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Red River (1948)

John Wayne , Montgomery Clift , Arthur Rosson , Howard Hawks  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)

Price: $17.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Coleen Gray
  • Directors: Arthur Rosson, Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Borden Chase, Charles Schnee
  • Producers: Howard Hawks, Charles K. Feldman
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 1997
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304696612
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Red River" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Any short list of the all-time greatest Westerns is bound to include this 1948 Howard Hawks classic about an epic cattle drive. Red River features one of John Wayne's greatest performances. Like his Ethan Edwards in John Ford's 1956 masterpiece The Searchers, the Duke plays an isolated and unsympathetic man who is possessed by bitterness. Wayne is Texas rancher Tom Dunson, who adopts a young boy orphaned in an Indian massacre. That boy, Matthew Garth (played as an adult by Montgomery Clift in his screen debut), becomes Dunson's assistant and heir apparent--until Dunson's temper gets out of control during a long cattle drive and Matt intervenes to stop him. From that moment on, Dunson swears he will kill Matt. Red River has everything a great Western ought to have: a sweeping sense of history, spectacular landscapes, stampedes, gunfights, Indian attacks, and, of course, Walter Brennan as Dunson's crusty old cook and comic sidekick, Nadine Groot. As a special bonus, the film also features the legendary Harry Carey (upon whom Wayne would base some of his gestures in The Searchers) and his son Harry Carey Jr., who became a fixture in Ford and Hawks Westerns. Red River is essential for anyone who loves Westerns, or movies in general. This one's a real beaut. --Jim Emerson

Product Description

One of the finest westerns ever made, this "monumental, sweeping and powerful" masterpiece (Variety) features impassioned performances, stunning cinematography and adventure on a grand scale. Starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift (in his screen debut), Walter Brennan, Harry Carey, Sr. and Noah Beery, Jr., Red River is a hard-hitting, action-packed adventure that captures the grandeur, majestyand dangerof the wild American West.Wayne gives "one of the best performances of his career" (Cinebooks) as Tom Dunson, a self-made cattle baron who'll do anything to protect his way of life. So when plummeting livestock values demand that he drive his herd through thetreacherous Chisholm Trail, Tom proves that he'll risk anything to reach his destination even his own sanity.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
150 of 152 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ***** Movie. ** DVD. October 4, 2003
Format:DVD
"Red River" deserves the adulation that critics, film scholars, and most importantly audiences have lavished on it since its premiere in 1948. One of the earliest "psychological" westerns, preceded by Selznick's "Duel in the Sun" (1946) and followed by King's "The Gunfighter" (1950), etc., "Red River" maintains interest after half a century due to the unique tensions between its characters, and the supreme skill with which those characters are played. Set against the backdrop of the first cattle drive along the Chisum Trail, the story basically boils down to an epic conflict between two men of different generations. John Wayne is the older sharp-shooter who builds up an empire through ruthless wiles and steely determination; Montgomery Clift, who is equally proficient with a gun, is the young surrogate son who tends to manage through intellect and reason rather than violence. These two opposing personalities and styles eventually erupt into a mortal combat under the strain of driving over 9,000 head of cattle across the hostile terrain of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
As the volatile Dunson, John Wayne gives one of his most finely nuanced performances. Living by a personal code of ethics which doesn't always translate into lawful or even rational behavior, Wayne is neither sympathetic nor deplorable; he's simply human. His performance is bolstered by the contrast provided by the quietly charasmatic Montgomery Clift, whose unspoken love and respect for Wayne's father figure shine through the fear and intimidation he expresses. (Remarkably, this was Clift's first performance in front of the movie cameras; the stage-trained actor seems to have adapted instinctively to the more subtle technique required of film work.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red River is an Epic of Western Filmmaking! June 27, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Let it be known to one and all: "Red River" is one of the best Western movies of all time! It is a supperlative western film, telling the story of the first cattle drive from Texas to Abeline, Kansas, which would later be known as the Chisholm Trail.

