RED RIVER-another exceptional 1940’s Western Movie starring John Wayne

Today, everyone is needing a Big Break. All of us need a Movie to get our minds off of the Pandemic and so many other troubles that are hurting each one of us. And a Nation’s drought with the despair of the Great Depression spilled right over into some of the Best Movies Hollywood ever did. Yes, the 1940’s brought out the very Best Hollywood had to offer.

But RED RIVER brought us sadness, a crippling sadness and just when you think you can’t take anymore, the story flips and we get to recover in joy. Yes. The Joy of Love. And I’m talking of a Deep Love between two men. A Father figure and his basically adopted son. And what do we get out of all of this? And you can learn the three times a man can Shout at the Moon!

A Great Western. A Western that is fun entertainment. I love this Movie and I believe it is one of John Wayne’s Top 10 Movies. So, Pop some Popcorn and Enjoy!

And this has now been Colorized!

Headstrong Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) starts a thriving Texas cattle ranch with the help of his faithful trail hand, Groot (Walter Brennan), and his protégé, Matt Garth (Montgomery Clift), an orphan Dunson took under his wing when Matt was a boy. In need of money following the Civil War, Dunson and Matt lead a cattle drive to Missouri, where they will get a better price than locally, but the crotchety older man and his willful young partner begin to butt heads on the exhausting journey.

Red River is a 1948 American Western film, directed and produced by Howard Hawks and starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift. It gives a fictional account of the first cattle drive from Texas to Kansas along the Chisholm Trail. The dramatic tension stems from a growing feud over the management of the drive, between the Texas rancher who initiated it (Wayne) and his adopted adult son (Clift).

Red River
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHoward Hawks
Screenplay byBorden ChaseCharles Schnee
Based onThe Chisholm Trail
1946 The Saturday Evening Post
by Borden Chase
Produced byHoward Hawks
StarringJohn WayneMontgomery CliftWalter BrennanJoanne Dru
CinematographyRussell Harlan
Edited byChristian Nyby
Music byDimitri Tiomkin
Monterey Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release dateAugust 26, 1948[1]
Running time133 minutes (Pre-release) 127 minutes (Theatrical)
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.7 million[2]
Box office$4,506,825 (US rentals)[3]

The film’s supporting cast features Walter BrennanJoanne DruColeen GrayHarry CareyJohn IrelandHank WordenNoah Beery Jr.Harry Carey Jr. and Paul FixBorden Chase and Charles Schnee wrote the screenplay, based on Chase’s original story (which was first serialized in The Saturday Evening Post in 1946 as “Blazing Guns on the Chisholm Trail”).

Upon its release, Red River was both a commercial and a critical success and was nominated for two Academy Awards.[4] In 1990, Red River was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”[5][6] Red River was selected by the American Film Institute as the 5th greatest Western of all time in the AFI’s 10 Top 10 list in 2008.


Thomas Dunson (John Wayne) wants to start a cattle ranch in Texas. Shortly after he begins his journey to Texas with his trail hand Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), Dunson learns that his love interest Fen (Coleen Gray) was killed in an Indian attack. He had told Fen to stay behind with the California-bound wagon train, with the understanding that he would send for her later.

That night, Dunson and Groot fend off an attack by Indians. On the wrist of one, Dunson finds a bracelet he had been left by his late mother, which he had given to Fen as he left the train. The next day, an orphaned boy named Matthew Garth (played as a boy by Mickey Kuhn and as an adult by Montgomery Clift) wanders into Dunson and Groot’s camp. He is the sole survivor of the wagon train, and Dunson adopts him.

Dunson, Groot, and Matt enter Texas by crossing the Red River. They settle in deep South Texas near the Rio Grande. Dunson names his new spread the Red River D, after his chosen cattle brand for his herd. He promises to add M (for Matt) to the brand, once Matt has earned it.

Fourteen years pass, and Dunson has a fully operational cattle ranch, but he is broke as a result of widespread poverty in the southern United States following the Civil War. He decides to drive his massive herd hundreds of miles north to the railhead at Sedalia, Missouri, where he believes they will fetch a good price. After Dunson hires men to help, including professional gunman Cherry Valance (John Ireland), the northward drive starts.

Along the way, they encounter many troubles including a stampede caused by one of the men, Bunk Kenneally (Ivan Parry). This leads to the death of Dan Latimer (Harry Carey Jr.).

Continuing with the drive, Valance relates that the railroad has reached Abilene, Kansas, which is much closer than Sedalia. When Dunson confirms that Valance had not actually seen the railroad, he ignores the rumor in favor of continuing to Missouri. Dunson’s tyrannical leadership style begins to affect the men, with his shooting three drovers who try to quit the drive. After Dunson announces he intends to lynch two men who stole supplies, tried to desert, and were captured by Cherry Valance, Matt rebels. With the support of the cowhands, he takes control of the herd in order to drive it along the Chisholm Trail to the hoped-for railhead in Abilene, Kansas. Valance and Buster (Noah Beery Jr.) become his right-hand men. Dunson curses Matt and promises to kill him when next they meet. The drive turns toward Abilene, leaving Dunson behind.

On the way to Abilene, Matt and his men repel an Indian attack on a wagon train made up of gamblers and dance hall girls. One of the people they save is Tess Millay (Joanne Dru), who falls in love with Matt. They spend a night together, and he gives her Dunson’s mother’s bracelet. Eager to beat Dunson to Abilene, he leaves early in the morning, the same way Dunson had left his lady love with the wagon train 14 years before.

Later, Tess encounters Dunson, who has followed Matt’s trail and now sees her wearing his mother’s bracelet. Weary and emotional, he tells Tess what he wants most of all is a son. She offers to bear him one if he will abandon his pursuit of Matt. Dunson sees in her the anguish that Fen had expressed when he left her, but he resumes the chase with Tess accompanying him.

When Matt reaches Abilene, he finds the town has been awaiting the arrival of such a herd to buy. He accepts an offer for the cattle and meets Tess again. Shortly thereafter, Dunson arrives in Abilene with his posse. Dunson and Matt begin a fistfight, which Tess interrupts, demanding that they realize the love that they share. Dunson and Matt make peace. The film ends with Dunson advising Matt to marry Tess and telling Matt that when they get back to the ranch, he will incorporate an M into the Red River D brand, because he has earned it.