In a small South Texas town, a sheriff enlists the assistance of a lush, a cripple and a young gunslinger to keep the brother of a bad boy rancher imprisoned until the marshal arrives.
Rio Bravo gets into most people's Top 10 Western lists less for its slick action scenes, which are widely spaced, as for its atmosphere and characters which are as warm as toast.
The Duke and his little band of helpers-alcoholic Dean Martin, crippled Walter Brennan and youthful Ricky Nelson - hold out in the town jail against the bad guys who want to rescue their murderous pal. As Sheriff John T. Chance, Wayne also manages to fall bashfully in love, but the real focus is on the jail-house which becomes a self-contained ideal little world best summarised in that marvelous sequence which sees our hero looking on happily while the rest of the gang get stuck into a sing song.
Faultless, freewheeling-and very funny.