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Red River (1948) Poster

(1948)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Film set in 1865, but using Model 1892 Winchesters to shoot Indians when they attack the wagon train.
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Anachronisms 

The film is set in 1865 yet several Colt Model 1873 Single-Action Army Revolvers are seen which were not available until later.
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(at around 40 mins) In the poker game scene, a man is playing the guitar and singing. The guitar he is playing is a carved-top, F-hole guitar. This type of instrument would not be introduced until about 1900, decades after the movie is supposed to take place.
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When they are driving the cattle and go to the aid of the wagon train, a communications mast can be seen on the hill in the background of one shot of the five horsemen. The next shot is a closer view of one rider and the mast can be seen even more clearly.
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When the drive is being organized, there is talk of a reliable cow hand from Alberta, which would not exist till 1905.
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When Tom, Matt, and Nadine are met by the two Mexicans, it is claimed that the land was granted to Diego by the King of Spain. This is frivolous, since, following the Mexican-American War, the border would have been established at the Rio Grande river.
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As the drive approaches Abilene, there is a fear that it will miss the town and eventually end up in Canada. At that time, it would have only existed as the United Provinces or today's southern Ontario and Quebec.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

Just before they begin the drive, Dunson rides up and asks Matt, "ready, Matthew?" Matt replies, "all ready." However, Matt simply nods and doesn't say anything.
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Continuity 

During the cattle stampede, Dunson, Matt and the other cowboys saddle up and try to turn the herd. Process shots of each cowboys are inserted in the scene. Every cowboy is riding the same dummy horse and saddle with a very large Mexican saddlehorn.
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When Dunson is standing next to his horse after Mathew Garth takes the herd from him, he clearly has a belt full of cartridges, but later on Mathew confirms to Groot that he took all of Dunson's cartridges.
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At the end of the film when Dunson finally confronts Matt and after knocking Matt down twice, Matt punches back knocking Dunson's hat off. The very next punch from Matt knocks Dunson's hat off again.
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Inside the tent, during Tom and Tess's conversation, the lamp hanging between them changes positions and disappears between shots.
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Near the end of the film, when Tom walks toward Matt, his shadow changes repeatedly from one shot to another.
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As the men and the herd approach the railroad, the clouds change from scattered to clear, to overcast as they approach the town of Abilene.
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Crew or equipment visible 

An equipment shadow tracks across the wagon as the camera pans from Groot to Dunson during their first night on guard at Red River.
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Errors in geography 

The "Red River" is flowing the wrong direction. If the herd is crossing from south to north, the water should be flowing from west to east, or from the left side of the screen to the right.
The trail would not go near any mountains.
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Factual errors 

The film gives 14 August 1865 as the completion of the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail. However, the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail started and finished in 1867, two years later.
When the Mexicans ride up and Dunson asks them the name of the river, they reply without hesitation, "Rio Grande." The river has always been called "Rio Bravo" in Mexico, which is what they would have answered.
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In the fight scene at the end the cross bar on the hitch rail is steel pipe which was not found in the 1860's. The rail would have been made of local wood and would normally been attached with dried rawhide strips.
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Revealing mistakes 

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.
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In long shot as herd is driven across the river, Walter Brennan in the wagon distant from the camera is noticeably clutching the seat with the reins passing under him to a concealed driver as the vehicle descends steeply into the water.
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Tom Dunston is going to whip the sugar thief with a bull whip in his right hand but Matt Garth shoots the sugar thief first, the next scene Tom has his six shooter in his right hand not the whip.
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When Dunson's wagon rolls away after leaving the wagon train, there are four cows tied to it. Just before young Matt appears, the back of the wagon is seen with two cows, one standing and one lying down on its side. Later when young Matt ties his cow on the wagon, there are only the two cows that the new heard is started with.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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