The American West is known for it's rugged individualism, and starring in this epic film is Hollywood's #1 rugged individual, John Wayne. Wayne plays Tom Dunson, who on a wagon trail of settlers going west, decides to strike out on his own for Texas country and establish his own cattle ranch. In leaving the wagon train behind, Dunson also leaves behind the love of his young life, saying he will send for her when he finds his homestead. But that same day, the wagon train is attacked by Indians, and his love is brutally killed. The only survivor of the massacre is a spirited young boy, who is found wandering in a daze with his cow. The boy, Matthew Garth, is adopted by Dunson. The stage is then set for the remainder of the story, the struggle to establish the greatest cattle ranch in Texas, and the massive cattle drive to get the cattle to market.

Howard Hawks directs this masterpiece of filmmaking, and takes Borden Chase's (Saturday Evening Post) serialized storyline, and spins a visual saga of obsession and rivalry between Dunson and and his adoptive son Matthew Garth. The film co-stars Montgomery Clift as Matthew Garth. The cast is very favorably rounded out with the addition of Walter Brennan, Joanne Dru, and John Ireland. The film's musical score by Dimitri Tiomkin is as perfectly composed for the old west as the black and white rendering of the western barren landscape in the film.
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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN AMERICAN MASTERPIECE May 27, 2002
Format:DVD
Although there are definitely weaknesses in the screenplay and score for RED RIVER, there is also no question that this film is an American masterpiece.
Howard Hawks who directed one of the best comedies Hollywood ever produced, BRINGING UP BABY, took on an almost impossible task: making an adult Western, basically a cattle drive- inspired remake of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, with over 9,000 head of cattle and the men who, for various reasons, go on the drive from Texas to Kansas. John Wayne is the boss, Dunson the cattle baron, who becomes obsessed with his mission--getting his cattle sold and onto the railroad. If there is a "villain" in the movie, Dunson is it and Wayne plays him wonderfully. The drive, itself, takes over three months and it is grueling: psychological, as well as physical, problems beset the men. Wayne's "adopted" son, Matthew, is second in command and it is the relationship between these two men that makes up the heart of the movie and makes the movie as deep and moving as it is.
Director Hawks had seen a young actor in a Broadway play and brought him to Hollywood to make his screen debut as "Matthew." In this crutial role, Hawks had discovered one of the most under-rated, talented, complicated, handsome actors Hollywood ever saw: Montgomery Clift. If Clift had done no film work besides Fred Zinneman's FROM HERE TO ETERNITY and Hawks' RED RIVER, he'd deserve a place in cinema history.
Quibbles? The score by Dmitri Tiomkin could certainly stand to be a bit more subtle; both the creation by the writers and the playing by Joanne Dru of the major female role is completely one dimensional; the last few moments of the movie are as silly as the rest of the two hours+ are fascinating.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Wrong region
This is an amazing movie, that I would love to purchase, with all the extra material. But it has been released in region b/2, which is not playable in North America!
Published 5 days ago by don c.
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
Just a great old western...the best one made. The struggle to survive and the tenderness that they won't admit. Love it.
Published 12 days ago by Judy
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic, for once!
In my view the most watchable movie ever made by "The Duke". This one centres around a real Western event -- a trail drive, and the logistical difficulties of pulling it... Read more
Published 14 days ago by G.Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic - Red River
Red River is a classic in many ways: classic Western, classic John Wayne, classic romance, a classic black n white - a wonderful movie!
Published 19 days ago by Nora F. Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Good JW Movie
This is one of the Dukes best - we really enjoyed it. Not must more to say - buy and enjoy.
Published 24 days ago by Bill's Take
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne enough said
I am actually watching it right now, one of my favorite movies. That Mathew Garr is a fox too. Yum
Published 28 days ago by Hammer
4.0 out of 5 stars Red River
Another great John Wayne picture. It is a classic that I wanted in my collection. I met The Duke once. He was very nice!
Published 28 days ago by Judith L. Corey
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
It was a John Wayne movie from the start. It was the start of the his best era, enjoyed very much.
Published 1 month ago by Bill Wlallace
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie!
The only problem was the case was broken when we opened it. We were very discouraged at first. We replaced the broken piece with a part from a blank VHS tape and it worked fine. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Reba
5.0 out of 5 stars Howard Hawks Classic
I was surprised at how much influence this movie had on later Howard Hawks and John Wayne collaborations. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Bailey
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