Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,739 ( 3,772)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

People who liked this also liked... 

Rio Bravo (1959)
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
Fort Apache (1948)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

At Fort Apache, an honorable and veteran war captain finds conflict when his regime is placed under the command of a young, glory hungry lieutenant colonel with no respect for the local Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
Stagecoach (1939)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Rio Grande (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A cavalry officer posted on the Rio Grande must deal with murderous raiding Apaches, his son who's a risk-taking recruit and his wife from whom he has been separated for many years.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson
El Dorado (1967)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

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.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
The Searchers (1956)
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Rio Lobo (1970)
Adventure | Western | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After the Civil War, Cord McNally searches for the traitor whose perfidy caused the defeat of McNally's unit and the loss of a close friend.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Jorge Rivero, Jennifer O'Neill
Shane (1953)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
Adventure | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind Confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
Fen (as Colleen Gray)
...
Mr. Melville (as Harry Carey Sr.)
...
...
...
...
Quo (as Chief Yowlatchie)
...
Teeler Yacey
...
...
Matt - as a Boy
Ray Hyke ...
Walt Jergens
...
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 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Greatest Spectacle Ever! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Howard Hawks cast Montgomery Clift in the film after seeing him in "The Searching Wind" on Broadway. See more »

Goofs

The film is set in 1865, yet several Colt Model 1873 Single-Action Army Revolvers are seen which were not available until later. See more »

Quotes

Tess Millay: Whoever would have thought that you two could have killed each other.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Made Me Cry: Our Western Heros (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Settle Down
(1947)
by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyric by Frederick Herbert (uncredited)
Played during the opening credits
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).


38 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Waynes political response to another movie twentymooseman
Great but Flawed adamcar
clint Eastwood vs John wayne HomeiJ89
ending doreen412
Joanne Dru being annoying in Red River clw-5
Is there any teenager who likes this film? godoybarros
Discuss Red River (1948) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?