Rio Conchos (1964)

107 mins | Western | 12 November 1964

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HISTORY

The film was initially titled Guns of Rio Conchos, after the 1964 novel by Clair Huffaker upon which it was based. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. optioned the book in spring 1962, as stated in a 16 May 1962 DV item, and filmmaker George Sherman, who’d recently collaborated with Clair Huffaker on the 1961 film The Comancheros (see entry), was brought on to produce and direct. John Wayne was named as a potential leading man, and while a 14 Jun 1963 LAT brief reported that both Wayne and actor Gregory Peck had signed on, neither remained with the project.
       An item in the 19 Dec 1963 DV made no mention of George Sherman’s former involvement when it announced that Gordon Douglas and David Weisbart had been hired to direct and produce, respectively. A month later, a 14 Jan 1964 DV brief noted that Stephen Boyd might join the cast.
       Principal photography began on 16 Mar 1964 in Moab, UT, according to that day’s DV. Four weeks of exterior shooting in Moab was cut short by inclement weather. Filmmakers arranged to shoot interiors on an improvised soundstage at a Moab Airport hangar, the 27 Mar 1964 DV reported. However, “snow and extreme cold” forced the cast and crew to move to Los Angeles, CA, earlier than planned, on 6 Apr 1964. Two weeks of interior shooting in Los Angeles were set to precede a final ten days of shooting back in Moab. On 8 May 1964, a DV item confirmed that production had returned to Moab. Location scenes were also filmed ...

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The film was initially titled Guns of Rio Conchos, after the 1964 novel by Clair Huffaker upon which it was based. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. optioned the book in spring 1962, as stated in a 16 May 1962 DV item, and filmmaker George Sherman, who’d recently collaborated with Clair Huffaker on the 1961 film The Comancheros (see entry), was brought on to produce and direct. John Wayne was named as a potential leading man, and while a 14 Jun 1963 LAT brief reported that both Wayne and actor Gregory Peck had signed on, neither remained with the project.
       An item in the 19 Dec 1963 DV made no mention of George Sherman’s former involvement when it announced that Gordon Douglas and David Weisbart had been hired to direct and produce, respectively. A month later, a 14 Jan 1964 DV brief noted that Stephen Boyd might join the cast.
       Principal photography began on 16 Mar 1964 in Moab, UT, according to that day’s DV. Four weeks of exterior shooting in Moab was cut short by inclement weather. Filmmakers arranged to shoot interiors on an improvised soundstage at a Moab Airport hangar, the 27 Mar 1964 DV reported. However, “snow and extreme cold” forced the cast and crew to move to Los Angeles, CA, earlier than planned, on 6 Apr 1964. Two weeks of interior shooting in Los Angeles were set to precede a final ten days of shooting back in Moab. On 8 May 1964, a DV item confirmed that production had returned to Moab. Location scenes were also filmed in Monument Valley and elsewhere in Arizona.
       Richard Boone was injured on set when a pony “bolted and dragged the actor nearly 100 yards," the 8 May 1964 DV stated. Boone was hospitalized overnight for bruises and lacerations, prompting Douglas to rearrange the shooting schedule so that Boone would only appear in “long shots” for the few days following the accident. Around the same time, cast member Edmond O’Brien endured an eye injury that required an emergency flight back to Los Angeles for treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, according to the 13 May 1964 DV. Principal photography wound the first week of Jun 1964, “several days behind schedule because of weather problems,” as noted in the 9 Jun 1964 DV.
       The world premiere was scheduled to occur on 23 Oct 1964 in Cleveland, OH, the hometown of cast member Jim Brown, a professional football player who made his acting debut in the picture. The 12 Nov 1964 Los Angeles Sentinel claimed that proceeds from the event would go to the American Cancer Society’s Ohio division, of which Brown was a co-chairman. A Los Angeles, CA, opening was set to follow on 12 Nov 1964. Coinciding with the film’s debut, Gold Medal Books planned to release 400,000 paperback copies of Huffaker’s novel, according to the 13 Aug 1964 DV.
       For the role of “Rodriguez,” actor Tony Franciosa (a.k.a. Anthony Franciosa) received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama.
       The cast was said to include Bob Adler , Jorge Moreno, Robert Contreras, and Abel Fernandez, according to the 9 Apr 1964 and 30 Apr 1964 issues of DV. Also, a 5 Nov 1964 LAT item noted that 200 Navajo Indians appeared in the film as Apaches.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 May 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
13 Jun 1962
p. 4.
Daily Variety
2 Jul 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Dec 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1963
p. 10.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
16 Mar 1964
p. 14.
Daily Variety
20 Mar 1964
p. 16.
Daily Variety
24 Mar 1964
p. 18.
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1964
p. 7.
Daily Variety
7 Apr 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Apr 1964
p. 4.
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1964
p. 7.
Daily Variety
8 May 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
13 May 1964
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Jun 1964
p. 5.
Daily Variety
13 Aug 1964
p. 10.
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1964
p. 3.
Los Angeles Sentinel
12 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
14 Jun 1963
Section C, p. 11.
Los Angeles Times
5 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
7 Nov 1964
Section B, p. 5.
Los Angeles Times
13 Nov 1964
Section C, p. 14.
New York Times
29 Oct 1964.
---
Variety
4 Mar 1964
p. 16.
Variety
7 Oct 1964
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Dial dir
Constr coordinator
Stills
Gaffer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Guns of Rio Conchos by Clair Huffaker (Greenwich, Connecticut, 1964).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Guns of Rio Conchos
Release Date:
12 November 1964
Premiere Information:
Cleveland opening: 23 Oct 1964; Los Angeles opening: 12 Nov 1964
Production Date:
16 Mar--early Jun 1964
Copyright Info
Claimant
DATE
CopyrightNumber
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
23 October 1964
LP29353
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
107
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

