Rio Lobo

John Wayne and Howard Hawks wearing their Red River D belt buckles on the set of Rio Lobo (1970).

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Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks’ final film, Rio Lobo (1970) was his fifth film with John Wayne.  It was the weakest of their films together, but it is still a decent entertainment.  On its own, it’s not bad, but it suffers by comparison.

Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks in discussion with Rio Lobo (1970) on the set of Rio Lobo (1970).

Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks and John Wayne preparing for Rio Lobo (1970).  While it was Hawks’ final film, John Wayne still had some fine films left, such as The Cowboys, Big Jake, and his final film, The Shootist.

Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks in the director’s chair for Rio Lobo (1970) with John Wayne.

Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks directing John Wayne one last time in Rio Lobo (1970).

Rio Lobo

Rio Lobo

While John Wayne was filming Rio Lobo (1970) he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for True Grit (1969).  When he returned to the Rio Lobo set after the ceremony, the entire cast was outfitted with eye patches, including his horse.

Rio Lobo

Robert Mitchum’s son Christopher with John Wayne on the set of Rio Lobo (1970).  Robert had a supporting part in Hawks’ 1945 production Corvette K-225, and then starred opposite Wayne in Hawks’ previous film, El Dorado.

Christopher has 70 acting credits so far, from an uncredited bit in one of his father’s films in 1958, through two films now in pre and post production.  His only other credit of note is in another John Wayne western, Big Jake (1971).

Rio Lobo

Rio Lobo (1970) was produced for Cinema Center Films, a subsidiary of the tv network CBS.  The company produced 29 films.  CCF’s first film was With Six You Get Eggroll in 1968, Doris Day’s final film, and their last film was the animated feature Snoopy Come Home in 1972.  Other notable films by CCF include The Boys in the Band, Scrooge, Little Big Man, Big Jake and Le Mans.

Rio Lobo

John Wayne in a publicity photo for Rio Lobo (1970).

Rio Lobo

John Wayne attends to Sherry Lansing in a publicity still for Rio Lobo (1970).  Sherry had only one other acting credit, but behind the scenes, she was the first woman to head a major Hollywood studio when she became president of 20th Century-Fox in 1980. In 1992 she became the chairman of Paramount Pictures, stepping down as CEO in 2004.

Rio Lobo

John Wayne was recovering from a torn ligament in his shoulder suffered on the set of The Undefeated (1969) while he was making Rio Lobo (1970), giving him great difficulty getting on and off his horse.

Rio Lobo

Howard Hawks once said of Rio Lobo (1970) “I didn’t think it was any good.”

Rio Lobo

John Wayne as Col. Cord McNally in a publicity still for Rio Lobo (1970).  At 63. many critics wrote that he was too old to play a solider.  While Rio Lobo is not one of Howard Hawks’ better movies, it is still a middling entertainment.  As always, Hawks’ action scenes are terrific.