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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: PowerRR on June 28, 2007, 07:27:53 PM



Title: Red River (1948)
Post by: PowerRR on June 28, 2007, 07:27:53 PM
Red River - 7/10
Enjoyable movie, though it felt at times like a 'B-Movie with A-Actors'. Hated the ending.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on June 29, 2007, 05:53:09 AM
Red River - 7/10
Enjoyable movie, though it felt at times like a 'B-Movie with A-Actors'. Hated the ending.

Agreed - that is one of the worst endings in movie history, especially after all the set-up.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 29, 2007, 11:35:10 AM
The one flaw of the film, a real cop-out of an ending. Is it possible yet to enjoy the movie for its many good points? Yes, to the point where I consider it one of the 10 best Westerns ever made.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on June 29, 2007, 06:59:38 PM
Agreed - that is one of the worst endings in movie history, especially after all the set-up.

Wow, no way in hell do I agree with that. Red River is a masterpiece. One of the best films of the genre. It's so unbelievably underrated it's not even funny. 10/10


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on June 30, 2007, 05:28:51 AM
Wow, no way in hell do I agree with that. Red River is a masterpiece. One of the best films of the genre. It's so unbelievably underrated it's not even funny. 10/10

First of all, "Red River" is hardly "underrated", inasmuch as it's routinely listed among the greatest Westerns of all time.

Second of all, you think the ending where Joanne Dru breaks up a fight between Wayne and Montgomery Clift with some long-winded scolding is brilliant? I was not referring to the film in general, merely the ending. I think it's good but not a masterpiece, though it has a great cast like Wayne, Clift, Brennan, and others.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Jill on June 30, 2007, 05:32:41 AM
Red River is very good! I'm not a big Wayne fan, but he was terrific in this. And Clift is so handsome boy...  ;)

It could be better with a sad ending, but in those times it was impossible...


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on June 30, 2007, 05:37:21 AM
But which version did you see? The Restoration is much superior to the original theatrical release.

I watched it on AMC.  :P


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 30, 2007, 07:27:40 AM
So . . . you didn't even see it in its OAR? Well, Grogs, I'd say you still haven't seen it, then.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: The Firecracker on June 30, 2007, 07:44:40 AM
So . . . you didn't even see it in its OAR? Well, Grogs, I'd say you still haven't seen it, then.


The same with DYS. Get out there and watch it for real Groggy!


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 12, 2008, 04:46:02 PM

Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) is driving his cattle to Red River when his adopted son (Montgomery Clift), Matthew, turns against him.

I was going through the thread here and was surprised to see there wasn't anything on "Red River." This is possibly my favorite John Wayne film. His performance in my opinion was Oscar worthy. He was downright cool as the hard-nosed, stubborn cattle driver. This is arguably Howard Hawks greatest film.

(http://www.wildwestweb.net/rdriver/redriverpost.jpg)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on August 12, 2008, 04:59:54 PM
Yet another movie I saw as a kid but haven't seen in many, many years.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 12, 2008, 05:02:00 PM
Yet another movie I saw as a kid but haven't seen in many, many years.

Revist it soon if you can Groggy. I'd like to read your thoughts.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on August 12, 2008, 05:08:44 PM
I just missed out due to my schedule on getting to take a Westerns film course at Pitt next semester. We'll see what example of a Western they'll show us for Intro to Film Genres. (Probably The Searchers, an experience I'm not relishing reliving after my experience with it last year :-\ :-\ :-\).


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Atlas2112 on August 12, 2008, 11:45:49 PM
Great movie, i think it's in my top 5 or 10 american westerns. Seems very different from other westerns, Like when Wayne shoots the mexican (harsh...) or just the fact of how much of an asshole wayne's character is. At first i thought the romantic subplot was very good and not overbearing for once, that was until we got to that copout ending. Great movie, but a shame about the ending  :-\

On a side note: It's fun looking at this through a modern perspective and laughing at all the homosexual overtones. Not even particularly subtle either, "Hows about we go out back and measure our pistols", "i like the grip of your pistol"


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 13, 2008, 12:10:21 AM
Great movie, i think it's in my top 5 or 10 american westerns. Seems very different from other westerns, Like when Wayne shoots the mexican (harsh...) or just the fact of how much of an asshole wayne's character is. At first i thought the romantic subplot was very good and not overbearing for once, that was until we got to that copout ending. Great movie, but a shame about the ending  :-\

On a side note: It's fun looking at this through a modern perspective and laughing at all the homosexual overtones. Not even particularly subtle either, "Hows about we go out back and measure our pistols", "i like the grip of your pistol"

It's funny you bring up the ending Atlas. As much as I love the film, I always thought the ending was a copout. I would have loved to see Dunson have it out with Matthew upon meeting up with him in the film's conclusion. This film did not have to end on a high note.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on August 13, 2008, 05:24:28 AM
I didn't like Joanne Dru at all. The ending was just the icing on the cake. I know it's a Hawks film, but we don't need Hildy Johnson-esque characters in the Old West, chattering away even after being shot with an arrow (you sympathize with the Indians on principle).


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on August 13, 2008, 10:38:09 AM
 I think Red River came up in the Rate the Last movie discussion recently, but I love the movie up until the end which almost single-handedly ruins the whole movie.  One of Wayne's top 5 parts and Montgomery Clift is surprisingly good as a gunslinging cowboy.  Add a great supporting cast led by Walter Brennan and many more recognizable western character actors that bring the movie up a notch.

  But the addition of Joanne Dru, as Groggy said, really pulls this movie down.  What was it with Hawkes that he felt the need to add an unnecessary female character to an otherwise really strong movie?  Cough * Rio Bravo * cough. ;D


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Atlas2112 on August 13, 2008, 01:15:44 PM
I thought her part was a good addition to the story. It helps bring montgomery clift's character to age, make him become more of his own man, and most importantly, get rid of those bi-curiosity from the earlier scenes  ;D. The scenes were relativly short, and weren't too intrusive. I thought it helped the story thematically. but once it got to that ending, i had a wee bit contempt for her.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 13, 2008, 01:18:26 PM
I thought her part was a good addition to the story. It helps bring montgomery clift's character to age, make him become more of his own man, and most importantly, get rid of those bi-curiosity from the earlier scenes  ;D. The scenes were relativly short, and weren't too intrusive. I thought it helped the story thematically. but once it got to that ending, i had a wee bit contempt for her.

I agree. I liked Joanne Dru's character. Without her, I don't think the story would have been as good. I dunno why people have a problem with her. I loved the arrow scene. It's one of my favorite sequences of the whole film.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 13, 2008, 01:49:31 PM
Yeah, the arrow scene is pure Hawks. His tough guys need tough women and this is where Dru shows her mettle. Hawks does this, less graphically, in other films--with Jean Arthur in Only Angels Have Wings, for example. It's a kind of trademark.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 13, 2008, 01:54:11 PM
Yeah, the arrow scene is pure Hawks. His tough guys need tough women and this is where Dru shows her mettle. Hawks does this, less graphically, in other films--with Jean Arthur in Only Angels Have Wings, for example. It's a kind of trademark.

Yeah, I personally love Howard Hawks style. He is afterall one of my favorite director's. It doesn't hurt the fact that Joanne Dru was one beautifull woman. She's nice eye candy here.

Are you a Hawks fan jenkins?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on August 13, 2008, 04:24:16 PM
He has good ones and bad ones. I like him as well as I like Ford.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on August 13, 2008, 10:21:05 PM
Quote
I loved the arrow scene. It's one of my favorite sequences of the whole film.

