I have seen most John Wayne films but had never seen this one from the beginning as I was unfamiliar with the terrific, dialogue-less opening. A great, extended tracking-shot that introduces the plot without needless exposition.
The film is typical Hawkes, showing the strength of friendship and the integrity and strength of individuals. Dean Martin has done the drunk character throughout his career, but this is the one to see with the guy who has fallen far and is struggling to rise again. John Wayne plays exactly the sort of supportive friend you'd want if you'd ruined your own life but needed a second chance.
All set to a classic western story framework that Hawks would visit again with El Dorado, but not with the warmth that draws you in of this picture. The action is certainly not fast-paced for viewers who like to watch things explode all the time. But when things do happen, who care about the characters it happens to.
Blu-Ray transfer is top notch, excellent remastering to capture the richness of the color and tones of the master camera-men at their craft. A very safe buy for fans of older films.