After watching two of the worst Westerns I’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing, a sense of morbid curiosity forced me to do some research on them (i.e. read the Wikipedia articles). To my surprise, these two movies are directly related. And not simply because they both suck ass.
In 1952, High Noon (starring Gary Cooper and directed by Fred Zinneman) was released. Everybody hated it, and it only became a “classic” to film-fags looking at it in hind-sight. Contemporary people saw it as an allegory for the Red Scare in the U.S., and was deemed “un-American”. After all, any dissent against the government is un-American and therefore COMMUNISM. At least some things haven’t changed. But I digress… High Noon pissed off enough people that John Wayne and Howard Hawks decided they would make an argument against it, and that came in the form of Rio Bravo which was released in 1959.
High Noon pissed me off, too, not because it was un-American, but because it is fucking boring and moves along at a goddamn snail’s pace. I was too busy struggling against an impending coma to notice all the un-American stuff.