  I always laugh at that scene, not in a good way, because she reacts like she just got a splinter, not an arrow imbedded in her arm/shoulder.  Although I guess a splinter could hurt a lot too. O0


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Atlas2112 on August 14, 2008, 02:17:34 AM
Nonsense, If she started crying then Clift wouldn't have loved her. He likes men...err...manly women  :D


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Tucumcari Bound on August 14, 2008, 02:33:28 AM
Nonsense, If she started crying then Clift wouldn't have loved her. He likes men...err...manly women  :D

hahaha oh no, that's a stab at poor Montgomery.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on August 14, 2008, 10:59:43 AM
Quote
Nonsense, If she started crying then Clift wouldn't have loved her. He likes men...err...manly women 

  Cherry Valance would have been there to fall back on if Ms. Dru had started to cry. ;D


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 21, 2009, 10:00:09 AM
Watched this for the first time today, and boy, what a disappointment it was. I was struggling to stay awake during the first hour or so. Painfully boring vaqueros story, only partially alleviated by JW's character. And why the pathetic? Buying the red shoes for his wife? Go home! Somewhere in the last 40 minutes the story picks up a little but only to be depraved with that stupid love subplot. And that ending... that idiotic ending... What a insult for everyone!

Walter Brennan was OK. (I was always fond of these caricatured silly old characters, can't help it.)

Not a classic in my book.


5/10


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2009, 01:15:49 PM
Walter Brennan? What film are you talking about?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 21, 2009, 02:33:08 PM
What, you don't like him?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2009, 02:46:07 PM
Yeah, but, he's not in RR.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 21, 2009, 02:50:18 PM

?

He played the toothless old fart.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 21, 2009, 02:55:45 PM
Well, you're right. He's Wayne's buddy from the beginning. I'd forgotten all about him. Huh, I must be gettin' old . . .


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on May 24, 2009, 03:19:21 PM
Alright, found this thread through the search engine (someone didn't put it in the Western index).

I watched this for the second time on Friday, albeit the first time since I was 12 or so. Amazingly my opinion is pretty much the same as it wsa when I was twelve. The movie is excellent for two-thirds of the length, the conflict between Wayne and Clift expertly set up, and Hawks at his best showing the comraderie and tensions amongst the cowboys under the thumb of Wayne's character. (I also rewatched Major Dundee the same day, and it seems a great deal of that film was taken from the Hawks - in particular, the execution of the deserter(s) is appropriated almost verbatim, from RR to MD.) The cinematography and direction are excellent, the scenes of cattle driving having a wonderful degree of scope. Wayne gives a great performance although I wouldn't put it on a par with Ethan Edwards personally, Clift is excellent and most of the supporting cast is pretty good. But a lot of the film is thrown away with the ridiculous Joanne Dru character, who seems more like a refugee from His Girl Friday than a tough Western broad (the scene of her chatting away with an arrow in her shoulder is beyond ridiculous). And God help me, I can't stand the awful ending. I'd give it something like a 7 or 8, but it's far from my favorite Western.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 24, 2009, 07:23:47 PM

I watched this for the second time on Friday, albeit the first time since I was 12 or so. Amazingly my opinion is pretty much the same as it wsa when I was twelve. The movie is excellent for two-thirds of the length, the conflict between Wayne and Clift expertly set up, and Hawks at his best showing the comraderie and tensions amongst the cowboys under the thumb of Wayne's character. (I also rewatched Major Dundee the same day, and it seems a great deal of that film was taken from the Hawks - in particular, the execution of the deserter(s) is appropriated almost verbatim, from RR to MD.) The cinematography and direction are excellent, the scenes of cattle driving having a wonderful degree of scope. Wayne gives a great performance although I wouldn't put it on a par with Ethan Edwards personally, Clift is excellent and most of the supporting cast is pretty good. But a lot of the film is thrown away with the ridiculous Joanne Dru character, who seems more like a refugee from His Girl Friday than a tough Western broad (the scene of her chatting away with an arrow in her shoulder is beyond ridiculous). And God help me, I can't stand the awful ending. I'd give it something like a 7 or 8, but it's far from my favorite Western.
Fair enough, although I like the introduction of Joanne Dru and the hint that Clift and Wayne are going to be rivals for her (although that doesn't actually go anywhere). Yeah, the ending sucks. I have a solution, though: I always stop watching before I get that far. They were doing such a good job with the Mutiny-on-the-Bounty-on-Dry-Land template, it's a shame they couldn't follow it all the way. Still, there aren't all that many 40s Westerns that are better.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on May 25, 2009, 06:00:16 AM
Quote
Yeah, the ending sucks. I have a solution, though: I always stop watching before I get that far.

Which brings up another topic for a new thread. Something like "Great Flawed Films and How to Watch them".  O0


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Cusser on May 25, 2009, 09:57:57 AM
I like Red River a ton.  I think it's Wayne's best performance.  Also, the catch of the knife while he's fighting the Indian in the creek belongs on SportsCenter.  I also think "Australia" missed a great chance to pay homage to this when they could've started their own cattle drive in a similar way as a tribute.  That was a classic scene in RR.  Also, remember Wayne's guilt about telling fiancee to stay with the wagon train where shot ended up wearing an arrow shirt, when she wanted to stay with him?

I think if Matt had gunned down Dunson that the film would've done worse at box office, with John Wayne dying.  Brennan was great, and didn't the Indian who won Brennan's teeth look like Milton Berle???


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Dust Devil on May 25, 2009, 11:29:12 AM
Don't remember much the face of that guy who took his dentiera, but it is a funny moment.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Groggy on May 25, 2009, 04:38:10 PM
The stampede scene in Australia is pretty close to the one in Red River, except of course the former is started by saboteurs.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 05, 2012, 04:32:51 AM
Just saw this movie for the second time. It's still one of the 10 greatest AW's ever made, with one of the 2 greatest scores of any AW ever (the other being Rio Bravo, which of course was also a Hawks movie scored by Tiomkin, and which reprises some of the music from Red River, albeit with a VERY different arrangement).

We all know about the bad ending, but it's worse than just that: Every single scene with Dru is simply excruciating. This is not a knock on her; she is a fine actress; the problem is entirely with the writing. And how about Dru's first scene, where Clift jumps in the circle of wagons to fight the Indians, and Dru is yammering away like an idiot, asking him why he looks angry, about as casually as she was having morning coffee. That may have been the worst scene in the history of Westerns. Every scene in this movie was amazing, minus every scene with Dru.

And something else ridiculous -- the cover of the dvd has Wayne and Dru! The two names on the dvd, above the title, are Wayne and Clift, but the photo is of Wayne and Dru! (The first time I saw the movie, I'd never heard of Dru or Clift before; so I assumed that the woman's name was Montgomery Clift -- after all, her face is the one on the cover, right under that name! http://www.amazon.com/Red-River-John-Wayne/dp/6304696612


For future viewings, I am just going to skip all of Dru's scenes :)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: mike siegel on August 05, 2012, 04:11:25 PM
All this reading here made me watch it this evening on the 'big screen' at home.
The 48min.  Super-8 version from 1981 :)
Big Fun.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on March 02, 2013, 10:53:37 PM
just saw the movie for the third time, but this was the first time I watched it in the proper way: skipping all of Dru's scenes with the exception of her one scene with Wayne. It's a damn near perfect movie that way (if you don't mind that it has no ending) ;) Otherwise, there is only one small complaint I have on the movie: I did not like the snippet of dialogue where Hank Worden complains about the contradiction between Wayne killing people and then reading over them. There's an obvious satire there, and it's better left unsaid; Worden is just stating the obvious.
this has to be one of the 5 greatest AW's ever made  O0


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on November 01, 2013, 12:21:45 PM
In the booklet for the MOC Blu-ray (region B) they've reprinted several interesting things, including this exchange between author/screenwriter Borden Chase and Jim Kitses (published originally in Film Comment, Winter 1970):

Quote
JK: In your script, Dunson is shot up by the John Ireland character, Cherry?

BC: Yes, when they’re approaching Abilene, that’s when Cherry decides to see what he can do for himself. His was a very big part.

