A big feature of the TCM Classic Film Festival is providing world premieres of major restorations of some of those classics. This year’s 14th annual fest is no different as Turner Classic Movies has announced its opening night, April 13, will feature the premiere of a 4K restoration of Howard Hawks’ 1959 Western Rio Bravo, in partnership with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, as part of the yearlong celebration of Warner Bros’ 100th anniversary.
The movie, more celebrated now than ever 63 years after its initial release, stars John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Angie Dickinson, the latter the pic’s only surviving major star. She is scheduled to join TCM host Ben Mankiewicz for an onstage conversation before the screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax.
In addition, Film Foundation board members Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson will take the stage to celebrate the continuation of Warner Bros Discovery’s multiyear partnership with the organization, which has restored or preserved more than 950 films to ensure their survival for future generations.
The 2023 TCM Classic Film Festival, set for April 13-16 in the heart of Hollywood, will center on the theme “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” celebrating film legacies, in particular the enduring legacy of Warner Bros; the studio marks its 100th anniversary on April 4. In conjunction with Warner Bros. Discovery’s centennial WB100 campaign “Celebrating Every Story,” the festival — which is very much a part of the corporate family here — will shine a spotlight on some of the studio’s landmark creations including this restoration of Rio Bravo.
“Any movie with Angie Dickinson is made better by the fact that Angie Dickinson is in it,” Mankiewicz said. “Certainly, Rio Bravo is no exception. As an added bonus, it also has a couple of guys named John Wayne and Dean Martin. Moreover, to have Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg back for a second year in a row is such an honor, as well as an indication of the vital role TCM plays among the filmmaking community. This restoration is important not just for the film or for the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros, but for the film-loving community at large.”
Rio Bravo, which I think never really was appreciated the way it should have been in 1959 — completely ignored by the Oscars among other critical benchmarks — stars Wayne as a sheriff with an unlikely group of allies including Martin, Nelson and Dickinson along with a host of great character actors and Western staples, as they help defend against a gang of armed attackers intent on breaking out a prisoner. Richly filmed in Technicolor, Rio Bravo was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress in 2014 and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. It now often makes the lists of all-time favorite movies.
TCM previously said that Oscar-winning production designer Patrizia von Brandenstein and actor-dancer-choreographer-director-artist Russ Tamblyn will be honored with tributes at this year’s festival. The fourth annual Robert Osborne Award, recognizing an individual who has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic film alive for future generations, will be presented to film historian Donald Bogle.
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