A patrol headed by Captain Haven and Sergeant Franklyn is sent to investigate the theft of 2,000 rifles from a U. S. Cavalry command. The trail leads to James Lassiter, who owns one of the stolen rifles, but he refuses to reveal the name of his contact and is jailed with Rodriguez, a Mexican murderer. Haven plans to take a wagonload of gunpowder to Mexico, hoping to use it as bait for those who stole the rifles. In exchange for both his and the Mexican's freedom, Lassiter finally agrees to lead Haven to Pardee, the man from whom he obtained the rifle. Pardee, who was Lassiter's commander during the Civil War, is still fighting the war from Mexico. Captain Haven and his patrol have skirmishes with Indians and bandits along the way, and they pick up Sally, a young Indian woman. Lassiter, who hates Indians because they killed his family, wants to kill her, but they learn from her that Pardee is about to sell the rifles to Apaches. The traitorous Rodriguez escapes, but Lassiter finds and kills him. Lassiter begins talks with Pardee, but when Bloodshirt, the Indian who killed his family, appears, Lassiter goes berserk and attacks him. Pardee imprisons Lassiter, Haven, and Franklyn; but Sally frees them while Pardee negotiates with Bloodshirt. Lassiter and Franklyn sacrifice their lives to ignite the gunpowder wagon, destroying the camp and killing everyone except Haven and Sally, who return to ...

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A patrol headed by Captain Haven and Sergeant Franklyn is sent to investigate the theft of 2,000 rifles from a U. S. Cavalry command. The trail leads to James Lassiter, who owns one of the stolen rifles, but he refuses to reveal the name of his contact and is jailed with Rodriguez, a Mexican murderer. Haven plans to take a wagonload of gunpowder to Mexico, hoping to use it as bait for those who stole the rifles. In exchange for both his and the Mexican's freedom, Lassiter finally agrees to lead Haven to Pardee, the man from whom he obtained the rifle. Pardee, who was Lassiter's commander during the Civil War, is still fighting the war from Mexico. Captain Haven and his patrol have skirmishes with Indians and bandits along the way, and they pick up Sally, a young Indian woman. Lassiter, who hates Indians because they killed his family, wants to kill her, but they learn from her that Pardee is about to sell the rifles to Apaches. The traitorous Rodriguez escapes, but Lassiter finds and kills him. Lassiter begins talks with Pardee, but when Bloodshirt, the Indian who killed his family, appears, Lassiter goes berserk and attacks him. Pardee imprisons Lassiter, Haven, and Franklyn; but Sally frees them while Pardee negotiates with Bloodshirt. Lassiter and Franklyn sacrifice their lives to ignite the gunpowder wagon, destroying the camp and killing everyone except Haven and Sally, who return to Texas.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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