JK: It’s cut down in the film as it stands.

BC: It was chopped completely. Duke called me one day and he said, “Will you come to lunch with me and Howard?” I said, “Sure.” I went over to the Derby or whatever it was, and Howard got up to go to the men’s room and Duke said, “We’re dumping Cherry Valance.” I said, “What do you mean?” “Well,” he said, “he’s fooling around with Howard’s girl,” I can’t remember her name, she’s married now. I said, “What the hell has that got to do with making a picture? I don’t care if he’s fooling around with the Virgin Mary, you’ve got a picture to make and the guy is good.” “Well,” he said, “look, he’s out. That’s it.” Well, when I saw it, I realized what they did. There’s one scene where Dunson says, “You’ll eat bread and you’ll drink water and you’ll finish this drive.” There was silence. Now Cherry Valance is supposed to be up front, and say, “I like what the man says.” He faces them, he’s a pretty big man. What Hawks did was put him in the back and dubbed in a weak voice that comes on and says, “I like what the man says.” And Wayne says, “Well, like it or not, that’s the way it is.” Talk about a crucifixion . . . that was it.

JK: How did your script end?

BC: Well, Wayne gets real badly hurt and then finishes the trip on the wagon with the gal. And he’s just about dead. Montgomery Clift draws, but he simply can’t bring himself to shoot, whereas Wayne tries like hell, is shooting, but he’s so far gone he can’t hit him. He fires a half dozen shots at him and then falls face down. That’s where she comes on again and says, “You fool, he’s dying.” They pick him up and he says, “I want to die in Texas.” That’s the way it is in the story.

JK: And he’s dying from the bullet wounds from Cherry?

BC: Yeah, and they lower him in the wagon and she sits with him, and in the last scene they’re going across the Red River and they get him out of there so he can die standing up and he falls on his face. I tried to dig up a kind of honor and that’s a hell of a lot better than the garbage they threw in there. She says, “And now you two boys stop fighting.” Oh God! There are things in life you . . . ugh.

This is only part of the interview; the whole thing is in the booklet.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 01, 2013, 03:29:07 PM
Thanks for sharing that! .... I just read a bio of Wayne (by Michael Munn), and I don't think John Wayne was JOHN WAYNE yet before this movie was released. He was mostly a second-lead in major films or a lead in B-films. He didnt yet have this persona that he HAD to live at the end. They could have killed him. They should have. Or done anything else than what they did. But the movie is so great, it still may be the greatest American western ever made. Definitely top 5


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on November 02, 2013, 03:15:00 AM
The Chase ending is a typical sentimental Hollywood ending, while the actual one in the film is a Hawks ending. The only good alternative to the Hawks ending would be of course that Clift kills Wayne (a 70s ending), but that would be asking a bit too much for a mainstream Hollywood film, which RR in the end is, despite also being a very personal film by Hawks.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 15, 2014, 11:23:48 AM
Apparently Criterion is bringing out the film in May. The current rumor is that it will be a 4 disc set (dual format)--2 BDs and 2 DVDs--with all the content duplicated on each format. The 2 BDs are necessary to provide both cuts of the film (the one with titles providing narrative bridges; the other with narration by Walter Brennan).

The official announcement (with more details) will be on Tuesday, 18 Feb.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 15, 2014, 08:17:16 PM
I am glad to hear about this, but I was unaware of there being 2 versions of the movie.... Do I understand you correctly that the difference between the two is that the other version has Walter Brennan narrating the story instead of the viewer reading it in the pages of that book? That's the only difference between the two versions?




Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 16, 2014, 09:05:59 AM
I am glad to hear about this, but I was unaware of there being 2 versions of the movie.... Do I understand you correctly that the difference between the two is that the other version has Walter Brennan narrating the story instead of the viewer reading it in the pages of that book? That's the only difference between the two versions?
It's not the only difference (apparently, I've only seen the written text version), but it is the principal one. There is a note in the current MoC booklet about the differences. It has already been transcribed and posted over at Criterion Forums (not by me) so I'll paste it here for your edification:
Quote
The Two Versions by Peter Labuza:

"As is the case with a number of Howard Hawks Films, including Scarface and The Big Sleep, there are two versions of Hawks's Red River. They are known as the "Book Version" and the "Voice Version", which refers to the main difference between the two. In the Book Version, the film includes a number of intertitles of handwritten passages from a book entitled Early Tales of Texas. In the Voice Version, Walter Brennan's Groot provides a voiceover of the same material. The Book Version runs six and a half minutes longer; part of this comes from the longer amount of time the camera lingers on the pages of the book so viewers can read it, but there are other differences as well. The Voice Version trims a number of scenes down, notably Cherry's description of the beautiful woman who told him about the railroad in Abilene (who is strongly alluded to as Tess in Borden Chase's original short story). The Voice Version also has a slightly different score, which is much more instrumental and grandiose compared to the often more vocal but muted score of the Book Version. The other most notable difference between the two variations is the elongated final battle between Dunson and Matthew in the Book Version; the Voice Version eliminates some of Dunson's dialogue ("Then I'll make you draw.") and a number of shots of Matthew's steadfast eyes.

Hawks claims in his interview that the Book Version was the first cut of the film and the Voice Version was what was originally released in theatres in 1948. Some scholars note that the Voice Version may have been created after Howard Hughes demanded cuts to the finale because of its similarity to the ending Hawks wrote for The Outlaw. The Book Version, wrongly touted in 1984 as the "Restored Director's Cut", debuted on home video and became the now standard copy of the film that is readily available. Hawks claims he only saw this later version when it screened on television, and tells Peter Bogdanovich in his interview with him, "It was meant to be with narration." In his biography of Hawks, Todd McCarthy proposes that the Book Version may have been prepared for not just television but also foreign markets.

Critical opinion is divided on which version is better. Filmmaker and critic Dan Sallitt prefers the voiceover to the text, but notes other ambivlance: "I feel as if aspects of the climax are a little choppy and overedited in the short version...I also think that the scenes of Clift's anxiety at Wayne's approach, which are reduced in the short version, really help the film feel more like Hawks and less like Borden Chase." Bogdanovich and scholar John Belton refer the Voice Version, the latter noting that "its tone changes slightly" without the voiceover. On the other hand, film historian and scholar Gerald Mast argued the voice and text is simply a matter of taste, but the Book Version has the weaker ending because "the shorter duel eliminates essential narrative details."


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on February 16, 2014, 11:50:23 AM
The last sentence must be wrong. Doesn't make much sense with the book version.

I think the German version was always the book version.

A film with a great ending btw. ;)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 16, 2014, 12:07:46 PM
The last sentence must be wrong. Doesn't make much sense with the book version.
Hmm, yeah, maybe he meant to say The Voice Version has the weaker ending because the shorter duel eliminates etc.

Either way the ending sucks, btw. :D


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 16, 2014, 06:42:21 PM
Anyone agree that this is a top 5 AW (maybe even #1) even with the shitty ending?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 16, 2014, 07:54:00 PM
Top 10, anyway.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 16, 2014, 11:50:56 PM
Can you name 5 AW's better than Red River? I can't. The only ones that MAY be are THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE, RIO BRAVO, and MCCABE & MRS. MILLER. FORT APACHE is up there to. That's all. (STAGECOACH  is one tiny notch  below.)



Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on February 17, 2014, 02:08:53 AM
As much as I like Red River, but it is not amongst my 20 favourite westerns, maybe not even 50. At least there are lots of similar good US westerns.

The Wild Bunch is on another level. Pat Garrett also. There are others like Little Big Man or Hombre. There are so many i really like and enjoy.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on February 17, 2014, 03:54:24 AM
Its up there top 20-50 for sure.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Cusser on February 17, 2014, 01:55:19 PM
The stampede scene in Australia is pretty close to the one in Red River, except of course the former is started by saboteurs.

