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Red River (1948) 1948 NR CC

Dunson is driving his cattle to Red River when his adopted son, Matthew, turns against him.

Starring:
John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
Runtime:
2 hours, 12 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Western, Romance, Adventure, Action
Director Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift
Supporting actors Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Coleen Gray, Harry Carey, John Ireland, Noah Beery Jr., Harry Carey Jr., Chief Yowlachie, Paul Fix, Hank Worden, Mickey Kuhn, Ray Hyke, Hal Taliaferro, Lane Chandler, Davison Clark, Harry Cording, Richard Farnsworth, Paul Fierro
Studio MGM
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Michael Click on 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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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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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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