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Showing 1-10 of 343 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 545 reviews
on October 9, 2014
A John Wayne/Howard Hawks classic. One of the best westerns ever made--by anyone or starring anyone! The restoration done for the Criterion Collection is outstanding and the package they prepared for it is excellent. The restoration of the film (both the Theatrical Version & the Pre-Release Version) and the transfer of each to both Blu Ray & DVD is fantastic. In addition to the 4 discs, is a copy of the book, "Blazing Guns on the Chisholm Trail", on which the movie is based. My 2 favorite westerns The Duke made have always been Red River and The Searchers. They are also his best performances ever--yes, even better than True Grit or The Quiet Man, both of which were outstanding. I own all of the Duke's films--as many on Blu Ray as were made in that format and the rest on DVD. I never tire of watching them. I started watching The Duke when I was a kid and will probably be watching one when I die. Maybe it will be Red River.
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on July 13, 2014
Red River is not your typical John Wayne western. Wayne is Tom Dunson a Rancher who moved to Texas 14 years be most of the action takes place. Montgomery Clift plays his mostly adopted son, Matt Garth, Walter Brennan, is Dunson's friend. After 14 years Dunson decides to take his cattle to market he round up about 9,000 head of cattle, some of which are not exactly his. Wayne plays a unlikable character who forces people to do what he wants. There is a confrontation between Wayne and Clift when the cattle reach the Red River and Clift wants to follow the new Chisholm trail and Wayne want to go to Missouri. This is a great western and Wayne does a good job playing Dunson as a totally despicable person. Joanna Dru and future husband John Ireland are also there to to enhance the movie. The scene where Clift and Ireland are comparing and showing off their six shooters was actually a discussion of something else. I am surprised they got it past the Censors in those days. Great Movie.
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on June 17, 2014
IMO this is one of the all-time great Westerns, the awful ending notwithstanding.

I purchased both the 1997 MGM dvd, and the Criterion Collection BRd/DVD boxset from 2014, and wanted to write separate reviews, but Amazon doesn't allow me to, so I will write about both sets in this one review

RE: the 1997 MGM dvd:

I just watched a few minutes of this disc, and it has quite a few damage marks/speckles.

I watched the complete blu-ray disc of the new Criterion Collection boxset, and that one looks beautiful.

I didn't check out whether the 1997 dvd has any bonus features, but the Criterion boxset has wonderful bonus features.

If you are a fan of Red River and wanna own it on a disc, I would strongly advise getting the Criterion Collection version - even though it costs more money - and not the 1997 MGM dvd.
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on August 3, 2017
My Dad was 8yrs old when he went to see this film in the theater with his parents, one of the best nights of his life, so every time this movie came on the T.V. we watched it, my Father passed away about 10yrs now, and I just got through watching this movie again tonight, I felt my Dad's spirit watching it with me. I really think that this is one of the best westerns ever made, everything about it is so detailed and well done, the special effects in this film were ahead of it's time. There are some of the best choreographed scenes ever, and I really don't know how they did the scene with Joanne Dru getting shot with the arrow, it looked as real as it gets. John Wayne was exceptionally cool in this, he really was at his prime, he had transformed himself into a true 'Badass' by this time, and it was very convincing. For a '40's' era western I was really surprised at how ultra cool the western costumes were, Montgomery Clift was nothing short of a Rock Star with his low slung gunfighter holster and black leather chaps along with spurs and modified Colt 45 'you were super cool there Monty'. Another thing that I liked was the acting, nobody over acted, and each emotion fit the situation. That is so unlike 40's films. .... and that's all I have to say about that film-- Zack the Hack is Over and Out.
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on January 30, 2016
Ponder the themes of this movie, in light of the fact that scenes from it appear as "the" last picture show to screen in Archer City in McMurtry/Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show." "Red River" was made in 1948, and "The Last Picture Show," though made in 1971, is set in 1951, a mere three years after "Red River" hit the movie houses. Big cultural and economic displacements shape people's lives in both movies. Generations of young people are caught in the transitions: How to live their own lives authentically, given their "thrownness" into the disintegrating worlds of their elders. Fodder for reflection....
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on December 24, 2014
John Wayne starts off as a landlocked Captain Ahab and goes downhill from there--a remarkable character study, and who knew the Duke could do this kind of acting? It's a long movie, two hours and change, but so well-paced, with such a gripping story (will the boys get the herd to market before the homicidal maniac who used to be their boss catches up to them?), that the time will pass quickly.

I had to knock off a star because the ending, the last 5 minutes of the movie, just doesn't fit with the rest of the story. But that's all I can say without spoiling it for you.
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on August 8, 2016
When you watch this movie.you can't get up & leave the room for missing some of the action. One of the original great westerns you can't depend on TV or cable to show or give it it's due credit. As you watch it you will see it is well worth every cent you spent to purchase it.
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on September 22, 2014
There are only a handful of old films of the genre that really hold up in timeless fashion, and this is one of the very best of the lot.
Better than "Stagecoach".
Better than "Shane".
Better than "High Noon".
Way better than any pasta Western of the 60s and 70s.
Now restored to the glory of its post war big screen theatrical release you'll discover subtleties of acting and photography you've no doubt missed seeing it in other forms and venues, and thus, as I did, form an even greater appreciation for how truly great this film is.
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on May 1, 2015
This is a complete presentation (both versions: the original and the final released one) of this truly great Western by Howard Hawks which ironically convinced John Ford that his friend John Wayne could act!

Although there are aspects about the film not fully touched on (eg. Wayne's problems with the NY actors), it is as good a presentation of the film available.
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on September 6, 2015
The film begins with a man going to make his fortune in Texas, and taking on an orphan boy along the route. Years later, in 1867, the two forge the first Chisholm drive from Texas to Abilene Kansas with 9,000 head of cattle. The excellent shots of rivers of beeves being driven relentlessly across the continent occur just three years after Eisenhower does the same in his march across Europe. When the herd makes the crossing of the Red River, (the Rhine come to mind), the feeling of relief is palpable. At that point, the fight between father and son takes on the gravitas of America’s wartime relationship with England, not only in that the son (Eisenhower?) takes over the herd from his father (Monty?), but he is right in his strategy to bring it to the railway head and distant markets beyond. The closing scene of father and adopted son making up holds the metaphor of the “Special Relationship” between the two countries, although the conjoined initials on the new cattle brand does not quite transfer. This epic, sultry, and tense film is a study of men in the company of men, and would be familiar to a recently demobbed army. It has a single appearance of a strong and confident woman, whose is the "Quit fighting boys!" peacemaker to the weary cowboys denotes the new role of women in the late 1940’s.
Lines: “Did you like that?” I’ve always been kind of slow making up my mind.” “Maybe I can help.” (Dru, Clift and Dru on their first kiss)
“I don’t like quitters, especially if they are not good enough to finish what they start.” (Wayne, after he has shot someone)
“I don’t like to see things go good or bad, I like them in-between.” (cowboy reflecting on their crazy boss)
“Three times in a man’s life he can yell at the moon. When he marries, when his children are born, and when he finishes a job he was crazy to start.” (trader congratulating Clift after he gets to Abeline)
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