I wish Australia had "homaged" the start of the cattle drive by coping the start of the drive in Red River.  I would've done that, was thinking that when I saw it in the theater..


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 19, 2014, 06:40:45 AM
Disc details are now up:
Quote
SPECIAL FEATURES

• New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River
• New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
• New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
• New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature
• Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
• Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
• More!
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O'Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks's longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase's original novel, previously out of print
The re-published novel is a nice touch.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 19, 2014, 08:56:59 AM
Thanks for the info, Mr. Jenkins. I'm definitely gonna purchase this BRD, and also the one for ACE IN THE HOLE. They're both among my 20 favorite films of all time.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 19, 2014, 09:25:10 AM
I think I'm satisfied with my DVD of AitH. But I will certainly get this new Red River Blu.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 19, 2014, 09:44:10 AM
Well I don't own either of the DVD's; I've been waiting for the BRD :-) ..... Are they both Criterion?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on February 19, 2014, 11:04:29 AM
Yeah. Both dual format.

Hey, I just got the word from a poster over at hometheaterforum. org. Amazon has the wrong list price up, so they are giving an incredible discount on this title. Most of these titles go for $40 SRP, discounted to 27.99 on amazon (at best). However, they are currently offering the 27.99 price for this title even though it should actually be a 50 dollar set. If you wait for the July B&N sale, you can do a little better: $25. But if you want your set on the day of release, you may decide a 3 dollar premium is worthwhile. The thing is, if you want to go that route you'd better lock in the 27.99 price before amazon discovers their mistake (they will honor whatever you sign up for). Lock it in today; you can always cancel up until the release date without being charged.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 19, 2014, 12:31:42 PM
Thanks for the info, DJ. I think I'll wait a little; considering that I've seen the movie a few times, and it plays frequently on TCM, I am not dying to get it on the day of its release. So, I am sure that shortly after release, I can get it at a good price (whether from Amazon itself or individual sellers), and I would rather wait till I am sure the quality is good. There are occasions that a BRD release is not an improvement over the DVD, even with Criterion (eg. THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE....) so I'd rather wait a little till I hear that all is well.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Novecento on February 19, 2014, 07:23:08 PM
Yeah. Both dual format.

Hey, I just got the word from a poster over at hometheaterforum. org. Amazon has the wrong list price up, so they are giving an incredible discount on this title. Most of these titles go for $40 SRP, discounted to 27.99 on amazon (at best). However, they are currently offering the 27.99 price for this title even though it should actually be a 50 dollar set. If you wait for the July B&N sale, you can do a little better: $25. But if you want your set on the day of release, you may decide a 3 dollar premium is worthwhile. The thing is, if you want to go that route you'd better lock in the 27.99 price before amazon discovers their mistake (they will honor whatever you sign up for). Lock it in today; you can always cancel up until the release date without being charged.

It's not a mistake. It will stay like this for a week or so at the very early pre-order stage and then go to the 34.99 price.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on February 19, 2014, 09:39:22 PM
But won't it go down again a few weeks after the release date? Assuming that I don't need to have it on Day 1, is it not wise for me to wait till a few weeks after it is released, when it'll probably be selling for less (either from Amazon directly or individual sellers)? Ditto for ACE IN THE HOLE: Do you think I should lock in the $27.99 price or wait till a month or two after the release date?




Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 10, 2014, 05:27:13 PM
This looks great: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Red-River-Blu-ray/56981/#Review

A bit pricey, though, what? I think I'll wait for the July B&N sale to pick this up.

UPDATE: Oops, I forgot this was a 50 dollar SRP, and that I already had the price locked in for 27.99. Yeah, I might not wait for July just to save a couple of bucks.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 13, 2014, 07:16:54 AM
CC BD added: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews8/red-river.htm


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 13, 2014, 11:12:13 AM
I assume that the version of the movie they are calling the "pre-release version" is the one that is on the DVD that's been available until now? And it's the same version that they show on TCM?



Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 13, 2014, 11:23:39 AM
Yes, the version with the written titles for all the narrative bridges. The version with Walter Brennan doing voice-over for the narrative bridges is, I believe, what is being called the theatrical version.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 27, 2014, 01:50:31 AM
DJ's BRD has shipped!


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2014, 06:22:04 AM
Not only that, it's been delivered to my local post office! I should have it in my hand by 1:30 today!!


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2014, 06:29:02 AM
While we're waiting, Drink, you can read what your idol Savant has to say about the new release: http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s4419red.html

Money quote: " Bogdanovich says that the real cut of Red River should be the theatrical, with the ending from the preview version."


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 27, 2014, 11:02:49 AM
When you watch it, I assune you will watch the theatrical version first, let us know the differences. Besides the narration, we know that the ending is shorter, let us know what else is different. (unfortuunately, I am sure the ending sucks in both versions!) thanks




Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 27, 2014, 12:29:34 PM
Red River CC Blu in da house! What a monster--I was forgetting the novel comes with it.

Yeah, I'll watch the theatrical as I've never seen it before. I'll give you my impressions tomorrow.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 27, 2014, 07:09:35 PM

Money quote: " Bogdanovich says that the real cut of Red River should be the theatrical, with the ending from the preview version."

what does Bogdanovich mean by "real cut"? does he mean "the cut that Hawks preferred"? or "the cut that was really shown in American theaters in 1948"?
(if the latter, that would mean that the version this BRD is calling the "theatrical cut" isn't the real theatrical cut)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 28, 2014, 05:46:48 AM
He means ideal, in that it would be closest to Hawks' intentions. If you recall, Howard Hughes was unhappy with the way Hawks shot the ending of RR. To him it was too close to the way Hughes ended The Outlaw (a picture that Hawks worked on, btw). He threatened to sue. Hawks was on his way out the door to his next assignment and didn't want the hassle. He told Christian Nyby, his editor, to find a way to placate Hughes. Hughes and Nyby got together and recut the ending--the ending of the theatrical cut. That cut then went out for distribution in 1948.

Having seen the theatrical cut now, I'm with Bogdanovich. Hughes really made a hash of the ending: you can't tell what's going on in the final bit of gunplay between Wayne and Clift. You really need the ending as we have it in the "preview" cut to understand the scene. Savant says, fine, let's just watch the preview cut. But Hawks hated the preview cut, which slowed things down, lengthened the runtime unnecessarily, and demanded a lot of quick reading on the part of the audience (and how do idiot-proof so much text, anyway?). The reason he called Walter Brennan back to do the narration was that he was dissatisfied with that earlier cut and felt he had a way to fix things. Now here's something interesting: until I watched the theatrical cut last night, I hadn't realized that Brennan's narration was done in character. I'd assumed he'd just read the text as it appeared on screen in the preview version, but with the opticals of the text removed for the theatrical cut. The opticals are out, yeah (except for the very first introductory one), but the Brennan narration is different material entirely. He doesn't just bridge sequences, he speaks as Groot and comments on what we see. The tone of the film is thereby changed considerably. We get less of The First Cattle Drive on the Chisholm Trail, 1865, and more That's the Way I Remember It, Sonny. I much prefer this approach myself--all that written text is fussy and pretentious. The version with Brennan's narration is more like the popular entertainment it should be.

So, ideally, we need a version that is mostly the theatrical version, but reverts to the preview cut at the end.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 28, 2014, 06:40:02 AM
but the version that this BRD calls the "theatrical version" is indeed the exact version shown in American theaters in 1948?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 28, 2014, 07:46:51 AM
also, is the narration read by Brennan the same words that are written on the pages in the pre-release version?


