If it were only for Wayne’s performance, which is excellent, Red River would be a vital entry into the Western genre. But there is more to this extraordinary picture. That’s why it’s not only one of the greatest Westerns ever made, it’s an American classic.
Though not one of their greatest efforts (together or otherwise), “Hatari!” has much of what one would want in a John Wayne/Howard Hawks film. It’s casual, friendly, and sincerely straightforward. And it does all come across as having been extremely fun to make.
“El Dorado” is a refreshing genre classic, at once suggesting topical concerns while conserving an enduring arena for its Hollywood icons to do what they do best. It incorporates much of what distinguished Howard Hawks’ cinema: his uniform themes, style, and tone.