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Red River (1948)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Romance  |  17 September 1948 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 19,311 users  
Reviews: 154 user | 87 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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Chief Yowlachie ...
Quo (as Chief Yowlatchie)
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Teeler Yacey
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Mickey Kuhn ...
Matt - as a Boy
Ray Hyke ...
Walt Jergens
Hal Taliaferro ...
Old Leather (as Hal Talliaferro)
Edit

Storyline

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 neatest 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatest Spectacle Ever! 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  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift was nervous about standing up to John Wayne but gained confidence when Howard Hawks told him to play his scenes like David against Goliath. He also urged the young actor to underplay in his scenes with Wayne, particularly the scene in which his character challenges Dunson for the first time. Wayne was also not sure Clift could be convincing as a rugged cowboy, but after that first confrontation scene he told Hawks his doubts were gone and "he's going to be okay." See more »

Goofs

Matthew Garth seems to beat Thomas Dunson to the draw in a mock contest orchestrated by Dunston and Groot Nadine. However the gun is already in Garth's right hand in order to fool the audience, as evidenced by the his empty holster as he walks away. See more »

Quotes

[Groot complains about the dust]
Groot Nadine: Bet I ate ten pounds in the last sixteen days. Before this shenanigan is over, I'll probably eat enough land to incorporate me in the Union. The state of Groot.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern (1995) 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

Classic Western
30 October 2000 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Red River(1948) is a film that gets better with age. This was the first of five Howard Hawks/John Wayne features. Red River(1948) was Howard Hawks third straight gem right after To Have & Have Not(1944) and The Big Sleep(1946). John Wayne had come a long way from his low budget Lone Star film days.

The film is considered a Western take on The Mutiny on the Bounty. The relationship between Tom Dunson and Matt Garth is deeply complex. Although they're prepared to kill each other, deep down they still respect for one another. This relationship is based on control, idealism, respect, and trust.

It takes a fascinating look at the cattle drive during the Wild West. The film shows the responsbility that went with driving cattle across country and the different road blocks that many riders were faced with. Red River(1948) shows that the cattle drives were a cowboy's main source of work. City Slickers(1991) would do a wonderful homage to this Howard Hawks classic.

Tom Dunson, Ringo Kid, and Ethan Edwards to name a few are some of the best characters played by the duke. He exhibits here that he was a great actor as well as a great Hollywood star. Its a shame that his best performances were overlooked by by many people during his lifetime(he's definitely a superior actor compared to the likes of Stallone, Arnold, and Willis combined). It was actually filmed during 1946 but was shelved for two year due to a legal battle with Howard Hughes.

Montgomery Clift stands out on his own as Matt Garth in acting next to John Wayne. Walter Brennan is excellent in the role of Tom Dunson's sidekick. Red River(1948) was one of the best film to come out of 1948. Red River(1948) contains a trademark flirtious man-woman relationship between Matt Garth and Tess that also evident in some of the director's other works...I.E., His Girl Friday(Walter & Hildy), Ball of Fire(Potts & O'Shea), To Have & Have Not(Harry & Slim), The Big Sleep(Phillip Marlowe & Vivian Sternwood), and Rio Bravo(John T. Chance & Feathers).


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