Is it true that the version with the notes was made for international release, for non-English-speaking audiences? if that's so, what does every other American movie with narration do? I'm sure there are plenty of American movies with narration that play in foreign countries with subtitles, where the narration is subtitled as well, no?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 28, 2014, 08:51:48 AM
but the version that this BRD calls the "theatrical version" is indeed the exact version shown in American theaters in 1948?
As far as I know. But it is not what Hawks wanted. Hawks wanted the Brennan narration and the ending uncut.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 28, 2014, 08:59:28 AM
also, is the narration read by Brennan the same words that are written on the pages in the pre-release version?
Please read the words I wrote earlier today. All of them.
Quote
Is it true that the version with the notes was made for international release, for non-English-speaking audiences?
This was somebody's theory. Not a very good one, as it turns out. It's easier to dub pictures into other languages rather than add opticals with text. The better theory is that the version with voice-over was intended for export. We'll never know. I really doubt, though, that Hawks concerned himself with such things.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 28, 2014, 04:46:27 PM
If the narration plus longer ending is the Hawks-preferred version, can't we get that? Even if that version was never available, couldn't they do seamless branching? ;) maybe they are waiting for the new ultimate special best ever edition for that - if the fan edits don't beat them to it ;)





Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 29, 2014, 02:42:53 AM
I'm looking again at Beaver's screencaps http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDReviews8/red-river.htm – nevermind the Masters of Cinema BRD; I am specifically comparing the old MGM DVD to the new Criterion BRD – and (IF THE SCREENCAPS ARE TO BE TRUSTED, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE CAPS FROM THE OLDER DISCS WERE MADE ON DIFFERENT EQUIPMENT THAN THAT OF THE NEWER DISCS) it looks like – and Beaver mentions this in the text - the DVD is darker, the BRD is lighter. And I am not sure that I like the BRD better. Specifically, look at the screencap of the shot of Montgomery Clift sitting there with that piece of grass in his mouth; IMO, the darker DVD shot looks better than the brighter BRD.

Now, I know this boxset is a BRD/DVD combo, and I am just wondering the DVD in this boxset looks - does it look darker like the MGM DVD, or did Criterion do the same restoration with this DVD and now it looks lighter like the BRD?

I am definitely not making any final judgements from Beaver's screencaps; I will reserve judgement until I see the disc for myself. Being a huge fan of Red River, I am definitely gonna get this boxset, but considering that I'm not so sure the BRD image is better, I am thinking that maybe I should also get the MGM DVD (unless I hear that the image on the Criterion DVD looks like MGM DVD and not the Criterion BRD). After all, this is one of the greatest AW's of all time – maybe even THE greatest – so it can't hurt to be a nerdy completist for this movie  ;)

---

UPDATE: Okay, I just ordered the new Criterion BRD+DVD boxset, and the old MGM DVD.

BTW, it looks like Criterion will be releasing a separate DVD, i.e. not as part of a boxset, on July 8th http://goo.gl/uOFBqT
So is this what Criterion does now - release a boxset of BRD+DVD, then later release just the DVD? So they're not releasing any separate BRD's, but they are releasing separate DVD's?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 29, 2014, 05:48:58 AM
BTW, it looks like Criterion will be releasing a separate DVD, i.e. not as part of a boxset, on July 8th http://goo.gl/uOFBqT
So is this what Criterion does now - release a boxset of BRD+DVD, then later release just the DVD? So they're not releasing any separate BRD's, but they are releasing separate DVD's?
Many institutions (schools, libraries) never went BD and are only interested in DVDs. Those places do not want the extra discs; they take up space, which is always limited. Criterion caters to this market.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 29, 2014, 06:46:32 AM
If the narration plus longer ending is the Hawks-preferred version, can't we get that? Even if that version was never available, couldn't they do seamless branching? ;) maybe they are waiting for the new ultimate special best ever edition for that - if the fan edits don't beat them to it ;)
Actually, it's a bit more complicated, as there are other differences between the two versions.
Quote
The Voice Version trims a number of scenes down, notably Cherry's description of the beautiful woman who told him about the railroad in Abilene (who is strongly alluded to as Tess in Borden Chase's original short story). The Voice Version also has a slightly different score, which is much more instrumental and grandiose compared to the often more vocal but muted score of the Book Version.
It would be hard to do seamless branching and retain a properly integrated score.

For some reason, CC chose to scan one of the versions in 4K, the other in 2K. This makes them technically incompatible (although no one using 1080p equipment could tell the difference). I don't know why CC did this--does it have something to do with the relative quality of the elements, or was it just a cost-saving measure? Whatever, an outfit like CC is never going the seamless branch a 2K with a 4K. Fan edits, here we come.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on May 29, 2014, 04:04:34 PM
Many institutions (schools, libraries) never went BD and are only interested in DVDs. Those places do not want the extra discs; they take up space, which is always limited. Criterion caters to this market.

but they don't cater to the people who only want BRD's and not DVD's. Schools and libraries have a limited amount of space, but our homes have an unlimited amount?  >:( When the world moves to streaming (and all your fears will have been realized) space won't be a problem...  ;)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on May 29, 2014, 04:15:06 PM
but they don't cater to the people who only want BRD's and not DVD's.
No, Little Prince, they do not cater exclusively to you. >:D You could always buy the company: then they'd satisfy your every whim.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 05, 2014, 11:31:58 PM
I received my BRD of Red River. Very nice set from Criterion - DJ, do you really think this is the last version of this movie we'll ever have to buy?

I usually don't bother talking about packaging, but one little thing I didn't like is the way you have to slide the bottom disc under the top one, and it's real hard to pop out each disc cuz that middle piece is pretty tight. I prefer the way other double-disc booklets have it, but I won't worry too much about that.


I read the Borden Chase story - definitely not a novel, more like a novelette or a novella – I enjoyed it very much. I didn't see any allusion to Tess being the girl that told Cherry about the railroad in Abilene (which is what DJ believes).

Anyway, for those who are interested, I'll try to write a little about the differences between the movie and Borden Chase's original story when I have time...


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 12:27:27 AM
The Borden Chase story was serialized as "The Chisolm Trail" in the Saturday Evening Post. It was then released in book form under the title, "Blazing Guns on the Chisolm Trail," and later released in paperback under the title "Red River" to coincide with the movie's release.


The book is written in third-person (NOT narrated by Groot as the theatrical version of the movie was).
The basic set-up of the story is the same as the movie: Tom Dunson and his buddy Groot (the first name Nadine is never mentioned in the book) leave the wagon train and set up in Texas; they find little Matthew half-crazed after he got away with his cow from the wagon train which was burned by Indians, Tom kills the agents of Don Diego who want him off the land, then he says that he'll turn this into a great herd, etc.... Fast forward to the end of the Civil War, Mathew has fought for the South and is now returning to Dunson's ranch: but in the book, as Mathew is returning to the ranch, he stops in a saloon in Memphis, where he meets a singer named Tess, whom he figures he'll never see again...Matthew returns to the ranch, where Dunson he learns about how the carpetbaggers are destroying the South, how he has to get the beef to market or everything goes to hell.


Here is a key point in which the book differs with the movie: In the movie, they are doing the cattle drive cuz Dunson is broke; there is just one brief mention around the campfire about how Texas has been overrun by carpetbaggers and this drive will bring hope to Texas. But in the book, that is a key point that is mentioned again and again: that this cattle drive is being undertaken to save the State of Texas. That if they are successful in blazing a trail, others will follow. Without them, the State of Texas is doomed. And eventually, when Tom goes nuts and Matt takes the herd from him and says he is leading a drive to Abilene, that is the justification he gives for taking the herd: that he is doing it for the State of Texas, for all the other ranchers that are starving and will follow if he leads the way. So the mission takes on a sort of noble air. And Matt says he will leave the money they get on deposit in Abilene for Tom to pick up, but Tom says he is gonna come after Matt and kill him for stealing the herd.


