Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
Fourteen years after starting his cattle ranch in Texas, Tom Dunston is finally ready to drive his 10,000 head of cattle to market. Back then Dunston, his sidekick Nadine Groot and a teen-aged boy, Matt Garth -who was the only survivor of an Indian attack on a wagon train - started off with only two head of cattle. The nearest market however is in Missouri, a 1000 miles away. Dunston is a hard task master demanding a great deal from the men who have signed up for the drive. Matt is a grown man now and fought in the Civil War. He has his own mind as well and he soon runs up against the stubborn Dunston who won't listen to advice from anyone. Soon, the men on the drive are taking sides and Matt ends up in charge with Dunston vowing to kill him.Written by
Opening credits prologue: Among the annals of the great state of Texas may be found the story of the first drive on the famous Chisholm Trail. A story of one of the great cattle herds of the world, of a man and a boy--Thomas Dunson and Matthew Garth, the story of the Red River D. See more »
According to Peter Bogdanovich, the shorter version is in fact the Director's Cut. Howard Hawks was unhappy with the pacing of the longer, 133 minute cut. See more »
I was the "first kid on the block" to purchase a VCR, way back in the late 60's...the RCA VBT200...no timer, no remote, no nothing! Paid $1200.00 for it (Canadian funds!)and ALL my friends told me I was nuts. I TRIED to tell them that, eventually, everybody would own a VCR but was shouted down. In any case, Red River was the first movie I taped and, deleting commercial breaks, I was ecstatic to have a Hollywood movie on hand to watch whenever the urge arose. And WHAT A MOVIE!!! I agree with earlier comments re John Wayne...who usually just played John Wayne. In THIS one, and "The Searchers", however, the director got one helluva performance out of the Duke. Also, the second movie performance by the tragical Montgomery Clift...so "pretty" in the Mohammed Ali sense that I virtually fell in love with him myself, even though I was a "straight" teenaged boy. From the opening credits, with that almost Wagnerian music by Dmitri Tiomkin, this movie (shot in 1946 and held 'til 1948 for release...I forget why)should be compulsory viewing for the brain-dead Hollywood moguls of today. Actually, there are no "moguls" left...they're all bottom-line money men who wouldn't know a good movie if they saw one..."Let's check the demographics, guys, and fill those multiple screen outlets with brain-dead teens (not really their fault as products of our so called progressive p.c. education system)and make a TON of money!" My age is showing...back to the movie. If you haven't seen it, be prepared for a LONG sojourn. This isn't brain candy...it's an allegorical treatise on the impetuousness of youth vs. the inflexible values of pioneer stock. In the end, BOTH are told to cut themselves some slack, by the "gun-totin" Joanne Dru. In summary, a Great Western, and to get back to the Duke, an amazing performance by a 39 year old made up to look like a 60 year old...and he pulled it off! The respect/fear combo of his hired trailhands is almost Shakespearian, and a tribute to the screenwriter/s and director Howard Hawks. If you've never seen it...do yourself a big favour and rent this little classic!
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