There's something pure about everything in this movie: the way characters are introduced, the plot, the dialogue, even the love story that everyone complains about. There's a poetic sense of adventure and wonder that surpasses the typical tropes and conquest of the open range. Red River has a balanced look at individuals within a group - a true Western. Just one cattle in the heard... to market.
Cinematography by Russell Harlan. "Desire" list: I do not like the male impassivity of Wayne, but i greatly like the evanescent confidence of Clift and, in this film, his immense beauty - that would be quickly lost in a car accident, giving him the tremor that Duras liked so much. With holster and guns, his masculinity learning is always ethereal enough to distrust how much Hawks had fun with it.
Hawks dirige uno dei western più famosi e belli di sempre, non a caso l'immenso John Ford lo descriveva spesso come suo "rivale". Una pellicola cruda, con un John Wayne più in forma che mai e un Montgomery Clift che lascia intravedere tutte le sue future potenzialità. 4,5* più che meritate.
Sure the story is similar in a way to Mutiny on the Bounty and the scenes involving Tess (including the quick & underwhelming ending) are the film's weakest moments, the film is still one of the greatest westerns and one of Hawks' best. The two different actors are a sight to behold, with Wayne giving one of his best performances and Clift giving one hell of a debut role.
Classic western and all american classic that marked the first teaming of Hawks and Wayne. Clift gave a star making performance but its the wise and compact script by Chase and Schnee that truly sings along with masterful direction by Hawks. The film wisely gives the audience some credit and provides layers of undertones and meaning for us to comprehend and think about. On top of that the pacing is very exciting.
A really crucial film vis-a-vis recasting a star's accepted heroic persona into something cranky and potentially destructive (see also: Ray's treatment of Bogart in "In A Lonely Place"). Wayne here is touched by the very failings and hatreds that would provide the impetus for his heroic stature in so many Ford films. No "Red River", no "The Searchers" ...?