BTW, the scene where Cherry and Matt are "pawing at each other," the scene with all the queer innuendo, where they testing each other's skill with the gun, is not in the book. Also, the book says there are 30 people along for a 5,000-cattle drive. In the movie, it was doubled to 10,000 cattle, but there is never an explicit mention of how many men are along. (In the book, about 4,000 cattle make it to Abilene, bringing in a little better than $80,000.)


In the movie, Bunk Kennely starts the stampede when he tries to steal sugar and clangs the pots; but in the book, it was a pure accident: the leather on his gun boot was worn out (or sumthin like that, I really don't understand all the Western jargon) and his gun went off accidentally and fired a shot, spooking the herd. So it really was an accident, which makes you totally sympathize with Bunk when Tom decides to whip him; in the movie, I am sure every viewer is happy when Tom decides to whip him.

Then, when the cattle drive meets the wagon train with the gamblers and women -- there is a real rivalry between Cherry and Matt for the affections of Tess. Tess is much less of a "nice girl" in the book than she is in the movie; she is a gold digger in the book; Cherry is so taken by her and so badly wants to marry her that he actually decides to take 5 gamblers with him to try to steal the herd from Matt and the other cowboys during another night crossing! Needless to say, the attempted theft is not successful, all 5 gamblers are killed though Cherry gets away, which leads to the ending....

 Tess accepts Tom's offer of half his kingdom for a son (though she loves Matt - it's not entirely clear if she rally wants to accept Tom's offer, or if she is just pretending to to try to convince Tom not to kill Matt) ; eventually, Cherry and Tom have a showdown – after Cherry has decided to marry Tess and steal the herd – but as Cherry is firing, Tess grabs his elbow, therefore, Cherry doesn't hit Tom square in the heart, only on the shoulder or other body parts, etc. And Tom's shots kill Cherry.
Now Tom is bleeding badly, still swearing he will kill Matt. As they get to Abilene.... I'd like to digress and copy a paragraph from the book I really like:
And so a town was born. It wasn't planned. No dreamers in Congress sketched its streets. Men built it. Hard men. Americans! Built it with gall and guts and sweat. Built it for profit and built it for fun. It was good to build. Good to spread their country across a continent. They made mistakes. Hundreds of mistakes. Thousands of mistakes. But they'd set out to build a country, and they got the job done.

......Tom is badly injured but he still faces Matt down, Tom draws and Matt draws, but Matt simply cannot bring himself to shoot at Tom, he just kinda holds his gun down, doesn't point or shoot at Tom; Tom then fires around Matt, trying to get Matt to shoot at him, but Matt refuses, and finally Tom, terribly weak from the shots he previously sustained from Cherry, falls in the dust.
Next scene, a wagon is driving south, toward Texas. Matt and Tess are in it, Tom is laying in back. A doctor in Abilene had said he could be healed if he rests in hospital, but no way, Tom wants to die in Texas.

Here are the final paragraphs of the book; it's now just after they have crossed the Red River, back into Texas, and Tom has asked Matt to lift him out of the wagon:

Mathew lowered his feet to the earth. Dunson reached again down deep into that iron will and found the strength to stand erect. He looked south over the moonswept plain. He lifted an arm.
That's Texas, Mathew," he said slowly. "I've come home."
"You've come home," said Mathew.
Quietly, like a man who lies down to pleasant dreams, Thomas Dunson slipped to the ground. His great arms stretched out and he pillowed his face to the earth he loved so well. And as he died, he smiled.
That night Mathew and Tess made camp beside the rough pile of stones that marked Dunson's place beside the Red River. Bright with the sunrise the Conestoga wagon rumbled slowly over the trail that in a few short years brought four million head of Texas cattle to the Northern markets. South in the promise of a new day. South, into the break of the dawn.


The book's ending is terrific, and needless to say, a million times better than the movie's. if it is really true, as DJ quoted from the UK BRD, that Wayne and Hawks cut down the size of Cherry's role and changed the ending because John Ireland was messing around with Hawks's girl, then shame on Hawks and Wayne. Shame on them. The ending is terrific in the book. Cherry (a man who "had killed twenty men and would kill many more") gets his; Tom gets his, but only after seeing the fulfillment of his dream of a great cattle drive, and dying in his beloved Texas; and Matt and Tess go forward in the new world. But in the movie, just makes me puke, to believe that a man as tough as Dunson would just smile and put down his gun after a few words from Tess. But we've discussed that bullshit ending enough. Anyway.....

A part of me says we need a re-make, in which we'll pump up the Cherry character, have the proper ending (and perhaps talk about building the great state of Texas...) but then another part of me says, this is already one of the greatest AW's ever made, flaws and all. You don't need to remake a masterpiece.

BTW, interesting note on bonus features, Hawks (in his interview with Bogdanovich) praises Ireland as an actor, though he mentions how Ireland would get fucked up on tequila and marijuana; of course he makes no mention of Ireland messing with his girl; he bashes Joanne Dru, says Maggie (Margaret) Sheridan was supposed to have the role but told him she was pregnant just before the movie was supposed to start shooting, so he used Joanne Dru, whom he had under contract but had only intended to use for musicals and comedies. He realy bashes Dru, says that the ending lines are just mot believable when she says it. NO, HAWKS, YOU ASSHOLE, THE ENDING SUCKS CUZ IT SUCKS. DON'T BLAME DRU FOR THAT! Boganovich also asks Hawks about the rivalry between Cherry and Matt never having a payoff, Hawks' answer is some bullshit about what that's what you'd expect from a normal movie, but he thought it was better to therefore not have it, play against expectations (PARAPHRASING)... of course, in the book, there is no payoff between Cherry and Matt either, because Cherry gets killed by Tom; but in the movie, Cherry's character gets this big buildup and then is dispatched so quickly by Tom, it's bullshit.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 04:27:26 AM
so I've been steeping myself in Red River during the past few days; now, I just listened to the bonus feature on the pre-release disc, an audio interview from 1969 with Borden Chase. Chase has some negative things to say about the way the movie was made – the clip ends with him saying, "You have to become pretty cynical about your work to keep your sanity; yes you do. That's the story on Red River – nevertheless, he says that up until the ending, the movie is basically faithful to his story.

Here's a little of what Chase says: Chase was hired to write the screenplay based on his own story. When he met Hawks, Charles Schnee was there; Chase said, "I don't collaborate," but Hawks assured Chase that the story would be entirely his to do.

Anyway, when Chase saw what Hawks wanted to do with the last scene, Chase said, "Howard, this is a lot of garbage." Hawks said that he didn't want Wayne to die. Chase responded, "If he isn't going to die, at least don't have some dame break it up. Hawks said, I like that scene. Chase said, That's a good scene, only it doesn't belong to you; you sold that to Howard Hughes, and I'm not gonna steal from Hughes. So Hawks said, Okay, I will have someone else write it, and he had Schnee write the last scene, so that gave him a split credit. (To hear Chase tell the story here, it implies that Schnee's only real contribution was the ending; but in the other BRD, the one with the theatrical version, there is a clip of Hawks being interviewed by Bogdanovich, Hawks said he used Schnee cuz Chase's screenplay was sticking too closely to his book; Hawks doesn't say anything about Schnee specifically doing the last scene. Personally, I doubt very much that Hawks would have given Schnee a screenwriting credit if Schnee had only written the last scene).


Funny thing is, Chase then says that he was telling this story, how Hawks stole the last scene from Hughes, and it was found out by Hughes's lawyer, and the lawyers asked Chase if he'd be willing to swear to that under oath, and Chase replied, "I would love to swear to that under oath!"
Ultimately, Chase says Hawks offered Hughes $1 million to allow the ending to stand, but Hughes said I don't want your million bucks, and Hughes ended up chopping the movie, which is, I guess, how the theatrical version came to have the shortened ending.


[BTW, I am just wondering how it is that the pre-release version was ever allowed to be show. Did Hawks eventually reach a deal with Hughes?]

