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.
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
Montgomery Clift had learned to ride horses while at military prep school, but it was a different kind of riding than he was required to do in this role. He asked experienced Western actor Noah Beery Jr.. for help and worked hard to become convincing on screen. Beery later said, "The thing he enjoyed most was becoming a hell of a good cowboy and horseman." Howard Hawks always had high praise for how hard Clift worked on the picture. See more »
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. See more »
Never liked seeing strangers. Maybe it's because no stranger ever good newsed me.
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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 »
According to Peter Bogdanovich, the shorter version is in fact the Director's Cut. Howard Hawks was unhappy with the pacing of the longer, 133 minute cut. See more »
One of the finest movies ever--and I don't like Westerns
Although I have never been a huge fan of Westerns nor of John Wayne, this movie was truly excellent. My father is a true-to-life cowboy from that era and could vouch for how accurate this movie portrayed the life of a cowboy in those days. What really makes this movie is the stellar performance of Montgomery Clift as Matt Garth, brilliant though forgotten actor of the late 40's thru the mid 60's. The depth of John Wayne's acting in this movie was very refreshing. In short, this movie deserves a viewing by even the most avid loathers of Westerns.
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