The Westerns of Dean Martin

11 Jun

I have been reading about the Rat Pack and the exploits of its members – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Together, they were legendary. However, I have been thinking about their individual careers.

Obviously, Frank Sinatra is one of the most famous performers of all time.

Sammy Davis, Jr. also had a great career.

Peter Lawford is probably best known as a Kennedy in-law.

I’m not sure what else Joey Bishop did.

Dean Martin, though, is my favorite. He sang great songs and made great movies. Some of the best movies were Westerns. For a cool crooner, Martin was pretty handy on a horse and with a gun.

In my mind, his best Western was Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan. Here’s a trivia question. How many people in Rio Bravo had records that reached Number 1? The movie is about a sheriff who has arrested the brother of a wealthy rancher. He and his deputies have to fight to keep him in jail and to stay alive. Martin plays Dude, a deputy who doubles as the town drunk.Dude

Another great thing, Rio Bravo was filmed at Old Tucson Studios, one of my favorite places to visit.

5 Card Stud is another good one. Martin plays Van Morgan, a gambler who has to solve a series of murders before he becomes the next victim.5 Card Stud

Everyone who is killed was playing in the same card game. It also stars Robert Mitchum and Inger Stevens but suffers from what I call the “law of diminishing suspects”. There are so few suspects that solving the mystery is too easy.

Bandolero! pairs Martin with James Stewart as brothers who have taken different paths but find themselves in trouble together.Bandolero

Along the way, they take Raquel Welch hostage.

My least favorite Dean Martin Western is The Sons of Katie Elder. It stars John Wayne and has the makings of a great story, but the “sons” are mismatched. The youngest “son” is way too young to play the part. I hate to say that a Western starring John Wayne and Dean Martin is bad, so I will say that it’s not very good.

Martin is the gambling brother, Tom Elder, and he follows older brother John in trying to figure out who killed their father. One of the best scenes has Martin playing a “fake eye” trick in a bar.The Sons of Katie Elder

Dean Martin made other Westerns, but these are the ones I have seen. Honestly, I don’t think I could make it through the comedy ones with Frank Sinatra.

15 Responses to “The Westerns of Dean Martin”

  1. Madame Weebles June 11, 2013 at 23:13 #

    The line “I’m not sure what else Joey Bishop did” made me laugh for some reason. Dean Martin was not a terrible actor, but man, he made a lot of terrible movies.

    • Rick June 12, 2013 at 01:36 #

      There were some bad ones thrown in there. Sometimes a movie is so bad that it’s good. At least, that’s the way I see the Matt Helm films.

  2. dino martin peters July 8, 2013 at 15:35 #

    Sir, wonderful to find ‘nother devote of our most beloved Dino. Never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool….oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth. Know that your reflections are bein’ shrared this day with all the pallies gathered ’round ilovedinomartin.

    • Rick July 8, 2013 at 18:36 #

      Thanks for reading and for commenting. He was the coolest of the cool.

  3. shutterbugshea January 27, 2014 at 02:45 #

    Hi..the trivia question…3 -Dean Martin Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan had a song…he mostly talked..for the life of me …I can’t remember the name of it..?

    • Rick January 27, 2014 at 03:20 #

      You are correct. I believe it was Old Rivers.

  4. shutterbugshea December 27, 2014 at 01:21 #

    Rio Bravo…love Dino’s song …My Rifle,My Pony and Me..!! And Get along Home Cindy Cindy…with Ricky and good old Walter !!! 😊

    • Rick December 27, 2014 at 04:41 #

      Great music in that movie. Dean, Ricky and Walter all had Number One hits.

  5. spearfruit August 20, 2015 at 19:25 #

    Great actors in great movies – I also like Dean Martin’s music!

    • Rick August 20, 2015 at 20:18 #

      He could do all kinds of stuff. Act. Sing.Of course, he was great with Jerry Lewis.

  6. jcalberta February 23, 2016 at 20:57 #

    3 people had a number one … Brennan, Dean, and Rick.
    Was was really good in Rio.

    • Rick February 24, 2016 at 13:37 #

      Yep, those guys had number one records.


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