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
The film bears some resemblance to Come and Get It (1936), a film Howard Hawks began that was taken over by William Wyler. In both films, there is a conflict between an older and younger man, father and foster son figures, who end up competing for the same woman; in that film, the Frances Farmer character is a surrogate for the woman the older man loved and lost years before. See more »
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 not a goof. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo that ended the Mexican-American War explicitly stated that all (former) Mexican citizen claims to land within the territory ceded to the United States would be respected. See more »
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 »
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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