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Red River (1948)

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.

Directors:

Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson (co-director)

Writers:

Borden Chase (screenplay), Charles Schnee (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
John Wayne ... Thomas Dunson
Montgomery Clift ... Matt Garth
Joanne Dru ... Tess Millay
Walter Brennan ... Nadine Groot
Coleen Gray ... Fen (as Colleen Gray)
Harry Carey ... Mr. Melville (as Harry Carey Sr.)
John Ireland ... Cherry Valance
Noah Beery Jr. ... Buster McGee
Harry Carey Jr. ... Dan Latimer
Chief Yowlachie ... Quo (as Chief Yowlatchie)
Paul Fix ... Teeler Yacey
Hank Worden ... Simms Reeves
Mickey Kuhn ... Matt - as a Boy
Ray Hyke Ray Hyke ... Walt Jergens
Hal Taliaferro ... Old Leather (as Hal Talliaferro)
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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:

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


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 September 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The River Is Red See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,500,000, 31 December 1948

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,012,000, 31 December 1948
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift didn't warm to either Howard Hawks or John Wayne. He did occasionally take part in the nightly poker games that they organized where "they laughed and drank and told dirty jokes and slapped each other on the back. They tried to draw me into their circle but I couldn't go along with them. The machismo thing repelled me because it seemed so forced and unnecessary". See more »

Goofs

The "Red River" is flowing in 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. See more »

Quotes

Teeler Yancy: I shouldn't have run away. I should have stayed and put a bullet in you. I signed a pledge, sure, but you ain't the man I signed it with.
Thomas Dunson: You finished?
Teeler Yancy: Yeah, now you can get your Bible and read over us after you shoot us.
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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Featured in The Screen Writer (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Benchmark Western
15 November 1999 | by elgeeSee all my reviews

You don't have to use up too much of your imagination to get into and to appreciate this Epic, Howard Hawks does a manificent job in bringing to us a story that depicts the strengths ( and weaknesses ) of early pioneers in the American West. In Red River, Hawks clearly makes us aware of the hardships and loneliness settlers experienced doing their thing, particularly on cattle drives. John Wayne, as always in his element astride a horse, does a great job portraying the single minded cattle Baron Tom Dunson. He looked comfortable in the role with all his regulars like Harry Carey Snr. and Jnr,.Hank Worden and Walter Brennan around him and, along with Hawks is responsible for the Movie being as good as it is. You could almost taste the dust and sweat as Dunson bullies his way along the cattle drive, ignoring advice, doing what a man has to do and saying often, ' I'll read over them in the mornin ', then, being left in the dust himself after his men and his adopted son Matthew Garth...... played by Mongomery Clift.... decide they've had enough. We always knew they'd meet up with each other again, and when they did....what a showdown! Dunson catches up with them in Abeline, gets off his horse when he sees Garth and bullies his way again, this time through a herd of cattle to get to him. That walk Wayne makes amongst the cows is a classic. For a big guy he's got a lot of balance, never losing his stride as he forces his way through the herd, turns, draws and fires at Cherry Valance....played by another resident bad guy of the era, John Ireland....gets hit with a bullet from Valance, crosses the railway track then proceeds to beat up on the only man game enough to stand up to him, and in the process gets a bit of a pasting himself. Fantastic stuff!! Both Clift and Brennan, who played Dunson's old friend Groot Nadine give fine supporting roles, particularly Brennan with his excellent narrative throughout the Movie. Made in 1948, Red River is a great Western and perhaps had much to do in setting standards for others to follow.


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