Red River

( 7 )

Overview

John Wayne -- showing off a darker side to his screen persona than we'd previously seen -- portrays Thomas Dunson, a frontiersman who, with his longtime partner Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), abandons a westbound wagon train in 1851 to make his future as a rancher in Texas. Doing so forces him to abandon Fen (Colleen Gray), his fiancee -- and when she is killed in an Indian raid a short time later, it taints any good that Dunson might find in the future he carves out for himself, destroying any joy he might ...
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Overview

John Wayne -- showing off a darker side to his screen persona than we'd previously seen -- portrays Thomas Dunson, a frontiersman who, with his longtime partner Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), abandons a westbound wagon train in 1851 to make his future as a rancher in Texas. Doing so forces him to abandon Fen (Colleen Gray), his fiancee -- and when she is killed in an Indian raid a short time later, it taints any good that Dunson might find in the future he carves out for himself, destroying any joy he might derive from life. The sole survivor of the raid is Matthew Garth (Mickey Kuhn), a young orphan who is unusually handy with a gun for one his age -- and already knows how to channel his grief and horror at what he's seen, as much as Dunson does. Dunson informally adopts Matt as his son, and over the next 14 years he builds up one of the largest ranches in the entire state of Texas. And all of it is worth nothing, a result of the economic ruin wrought on the state in the aftermath of the Civil War. Matthew (Montgomery Clift), now back from the war and doing some of his own adventuring, finds a darker, more taciturn Dunson than he's ever known -- as Groot tells it, he's afraid because he just doesn't know how to fight the threats he now faces. With Matthew now returned, Dunson decides to move his herd, nearly 10,000 head of cattle, to Missouri, where there is a market for beef, over 1000 miles away through territory controlled by border gangs hundreds of men strong that have stopped every cattle drive up to now, and Indians who have picked off what the gangs missed. Dunson drives his men as hard as he does himself, relentlessly, till even some of his best hands break under the strain -- and he's not above killing anyone who challenges his authority on the drive. He's able to hold them in line as long as Matthew backs him up, and he does until Dunson, exhausted and worn down by lack of sleep, finally goes too far. Matthew steps in, backed by laconic, smirking gunman Cherry Valance (John Ireland) and most of the rest of the men and takes the herd from Dunson. Leaving his father and mentor behind, he heads the herd toward Kansas, where -- so the men are told -- there's a new railroad. Along the way, he meets Tess Millay (Joanne Dru), a card-dealer who falls in love with the young man. But he has to finish the drive and leaves her behind, much as Dunson left Fen. And they all know that Dunson is coming after Matthew to kill him.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
In his first collaboration with John Wayne, Howard Hawks examines capitalism and dueling masculinities in the rousing context of a Western cattle drive. A Mutiny on the Bounty for Big Sky country, Red River features a challenge between Montgomery Clift's Matthew Garth and Wayne's Tom Dunson that becomes a contest between new and old models of Western manhood -- a clash enhanced by the different performance styles of ambiguous, Method-acting, proto-rebel Clift and stolidly imposing star Wayne. Young and adaptable, Garth sees the necessity of finding new markets and cooperating with a community, including such potential adversaries as John Ireland's gun-loving Cherry, while Dunson's Old West individualism becomes an inflexible, economically ruinous monomania. The unsympathetic Dunson challenged the traditional Wayne persona, presaging the disturbed Western heroes that proliferated in the 1950s and 1960s, including Wayne's later role as psychotic Ethan Edwards in John Ford's The Searchers (1956) and in the films that Red River writer Borden Chase wrote for director Anthony Mann. Powered by Russell Harlan's dynamic yet moody black-and-white cinematography and Dimitri Tiomkin's score, Red River became a substantial hit, confirming Clift's star quality in his film debut and earning Oscar nominations for Chase and action editor Christian Nyby; it still stands as one of Hawks's top Westerns.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/1/1992
  • UPC: 027616613837
  • Original Release: 1948
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne Tom Dunson
Montgomery Clift Matthew Garth
Joanne Dru Tess Millay
Walter Brennan Nadine Groot
Coleen Gray Fen
John Ireland Cherry Valance
Noah Beery Jr. Buster McGee, Muster McGee
Harry Carey Mr. Millville
Harry Carey Jr. Dan Latimer
Paul Fix Teeler Yacey
Mickey Kuhn Matthew as a Boy
Chief Yowlachie Quo
Ivan Parry Bunk Kenneally
Ray Hyke Walt Jergens
Hank Worden Sims Reeves
Dan White Laredo
Bill Self Wounded Wrangler
Hal Taliaferro Old Leather
Lane Chandler Colonel
Paul Fierro Fernandez
George Lloyd Gambler
Lee Phelps Gambler
Glenn Strange Naylor
Tom Tyler Quitter
Wally Wales Old Leather
Shelley Winters Dance Hall Girl
Technical Credits
Howard Hawks Director, Producer
John Datu Arensma Art Director
Borden Chase Screenwriter
Richard DeWeese Sound/Sound Designer
Lee Greenway Makeup
Russell Harlan Cinematographer
William McGarry Asst. Director
Christian Nyby Editor
Charles Schnee Screenwriter
Don Steward Special Effects
Dimitri Tiomkin Score Composer, Musical Direction/Supervision
Jack Williams Stunts
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    This john wayne movie was disappointing!!

    I like John Wayne but this movie just didnt have what his others have and that is good character actors, and a nice scenes. This was a bummer to watch. I do not recommend this movie.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Only 4 Stars because...

    it's really stretching reality to think that Clift, under any circumstance could knock The Duke off his feet. But hey, that's what movies are all about. The casting of Joanne Dru along with her dialogue is simply distracting. Otherwise a great film. Someday when you have nothing to do, watch this film and follow it up with 'Lonesome Dove'.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews