The Colours Blogathon – Red River (1948)


This is the 3rd of 7 reviews for Catherine of Thoughts All Sorts –  The Colours Blogathon.

Tnx for letting me participate!

“We brought nothing into this world and it’s certain we can carry nothing out.” – Dunston

Number of Times Seen – 2 (21 Aug 1999 and 4 Sep 2017)

Brief Synopsis – After arriving in Texas via a wagon train before the Civil War, two men and a young boy start up a cattle ranch near the Red River

My Take on it – This is a movie that most people were introduced to (myself included) by the reference in the film City Slickers (1991) about the Yee-Haw scene.

That is just the tip of the iceberg when discussing this film because there is so much more to it than just that scene, but it’s great that we all got a foot in the door based on that reference.

This is definitely the iconic “cattle drive” film and it’s understandable how so many other films used and copied many aspects of this film.

The cinematography is amazingly shot and Director Howard hawks and his crew are able to transport us to another time and place so easily by they way it is presented to us.

The story is great and I loved the way that the conflict between some of the characters is built up slowly despite being able to see it slowly getting deeper and deeper.

The best part about it is that you never are really sure who is in the right until things move along.

The cast is superb with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift giving amazing performances but Walter Brenna is once again the stand out (as he usually is).

There’s a reason this man won 3 Best Supporting Actor Oscars in the 30’s.

Really enjoyed the way that they added in numerous stereotypical characters into the story but let them blend into the story so that they don’t really seem like they are cookie cutter characters.

Bottom Line – Definitely the iconic “cattle drive” film! The story works really well and is helped by a great cast led by Wayne and Clift. Always love seeing Brennan because he was such a great actor who deservingly won 3 Oscars for some of his early roles. The conflict between the characters is built up really nicely and the viewer doesn’t know initially which character is in the right. Liked the way they added in iconic stereotypical cowboy characters yet let them blend in with the story so they don’t really feel cookie-cutter.  The scenery and landscapes are beautifully shot and Hawks and his crew help transport us into another time and place.  The fact that Billy Crystal’s City Slickers (1991) made the Yee-Haw scene so popular which is somewhat ironic since there is so much more here than just that scene, but it’s a great introduction to such a great film. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – After seeing John Wayne’s performance in the film, directed by rival director Howard Hawks, John Ford is quoted as saying, “I never knew the big son of a bitch could act.” This led to Ford casting Wayne in more complex roles in films like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and The Searchers (1956). (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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4 thoughts on “The Colours Blogathon – Red River (1948)

  1. Great movie. Great trivia at the end of your review. My personal Wayne favorites are The Searchers, The Quiet Man, The Shootist and The Cowboys (the latter 2 are the last 2 movies he made in his storied career).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: It’s a Colourful Day…a Colourful Blogathon Day… | Thoughts All Sorts

  3. This film is so good! You are right: I came for that scene and discovered that the movie is much, much more. I see it now as a father-son relationship being formed, but it’s been some time I’ve watched it. Red River certainly deserves many rewatches.
    Don’t forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! 🙂
    Cheers!
    Le
    http://www.criticaretro.blogspot.com

    Like

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