Final point: Chase does mention that story that DJ wrote a while ago, which I think he read in the print of the UK DVD, how Chase was eating dinner with Wayne and hawks; when Hawks got up to go to the bathroom, Wayne told Chase that they are cutting down Cherry Valance's character cuz Cherry was messing with Hawks's girl (I assume he means John Ireland, not Cherry Valanace  ;)) Of course, Chase argued, said what does that have to do with the movie, it shouldn't matter if he was messing with the Virgin Mary, but Wayne said they are cutting it and that's that... And then, after telling how Cherry's character was diminished cuz Ireland was messing with Hawks's girl, Chase cites a specific scene in the rain during the cattle drive, where Cherry is supposed to say something all tough and big, up front in the scene, but instead he says it in a less-tough voice and the he is made to be less tough than he should. HOWEVER – AND THIS IS, IMO, THE KEY POINT – CHASE DOES NOT EXPLICITLY SAY WHETHER THAT IS WHY THEY CHANGED THE LAST SCENE. HE DOESN'T SAY WHEN THIS incident, this conversation between Wayne and Chase, took place: was it before shooting? was it in middle of shooting? etc. After saying Valance's character was cut, he gives that one instance that I just mentioned, and that is all. He doesn't say anything about the ending. And he doesn't say any of this story during the part of the interview where he is talking about the butchered ending; he says it a little afterward. (Not sure if this interview is one straight clip or a bunch of different pieces, but either way,) I am far from convinced that the ending was changed because of Ireland's messing with Hawks's girl. If Valance's character was diminished at all because of it, well, that certainly shouldn't have happened; but diminishing Valance somewhat is very different than changing the ending. So, the idea that the infamous ending of RR comes from Ireland messing with Hawks's girl, I am really not sure of that. I'd love to be able to get ahold of Bogdanovich and ask him directly about this point......


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 04:44:30 AM
when Tom shoots Cherry at the end, it's not even clear whether or not Cherry is dead. You just see them shoot each other; Tom keeps walking to face Matt, and Cherry falls to the ground; Melville (the Harry Carey Sr. character) runs over to him to help him, and that's the last we see of them. Cherry is an important enough character that we should know if he lives or dies.

--

Anyway, my final word on the ending: I think that whenever I watch the movie from now on, I'll end it right after the scene where the cattle roll through the town of Abilene. That's a wonderful scene. Once they've rolled through, and the boys are paid up, that'll be all for me  :)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 06, 2014, 05:32:51 AM
I received my BRD of Red River. Very nice set from Criterion - DJ, do you really think this is the last version of this movie we'll ever have to buy?
It's the last one I'm buying, anyway.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on June 06, 2014, 05:40:27 AM
when Tom shoots Cherry at the end, it's not even clear whether or not Cherry is dead. You just see them shoot each other; Tom keeps walking to face Matt, and Cherry falls to the ground; Melville (the Harry Carey Sr. character) runs over to him to help him, and that's the last we see of them. Cherry is an important enough character that we should know if he lives or dies.

--



If you don't see him dead he obviously lives. I think there's no doubt about that the way it was filmed and edited.

The ultra-conventional ending by Chase would have been very sentimental and pretty painful to watch. I like Hawks nonchalant attitude which made him follow his feelings.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on June 06, 2014, 05:50:21 AM
If you don't see him dead he obviously lives. I think there's no doubt about that the way it was filmed and edited.
Preview cut or theatrical?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 06:43:33 AM
Preview cut or theatrical?

I believe that the (brief) showdown between Tom and Cherry is the same in both versions


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 06:50:34 AM

The ultra-conventional ending by Chase would have been very sentimental and pretty painful to watch. I like Hawks nonchalant attitude which made follow his feelings.

are you KIDDING??? I mean, April Fools Day was more than two months ago.

Dunson dying would be "conventional"? I call the "happily ever after" ending conventional, with everything ending up all sweet and beautiful. Dunson dying (not to mention taking Cherry with him) would definitely put a sad tinge on things for the audience, who – crazy as he become – sympathizes with Dunson. (Even if John Wayne wasn't "John Wayne" at his point, the audience still does not want Dunson to die; the typical audience that wants a feel-good ending definitely wants Tom and Matt to kiss and make up, which is exactly what happens.) And, as Chase said to Hawks, even if Dunson does live at the end, the fact that it's the girl that gets in there and gives this little speech, that really kills it. A man like Tom Dunson, who built an empire of 10,000 head of cattle from one bull and one cow, who slaved at it for nearly 15 years, a tough man who killed anyone who threatened to take his dream from him, as tough a man as you could get, who went and got men and followed the herd for the express purpose of killing Matt, he suddenly melts with a few words from a babe? I don't wanna hear about how a woman can have a strange effect on a man and blah blah blah. That ending is an insult to any viewer for who isn't the type that always looks for a "happily ever after" ending.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 06:58:34 AM
btw, I mentioned previously that I also got the old MGM dvd of Red River cuz on Beeaver's screencaps, that one looked darker and I wasn't so sure that Criterion's brightening was an improvement. Anyway, after watching the Criterion BRD, I slipped the old disc into my player, and that one is full of damage marks, speckles, etc. So, I don't know or care whether the darker or lighter color is better; considering that the Criterion version looks great with hardly any damage marls I can remember, no way am I ever gonna watch that old DVD with the speckles ever again....


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on June 06, 2014, 01:56:36 PM
Preview cut or theatrical?

The version I always watched since the 70s. I lost track which version is which. But it must be the theatrical version.

Is there a difference about the cherry pie?


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on June 06, 2014, 02:18:27 PM
are you KIDDING??? I mean, April Fools Day was more than two months ago.

Dunson dying would be "conventional"? I call the "happily ever after" ending conventional, with everything ending up all sweet and beautiful. Dunson dying (not to mention taking Cherry with him) would definitely put a sad tinge on things for the audience, who – crazy as he become – sympathizes with Dunson. (Even if John Wayne wasn't "John Wayne" at his point, the audience still does not want Dunson to die; the typical audience that wants a feel-good ending definitely wants Tom and Matt to kiss and make up, which is exactly what happens.) And, as Chase said to Hawks, even if Dunson does live at the end, the fact that it's the girl that gets in there and gives this little speech, that really kills it. A man like Tom Dunson, who built an empire of 10,000 head of cattle from one bull and one cow, who slaved at it for nearly 15 years, a tough man who killed anyone who threatened to take his dream from him, as tough a man as you could get, who went and got men and followed the herd for the express purpose of killing Matt, he suddenly melts with a few words from a babe? I don't wanna hear about how a woman can have a strange effect on a man and blah blah blah. That ending is an insult to any viewer for who isn't the type that always looks for a "happily ever after" ending.

Cherry spares Matt the duel and then the dying Dunson finds peace with Mattie in a sobful end? This is not ultra conventional? This is exactly how a typical Hollywood film ends such a constellation. Only Mel Brooks could have directed this in a way that it not hurts the brain.

The Chase ending is a typical sentimental Hollywood ending, while the actual one in the film is a Hawks ending. The only good alternative to the Hawks ending would be of course that Clift kills Wayne (a 70s ending), but that would be asking a bit too much for a mainstream Hollywood film, which RR in the end is, despite also being a very personal film by Hawks.

That Dunson not dies is exactly what an typical audience does not expect. Drink, your reaction towards the ending fits the stereotyped expectations. I think it is even "realistic". As much as a Hawks film can be realistic.

I never had a problem with the ending, not as a child, not now. And I like Dru's role, a typical hawksian strong woman, too. If not Matt kills Dunson, the only other non-conventional option, nobody else should do it either.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 04:38:00 PM
The version I always watched since the 70s. I lost track which version is which. But it must be the theatrical version.

