Red River

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Hawks' leisurely adaptation of Borden Chase's story about the establishing of the Chisholm Trail by Wayne and Clift's cattle train is a sheer delight that works on many levels. Firstly, it's an examination of Wayne's heroic image, here shown to be needlessly authoritarian and stubborn as he comes into conflict with his more liberal surrogate son Clift, gradually coming in for more and more criticism from garrulous Greek-chorus figure Brennan for his repeated killing of deserters. Secondly, it's yet another variation on Hawks' perennial concern with the theme of self-respect and professionalism, and being part of 'the group'. Finally, it's an intimate epic celebrating the determination to establish civilisation in the wilderness, with Clift's refusal to resort to the gun viewed as an essential improvement upon Wayne's trigger-happy rough justice. Immaculately shot by Russell Harlan, perfectly performed by a host of Hawks regulars, and shot through with dark comedy, it's probably the finest Western of the '40s.

By: GA


Release details

133 mins

Cast and crew

Howard Hawks
Borden Chase, Charles Schnee
John Wayne
Paul Fix
Joanne Dru
Harry Carey Sr
John Ireland
Coleen Gray
Noah Beery Jr
Montgomery Clift
Harry Carey Jr
Walter Brennan
You may also like