Highly enjoyable Western which represents well the Hawksian filmic world. At the epicentre lie flawed, crude and injured (physically and emotionally) characters, whose partial virtues and skills paradoxically cohere against the odds and against the villains. This is cinema of the individualism at its best and Hawks delivers some superb set-pieces (e.g. church shootings), beautifully photographed in the small town.
Diet Rio Bravo. The actors' play directly to their personas, and the story is as straightforward as they come - given Hawks' mastery of set pieces, there's hardly any mess in the experience. (Except for that one gust of racism that's so strong and unexpected it nearly blew me over.)
Pretty much perfect. Has everything that makes me love watching Howard Hawks films. I could imagine watching this at any time and enjoying myself. You see "hang out" movies made nowadays with older male actors enjoying themselves, but they all pale in comparison to Hawks' films. Three of my favourite actors (I wish James Caan was in more great films) at the top of their game, plenty of hilarious moments throughout.
Its not Rio Bravo. Now that that's out of the way this is a fine film and purely Hawksian one addressing the issues of getting older and maintaining professionalism. There's a little too much goofing around in the end but one aspect of the film that hardly gets mentioned is the film's violence becoming more graphic. Mitchum is excellent even if the material he has to work with isnt all that strong.Must see.