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Screenplay by Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett Directed by Howard

Screenplay by Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett Directed by Howard

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Published by rustle49
Screenplay by Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett for the classic 1958 Western.
Screenplay by Jules Furthman and Leigh Brackett for the classic 1958 Western.

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Published by: rustle49 on Aug 12, 2009
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02/06/2013

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Rio Bravo
Screenplay by Jules Furthman and Leigh BrackettDirected by Howard Hawks
FADE IN 1. INT. RIO BRAVO SALOON NIGHT(This and following scenes are played without dialogue, with only musical accompaniment andsound effects. Title and credits will be shown OVER the action.)SHOT of JOE BURDETTE drinking at the bar. Then a SHOT of the room, a border-town saloon,with men at the bar and tables. Two Mexicans, RATON and JOSE, play their instruments in thecorner. DUDE comes in through the back door. He is in bad shape, needing a drink. He startsacross the room. A man bumps into him, pushes him aside. Dude gets to the bar. He watches Joetaking a drink. Dude’s mouth waters. Joe looks at him, then pours himself another drink and drinksit while Dude watches. Smiling, Joe takes out a coin and tosses it into a spittoon. He watches tosee what Dude will do. Dude goes to the spittoon.2. INT. RIO BRAVO SALOON NIGHTSHOT of Dude as he reaches for the spittoon. A booted foot comes into scene and kicks thespittoon away. Dude looks up.3. INT. RIO BRAVO SALOON NIGHTSHOT from Dude’s p. o. v. of JOHN T. CHANCE, the sheriff. He wears a sheriff’s star on his vestand carries a rifle, but no six-guns.4. INT. RIO BRAVO SALOON NIGHTChance turns away from Dude toward Joe. But Dude, in a burst of anger at Chance’s interference,grabs a chair and swings it. It hits Chance alongside the head and he falls, knocked out. Dude looksdown at him. He realizes what he has done and drops the chair. He goes for Joe. But two men grabhim and hold his arms. Joe, grinning, hits him two or three times in the stomach. The men let goof Dude and he sags against the bar. Joe finishes his drink, walks to the door and goes out.5. EXT. STREET NIGHTJoe starts to walk down the street from the Rio Bravo Saloon. He is weaving slightly, looking formore trouble. We follow him as he walks. A man sees him coming and hastily gets out of his way.As Joe passes a cantina a man comes out and bumps into him. Joe snarls and knocks him back through the swinging doors. He walks on. At a corner he sees a Mexican woman walking acrossthe street. She has a shawl over her head, hiding her face. He follows her and grabs her, laughing,and pulls the shawl off. He sees that she is not young and he pushes her contemptuously away. Hewalks on down the street.6. EXT. STREET REVERSE ANGLE NIGHTIn f. g. a middle-aged man who carries no guns is sitting on the edge of the raised sidewalk,smoking. A dog lies near him on the sidewalk, sleeping. In b. g. Joe is coming toward them. Hekeeps coming, and stumbles on the sleeping dog.7. EXT. STREET NIGHTJoe kicks the dog as it springs up. The dog snarls. Joe laughs and pulls his gun. The middle-agedman has gotten up. He moves toward Joe to protect his dog, and Joe stops laughing. He shoots, andthe man falls. Joe stands over the body, looking around. Then he holsters his gun and walks away.He crosses the street and walks back up the other side, while behind him people look out of doorways. Joe goes into a cantina, from which we hear a guitar and a Spanish song.
 
