7.8/10
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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:

Greatest Spectacle Ever! 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)
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

Some critics at the time thought there was a gay subtext to the film, due to a conversation between Matt Garth and Cherry Valance. See more »

Goofs

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. See more »

Quotes

Tess Millay: Whoever would have thought that you two could have killed each other.
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

Also available in colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's Up, Doc? (1972) 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

father-son conflict in the Old West
12 November 2003 | by didi-5See all my reviews

Howard Hawks' rangy Western has a perfect role for John Wayne and a nice introductory one for Montgomery Clift within the tale of a cattle trail by the Red River D herd through Indian and gang-led territory.

It's in part your usual Old West tale with a father-son-substitute parallel along the way, with Walter Brennan chipping in as the wise old chorus and Joanne Dru (briefly) as the voice of reason. However the main characters are well drawn and the conflict at times feels real.

As a visual experience, it makes full use of the wide and empty landscapes and looks beautiful (although not in the colorised version occasionally seen). No real surprises but in substance and atmosphere it is certainly a superior example of its type.


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