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Author Topic: Red River (1948)  (Read 21358 times)
Dust Devil
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« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2009, 02:50:18 PM »


?

He played the toothless old fart.

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« Reply #31 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 . . .

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« Reply #32 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.

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« Reply #33 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.

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« Reply #34 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".  Afro

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« Reply #35 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???

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« Reply #36 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.

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« Reply #37 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.

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« Reply #38 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 Smiley

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« Reply #39 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 Smiley
Big Fun.

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« Reply #40 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) Wink 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  Afro

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« Reply #41 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):

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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.

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« Reply #42 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

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« Reply #43 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.

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« Reply #44 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.

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