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8. INT. CANTINA NIGHTThe singer and his guitar fall silent. Mexican patrons of the cantina scatter out of Joe’s way. Hegoes to the bar and the bartender pours him a drink. He starts to drink it, sees the bartender staringover his shoulder, and turns.9. INT. CANTINA NIGHTChance stands inside the door. He is hatless, bleeding from a cut on the forehead. His rifle islevelled on Joe.10. INT. CANTINA NIGHTJoe, his hands poised, stares into the muzzle of Chance’s gun as he approaches. He does not dareto draw. But suddenly several of the men from the Rio Bravo Saloon come in. They are behindChance and to one side. Some of them have their guns out. There is a tense moment, and then Dudecomes in behind the men. He grabs a gun from a man’s holster, and now Dude and Chance havethe men between them. They drop their guns, then turn and go out. Joe makes a sudden move togo for his gun and Chance hits him with the rifle barrel, clubbing him down. Chance and Dude look at each other. Then Chance grips Joe by the collar and starts to drag him out.DISSOLVE TO:11. EXT. VALLEY DAYThis is Southwestern terrain—a narrow river valley between rocky cliffs, with a winding line of dusty cottonwoods marking the river bed. A train of a dozen or so big freight wagons, with achuckwagon and a remuda of extra horses, is strung out along the valley road. Riding at the headof the train are WHEELER, the wagon boss, and “COLORADO” RYAN, the guard—a younggunhand on his first big job. Apart from the wagon train there is no sound or movement in thevalley but the wind, and there is a brooding, ominous quality in the atmosphere, as though thewagon train is moving toward some dramatic encounter. Suddenly Colorado touches Wheeler’sshoulder and points to the cliffs on his right.12. EXT. VALLEY DAYOn a broad ledge of the cliffs a solitary horseman sits motionless, watching the valley.13. EXT. VALLEY DAYColorado and Wheeler look at the horseman, then look around, feeling that there is somethingwrong. But there is no one else in sight and the man makes no menacing move. The wagonscontinue on their way.14. EXT. VALLEY DAYFarther along the valley, as the wagon train moves on. Colorado and Wheeler are watchful.Presently they react, looking at something o. s.15. EXT. VALLEY DAYDramatic view of another rider silhouetted against the skyline, atop the cliffs on the opposite sideof the valley. Like the first one, he makes no move, but merely watches them.16. EXT. VALLEY DAYColorado and Wheeler look at each other, convinced that something strange is going on. Thedrivers are uneasy. The wagon train goes on.17. EXT. VALLEY DAYLONG SHOT from cliff top, with the rider in f. g. and the wagon train small and receding in thevalley below. The rider turns in his saddle and lifts his rifle high over his head as though in a signalto someone farther down the valley.
 
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18. EXT. VALLEY DAYA third horseman on the cliffs watches the wagon train approaching in the valley below. He liftshis arm and brings it down in a sweeping gesture.19. EXT. VALLEY DAYColorado and Wheeler, at the head of the wagon train, observe this. Suddenly, as though in answerto the signal, six armed men ride out from a clump of trees some distance ahead of the wagons andcome to intercept them. Wheeler lifts his arm in a signal to halt and the wagons stop. (CREDITSwill run OVER the above action.)20. EXT. VALLEY DAYThe leader of the riders holds up his hand as he approaches. He and his men have made no overtmoves and Wheeler gestures to Colorado, cautioning him to hold his fire. The leader rides up. Heis a hard-looking gent, a professional gunman. So are the riders.LEADER:Don’t make any trouble and there won’t be any. This isn’t ahold-up.WHEELER:What is it then?LEADER:You going into Rio Bravo?WHEELER:We’re on the road, aren’t we? Where would we be going?LEADER:You figure on going right through or stopping over?WHEELER:What’s it to you? You got no right stopping us.LEADER:This is Burdette range you’re on.WHEELER:I know that.One of the horsemen has been edging behind Colorado and Wheeler.COLORADO:
(to horseman)
If you can’t keep that horse still I can help you.The man drops back.LEADER:
(to Wheeler)
You ain’t answered my question.COLORADO:You want to answer him, Mr. Wheeler?WHEELER:It ain’t worth a fight.COLORADO:That’s up to you, Mr. Wheeler.WHEELER:
(to leader)
We’re stopping over night, just like we’ve beendoing the last three years. Now what’s this all about?LEADER:We just got orders to ask, that’s all.COLORADO:Who’s giving these orders?LEADER:
(nodding at Wheeler)
He knows the Burdettes.COLORADO:I was asking you.LEADER:What’s your name?COLORADO:That part of your orders, too?Harris shrugs and rides away down the line of wagons as weDISSOLVE TO:21. EXT. EDGE OF TOWN DAYThe wagon train is approaching Rio Bravo. At one side of the road is Boot Hill Cemetery. Beyondit toward town we see a man on horseback waiting in the middle of the road. The wagon trainpasses Boot Hill and nears the waiting man. There is a rough barn here at the side of the road. Thebarn has a yard in front of it with trees and a horse-trough. From the road there is a clear view rightdown the main street of Rio Bravo, but the barnyard is so placed that it is hidden from the

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