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Tom Dunson builds a cattle empire with his adopted son Matthew Garth. Together they begin a massive cattle drive north from Texas to the Missouri railhead. But on the way, new information and Dunson's tyrannical ways cause Matthew to take the herd away from Dunson and head to a new railhead in Kansas. Dunson, swearing vengeance, pursues. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You don't have to use up too much of your imagination to get into and to appreciate this Epic, Howard Hawks does a manificent job in bringing to us a story that depicts the strengths ( and weaknesses ) of early pioneers in the American West. In Red River, Hawks clearly makes us aware of the hardships and loneliness settlers experienced doing their thing, particularly on cattle drives. John Wayne, as always in his element astride a horse, does a great job portraying the single minded cattle Baron Tom Dunson. He looked comfortable in the role with all his regulars like Harry Carey Snr. and Jnr,.Hank Worden and Walter Brennan around him and, along with Hawks is responsible for the Movie being as good as it is. You could almost taste the dust and sweat as Dunson bullies his way along the cattle drive, ignoring advice, doing what a man has to do and saying often, ' I'll read over them in the mornin ', then, being left in the dust himself after his men and his adopted son Matthew Garth...... played by Mongomery Clift.... decide they've had enough. We always knew they'd meet up with each other again, and when they did....what a showdown! Dunson catches up with them in Abeline, gets off his horse when he sees Garth and bullies his way again, this time through a herd of cattle to get to him. That walk Wayne makes amongst the cows is a classic. For a big guy he's got a lot of balance, never losing his stride as he forces his way through the herd, turns, draws and fires at Cherry Valance....played by another resident bad guy of the era, John Ireland....gets hit with a bullet from Valance, crosses the railway track then proceeds to beat up on the only man game enough to stand up to him, and in the process gets a bit of a pasting himself. Fantastic stuff!! Both Clift and Brennan, who played Dunson's old friend Groot Nadine give fine supporting roles, particularly Brennan with his excellent narrative throughout the Movie. Made in 1948, Red River is a great Western and perhaps had much to do in setting standards for others to follow.
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