Is there a difference about the cherry pie?

you mean the one with the "bridge" scenes written in a book? that is the pre-release version. My understanding is that the theatrical version – with Walter Brennan narrating the bridge scenes – hasn't been available until now. At least not in USA


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on June 06, 2014, 04:45:08 PM
Cherry spares Matt the duel and then the dying Dunson finds peace with Mattie in a sobful end? This is not ultra conventional? This is exactly how a typical Hollywood film ends such a constellation. Only Mel Brooks could have directed this in a way that it not hurts the brain.
--
That Dunson not dies is exactly what an typical audience does not expect. Drink, your reaction towards the ending fits the stereotyped expectations. I think it is even "realistic". As much as a Hawks film can be realistic.

I never had a problem with the ending, not as a child, not now. And I like Dru's role, a typical hawksian strong woman, too. If not Matt kills Dunson, the only other non-conventional option, nobody else should do it either.

Matt is definitely not gonna die. There's no doubt about that. And he's not gonna fire on Dunson. But I don't think any audience member actually wants Dunson to die either, and I don't think any believes he will die. I absolutely never thought Dunson would die. This sort of ending where they kiss and make up is the exact ending I'd expect from a typical Hollywood movie. And I don't think Cherry doing it is a cop out; Cherry all along has been telling Matt he is soft; Cherry (at least in the book) has been a big, tough character; big enough to kill Dunson.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: stanton on June 07, 2014, 06:01:02 AM
I don't think that any audience member wants Dunson to die (me not), I would even assume that the majority wants him to be alive, but I'm 100 % sure that everybody who knows a little bit about how popular books and films work expected him to die. Cause these type of good/bad guys always die. Wayne played this type otherwise probably only in Reap the Wild Wind. There he dies while sacrificing himself for the hero (who meanwhile also took his girl), saving his life, and therefore saving the film the happy end. This role type always dies shortly after they found back to the "good side".
And that not Matt has to kill him in the script is also 100 % typical. Other typical solutions for the good/bad guy's death are the forces of nature.

Red River is one of the few films who does not follow that convention.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on September 04, 2014, 11:59:34 PM
As they get to Abilene.... I'd like to digress and copy a paragraph from the book I really like:
And so a town was born. It wasn't planned. No dreamers in Congress sketched its streets. Men built it. Hard men. Americans! Built it with gall and guts and sweat. Built it for profit and built it for fun. It was good to build. Good to spread their country across a continent. They made mistakes. Hundreds of mistakes. Thousands of mistakes. But they'd set out to build a country, and they got the job done.

Funny – I didn't know this at the time I copied this paragraph  from the book, but – after reading Scot Eyman's bio of John Wayne, I now learned that Borden Chase was one of the staunch anti-Communists in Hollywood, a member of the Motion Picture Alliance, a big right-winger. The sentiment expressed in this paragraph – capitalism, prosperity comes through hard work and not government – fits perfectly  ;)


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on December 10, 2014, 01:39:34 AM
On the TV show Jeopardy! on Monday night:

The "Final Jeopardy" category was: "Movie Title References"

and this was the clue: "For this 1971 film, the reference is to the 1948 film Red River."



I couldn't think of the right answer. Nor could any of the three contestants.




The answer is .................


The Last Picture Show


I'm not certain that I agree that this is a fair question. Yes, in The Last Picture Show, the last movie playing at the theater was Red River, but can you say that the title of TLPS "refers" to RR? To me, the title of TLPS refers to the general idea of the last show playing at the theater; it refers to the theater closing, and the last time they showed a movie. I wouldn't say that the title of TLPS refers to RR.

I'm a huge fan of Jeopardy!, I watch the show very often, I love it, but I'm not so sure that this was a good clue.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: titoli on January 04, 2017, 05:00:24 AM
Just saw it again after many decades. First time I saw it in mid-70's in a cinema.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmsatj_red-river_shortfilms

I agree with those here who can't stand the Dru character. It slows down the movie, which for the rest is excellent. And I don't think the finale is so bad: her scenes with Clift are much worse and dispensable plotwise. I don't think Wayne is as good here as in Searchers or Grit. Not by his fault, but those other characters are more interesting and ambiguous. So it's 8/10, for the story and the screenplay: Hawks direction doesn't impress me so much, maybe because of the b&w.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: cigar joe on January 04, 2017, 03:51:23 PM
Just saw it again after many decades. First time I saw it in mid-70's in a cinema.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xmsatj_red-river_shortfilms

I agree with those here who can't stand the Dru character. It slows down the movie, which for the rest is excellent. And I don't think the finale is so bad: her scenes with Clift are much worse and dispensable plotwise. I don't think Wayne is as good here as in Searchers or Grit. Not by his fault, but those other characters are more interesting and ambiguous. So it's 8/10, for the story and the screenplay: Hawks direction doesn't impress me so much, maybe because of the b&w.

The best part is the cattle drive sequences.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Moorman on January 04, 2017, 04:15:16 PM
I gotta see this movie. After reading some of the posts, i think i'm gonna like it...


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Moorman on January 28, 2017, 12:43:48 AM
Ok.  Saw this movie. I was impressed.  Lets get into it:

1. Cinematography. I love black and white westerns.  The look and feel was on point.  The set pieces did what they had to do.

2. Characters.  Everybody was on point. I couldn't have asked for more. Brennan did a excellent job.

3. The script.  Loved it. I know. I know. That ending is controversial.  Personally, i think that when Dunson killed Cherry, THAT was the ending that people longed for.  Remember, it was Cherry that hyped Matthew up to take over the herd in the first place.  The female character and the love plot.  It wasn't too overboard, like My Darling Clementine, so it didn't take away from the movie for me.  The massive number of cattle on display was impressive.

4. Music Score.  Not bad, not anything that jumps out at you. Just OK...

I really liked this movie.  I rate it a 8/10...


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: dave jenkins on January 28, 2017, 02:35:36 PM
Yep, it's pretty good. I especially like the scene after the funeral where the shadow from off-screen clouds moves across the background hills. Hawks was some kind of director, no? He could even direct meteorological phenomena.

Now if he'd only kept his hands off the woman I love, I wouldn't now have to curse his memory.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on January 28, 2017, 04:28:06 PM
Ok.  Saw this movie. I was impressed.  Lets get into it:

1. Cinematography. I love black and white westerns.  The look and feel was on point.  The set pieces did what they had to do.

2. Characters.  Everybody was on point. I couldn't have asked for more. Brennan did a excellent job.

3. The script.  Loved it. I know. I know. That ending is controversial.  Personally, i think that when Dunson killed Cherry, THAT was the ending that people longed for.  Remember, it was Cherry that hyped Matthew up to take over the herd in the first place.  The female character and the love plot.  It wasn't too overboard, like My Darling Clementine, so it didn't take away from the movie for me.  The massive number of cattle on display was impressive.

4. Music Score.  Not bad, not anything that jumps out at you. Just OK...

I really liked this movie.  I rate it a 8/10...


I do not believe Dunson kills Cherry; I think he only wouds him.

Score IMO is one of the greatest ever

Ending is terrible; other than that this is one of the greatest AW's of all time.


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: Moorman on November 22, 2017, 04:01:30 PM
I could've sworn this was a John Ford film.  I had it rated as one of my top four John Ford films, lol.  Well, i'm down to Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as my personal Ford favorite westerns.  I gotta look more into Howard Hawks...


Title: Re: Red River (1948)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on November 22, 2017, 09:01:15 PM
I could've sworn this was a John Ford film.  I had it rated as one of my top four John Ford films, lol.  Well, i'm down to Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as my personal Ford favorite westerns.  I gotta look more into Howard Hawks...

Another great Hawks western is Rio Bravo.

Another great Ford western is Fort Apache. Also watch She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, a good Ford western in glorious Technicolor. Winton Hoch won Oscar for best cinematography. Wayne was nominated for Best Actor.,Make sure to watch the blu-ray. Looks spectacular   O0

Enjoy!