Red River

Red River

DVD - 1998
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With no market for his herd, the master of a vast cattle ranch and his son decide to head the first cattle drive over the now famous Chisholm Trail, past the Red River, into Missouri. The path is filled with hardship and the drive looks hopeless as the men struggle to prevail.
Publisher: Santa Monica, Calif. : MGM Home Entertainment, c1998
Edition: Standard version
ISBN: 9780792837428
0792837428
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 133 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in

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t
TravissT
May 20, 2016

One of the best Westerns ever...if you can ignore the ending. But there it is--probably the stupidest, most cowardly ending ever, and something that seriously mars an otherwise great film.

What makes it even sadder is the film is otherwise very brave--particularly a seemingly unnecessary gay subtext scene where Matt and--ahem, Cherry--admire each other's 'guns.' They could film that in 1946 but couldn't follow the source novel's ending where Matt kills Dunson? Too bad. Also too bad is that in their era alternative endings were not filmed for grown up audiences of the future.

Red River has so much greatness, but one moment stands out for me. Much has been made about Last Picture Show using the yelps of the cowhands as they commence the drive, but check out the shot directly before that: 10-15 seconds of a haunting, dreamlike circular pan accompanied by an eerie carnival-like organ. A moment unforgettable and insane that properly belongs in a European art film suddenly appears in Red River, but they couldn't let John Wayne die. Too bad.

d
Derringer
May 03, 2015

As recently as just a decade ago - I was quite an enthusiastic fan of Hollywood Westerns from the 1940s and 50s. I just couldn't seem to get my fill of them.

But, as of the last few years - I'm now finding movies of this particular genre are actually boring me to distraction with their ludicrous depictions of affected masculinity set in the Old West.

1948's Red River was a perfect example of what I'm talking about here. Containing every predictably stale Western-movie cliché in the book (and then some), Red River's story of (guess what?) a cattle-drive (ho-hum!) pretty much amounted to being nothing more than an all-male soap opera (and spitting contest) of one belly-aching cowboy after another. (yawn!)

This sort of tiresome nonsense went on for two solid hours. And, then, as a final slap to the face - Red River's story ended on such an ultimately stupid note that it was almost enough to make me want to tear out my hair in utter exasperation.

It didn't help matters much that Red River's big-name star was, none other than, John Wayne who, not only had a less-than-impressive screen-presence, but, he always struck me as someone who was thoroughly bored with what he was doing. (In this case, acting in a Western)

m
Monolith
Sep 21, 2014

I'm a sucker for a classic Western, and this is right up there with the best. Hawks' pairing of The Duke with Walter Brennan (repeated in my favorite -- "Rio Bravo") was perfect symmetry, as their chemistry was purely natural and truly engaging. Fireball Joanne Dru was a little hottie, too.Terrific film. FIVE STARS.

g
garycornell
Sep 08, 2014

"Red River" has classic written all over it. Just look at that DVD box. John Wayne with his girl in his arms against the beautiful sunset of a western sky. Director Howard Hawks knows his ways around a western movie set. He first has a great cast in Montgomery Cliff, who plays the son of John Wayne. The two couldn't be more different. One is a land grabber and the other just wants to make an honest living. I let you find out which is the land grabber. Other cast members include two of my all time favorite western character actors. First, is Walter Brennan, who both John Wayne and Howard Hawks knew added so much to a movie. The other is Noah Berry. He is not known as well as Walter Brennan, but just as important to the success of the film. Red River is basically the story of a cattle drive. There is much more than just watching cows move from place to place. With "Red River" you will come to know the perils of cattle drive. "Red River" is a great yarn and a wonderful movie.

mapmusic17 Apr 05, 2014

4 Stars Long but interesting western. The cast and photography are memorable.

jdm2 Nov 28, 2011

I'm not really into old westerns, but I did find this one enjoyable.

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m
Monolith
Sep 21, 2014

Cherry: "There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch, or a woman from anywhere. Ever had a good... Swiss watch?"

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