An odd Saturday thought

Posted: Saturday, July 25, 2009 by Travis Cody in

I was watching Rio Bravo last night. Did you know that it was released 50 years ago? It's one of my favorite fun John Wayne westerns. Dean Martin rocks in it.

Anyway, I was watching it last night. The body count is pretty high. And most of the shootings are pretty casual. One guy gets gut shot just for trying to break up a fight. A couple more guys get blasted trying to bust a guy out of jail. And half a dozen guys get hosed in the climactic scene.

Of course, the good guys never get hit. But they sure do pile up a bunch of bad guys.

Did you ever wonder about the bad guys who get killed? You know...all those extras who's job it is to get shot during the big fire fight? The throw-away guys who spring up with no back story and get shot or blown up.

I think what gets me about those guys is the lack of back story for them. It's like they are just bodies, all alone with no other function but to get killed in a 30-bad-guys-to-3-good-guys fire fight because the bad guys are never very good shots and the good guys hit everything they aim at.

Those guys got up in the morning and had their coffee, then met their bad guy friends for the big bad guy business of the day. And they didn't know that was going to be their last day ever. They just went to the bad guy job, and sometime during the day's events, they got in the way of a good guy's bullet.

Done. Fall down the stairs. Very little drama. Just dead. End of story. Not even a fade to black, because we don't fade to black for the bad guys...just the good guys.

And mostly we're ok with that. It's only the movies, right?

Still, I got to wondering two things. First, if you knew you were waking up on your last day, how would you get to the end? And second, if life ended suddenly with no warning at all, would you have any significant regrets?

You don't have to answer. I'm not going to answer. The movie just made me wonder.


  1. barb says:

    I think about stuff like that all the time, especially when I read someone died. Did they do everything they wanted to do in their lifetime? Did they love everyone in their life the best they could?

  1. Marsha says:

    First, all I can say, not to just the bad guys, but everyone...Choose your friends wisely!....don't get dead over their crap.

    Second, don't you find it interesting that they actually remade this movie just 7 years laters....Same Director, and same main star.........but this time it had James Caan and no singing...El Dorado...same movie, just tweaked a bit.

    Btw...hubby loves that song 'My rifle, pony and me'

  1. Anonymous says:

    I know what you mean. I am thankful every day I wake up. I don't have any regrets nor do I wish I lived differently. I thank God I am who I am and what "brung" me here.

  1. I have those thoughts too. I like my answers.
    Have a great Saturday Travis.

  1. Cheesy says:

    I am sure we would all have regrets.. But I love my life so~ regrets and all.. I feel blessed to have shared my life with those around me. I hope you have cake on your last day!

  1. Dianne says:

    I think about stuff like that all the time too

    thankfully you mentioned Dean Martin and that distracted me - I adore Dean and am now thinking of him

    what amazes me about those old movies is that there was never a cry about the violence - was it the era? were we smarter? dumber?

    see! now I'm thinking again

    OK - back to Dean - "Everybody loves somebody sometimes ..."

    ahhhh - that's better

  1. Travis says:

    Barb: Those are some other good questions. I like my answers to them.

    Marsha: El Dorado was the same basic movie. I like them both, with an edge to Rio Bravo.

    Lois: I think I made good choices.

    NNG: I like mine too.

    Cheesy: I might start having CAKE every day, just to guarantee it on the last one.

    Dianne: Sorry about that. Dean was a favorite of mine too.

  1. Jeni says:

    Was that the movie that Ricky Nelson was in too? If so, then it's the one I'm thinking of -saw it -and liked it too. I was always a big Dean Martin fan as well.

  1. I thought Dean Martin was always a pretty good actor in westerns. I enjoyed him much in "the sons of Katie Elder."

  1. Rick says:

    You must have the same cable channels that I do!

    In the end, I just hope that we're not going to be ending up as the extras in somebody else's bad movie. I hate the idea of being part of a body count.

  1. I though it was not that old.Go figure.

  1. Some interesting questions there. I think if we don't have regrets we haven't really lived. We simply can't get it right all the time.
    And I guess if I woke up on that day, I'd convince myself I'd got it wrong again :-)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I must be odd. I never think of stuff like that and I really don't care about how I would spend the day. Most likely just doing what I'm doing. And I certainly have no significant regrets...I say all this because somehow I believe that our life now is just a pit stop for something beyond. I don't know where, when, how or what, but I think we physically end but continue on. Weird I know.

  1. I'd like to say that I live every day of my life as if it were my last, but that's patently untrue. I do make sure that I do the following every day: tell my husband that I love him, hug and kiss my kids generously and let them know that I love them, and I never part from my family without kissing them goodbye and telling them I love them. I guess that's the best I can do.

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I wouldn't want to know it was my last day.

    Have you noticed how all the bad guys are terrible shots? ;)

  1. Julie says:

    You know my philosophy...Be bold and courageous. You'll regret more what you didn't do then what you did do.

    You're such a perceptive man.

  1. I love it when movies do that.. give you food for thought

  1. Travis, I can tell you right now that there are tons of us who think things exactly like that. We're called fiction writers.

    And do you know who has made a stellar career from wondering about those bit-part baddies and what they were doing on that last day? And then making edgey films about it?

    Quentin Tarantino - one of my huge favorites.

  1. jennifer says:

    I am not scared of dying at all. What I think about is not being around for my kids. And I can't let myself think what out living my kids would be like. I WANT to die first.

  1. I liked the old movies when for the most part only the bad guys were dead without warning...

    I have a few more things I'd like to do before I leave Earth...and my regrets would be about not seeing grandkids and walking down aisles.

    If I knew today would be the day....I would write personal messages to each of my children and to my mother and father.

    and IF I had essay on