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Red River (1948)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 18,062 users  
Reviews: 150 user | 83 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Red River (1948)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Fen (as Colleen Gray)
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Mr. Melville (as Harry Carey Sr.)
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...
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Dan Latimer
Chief Yowlachie ...
Quo (as Chief Yowlatchie)
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Teeler Yacey
...
Mickey Kuhn ...
Matt - as a Boy
Ray Hyke ...
Walt Jergens
Hal Taliaferro ...
Old Leather (as Hal Talliaferro)
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Storyline

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 <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In 25 Years, Only Three! "The Covered Wagon", "Cimarron" and now Howard Hawks' "Red River" See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The River Is Red  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There was some concern that John Wayne and Montgomery Clift would not get along since they were diametrically opposed on all political issues, and both were outspoken on their views. According to legend they agreed not to discuss politics and the shooting went smoothly. However both Wayne and Walter Brennan would not get along with Clift, and they stayed away from the young actor when not filming. Clift later turned down Dean Martin's role in Rio Bravo (1959) because he did not want to be reunited with those two actors. See more »

Goofs

The trail would not go near any mountains. See more »

Quotes

Sims Reeves: Well, I don't like to see things goin' good or bad. I like 'em in between.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Last Picture Show (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie
(a.k.a. "The Cowboy's Lament") (uncredited)
Traditional American ballad
Instrumental version is heard during burial scenes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A film which is spectacle at its best , although spectacle is by no means all of it...
21 November 1999 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

From 1939 to 1948, two major Westerns done with taste and skill and with an eye to beauty could be mentioned: John Ford's "Stagecoach," and Howard Hawks' "Red River."

"Red River" is a great adventure Western considered as the very best among all Westerns... But could we compared it to Ford's splendidly filmed "Wagon Master"? John Ford maintains his shooting eye at a certain distance while Howard Hawks keeps it nearby... But both are skilled directors of a bunch of great movies…

Ford is closer to Western movies, and Hawks to other genre... Ford treats his Western characters as people behave... Hawks displays it in vivid adventure... In "Red River," "Rio Bravo," and "The Big Sky" Howard Hawks is far from the magnitude of Ford's "The Searchers." Under Ford's instruction, John Wayne is fluent and moderate, refined in conduct and manners as in "The Quiet Man." With Hawks, Wayne's character prevails differential tendency toward passion and fury...

It is soon evident that the cattle boss is tough to the point of obsession… It could be argued that only men of this spirit could have handled and survived the first pioneering cattle drives… One of the drovers (John Ireland) wants to make for Abilene but gets no change out of Wayne… When the cattle stampede Wayne goes to 'gun-whip' one of the hands, Clift intervenes… It was then evident that Wayne was going to drive his men just as hard as he intends to drive the cattle…

"Red River" is a Western just as much concerned with human relationships and their tensions as with spectacle and action—a hallmark of Hawks' films and this element is introduced when the pair meet up with a boy leading a cow… The boy confirms the wagon-train massacre, and the boy and the cow from then on are included in the partnership… This is not only a key-point of the narrative but also a highly symbolic moment…

For some years Garfield was the only screen rebel... But in Clift's appearance in "Red River," another rebel was born… In "Red River," Clift plays the adopted son who opposes his father's domineering attitudes and behavior towards himself and also towards the cowhands who work for them on the drive to market… The struggle between father and adopted son, compels delighted interest... Dunson's unfeeling hardhearted style remembers us Captain Bligh in "Mutiny on the Bounty." In the beginning of the film we had admiration for Wayne's persona... We concluded finding him unfriendly, unconscious, unacceptable and faulty... Clift wins our sympathy!

Clift was the withdrawn, introverted man who quietly maintains his integrity as he resists all pressures… These qualities were summed up in the words of Private Prewitt in "From Here to Eternity" probably Clift's finest rebel role!

"Red River" will remain a film with a unique flavor… It has, and will continue to have, its own special niche among honored Westerns…

With two Academy Award Nomination for Writing, splendid music score by Dmitri Tomkin and excellent acting including the supporting cast, the film had all the concepts of Howard Hawks' quality: vigor in action, reality as opposed to emotions and a faculty of scale...


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