which is a regular feature of some Hawks westerns: inhabit the unquestionable territory of the western masculinity with the presence of young "pop" lads that would shake this unquestionability. His sleazy posture contrascene wonderfully with Wayne's usual rigidity and brings a disturbing sensuality, unprecedented in those dusty cities.
This is a truly fascinating cinematic achievement. I couldn't keep my eyes off the screen for 141 minutes with the sheer fear of losing something, anything: Martin's career-defining performance, Dickinson's quasi-erotic banter, Wayne's bravado, Hawks's sophistication… 'Rio Bravo' is the crème de la crème of Westerns. 'Rio Bravo' is American Cinema.
Forget calling this is one of the best westerns of all time, this is one of the greatest films in Hollywood history. Hawks' and Wayne's response to the artificial High Noon towers over its predecessor in every way. Critic Robin Wood was not exaggerating when he said that Rio Bravo alone was enough to "justify the existence of Hollywood."