“Red River” was officially released in 1948. It earned good reviews from critics and movie goers alike. As well as making enough money at the box office. The Criterion Collection digitally restored Red River on DVD/Blu-Ray as spine number 709. Which film in The Criterion Collection should I review next? Please leave a comment and I’ll respond back in no time. I’ve already published an article for “Stagecoach.” So, don’t forget to check it out.
By the way, my dad and I used to own John Wayne DVDs including The High and the Mighty,” “True Grit,” “Hondo, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and my personal favorite, “Rio Bravo.” I used to watch John Wayne movies as a kid.
This review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to check out my non-spoiler article. Keep in mind, this is a short review. It’s not a fully complex three-dimensional epic. Just another typical Western.
Rich & Poor Qualities
Rich: John Wayne & Montgomery Clift both did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday, Rio Bravo) did a decent job directing.
Cinematography captures in-depth imagery of the outdoor atmosphere. Makes me wanna replay “Red Dead Redemption.”
Set Pieces an Costume Designs reflect the Old West.
Unlike most of his movies, John plays an anti-hero who won’t let anybody get in his way to transport the cattle for profit. Even if he goes to extreme measures.
Chemistry between Dunson & Matt serves as the main highlight. Their partnership shapes the story forward. As the sorry progresses, tensions rise between the two.
One character’s named, Groot. This is way before “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Pacing didn’t feel too long. I didn’t bother to look at my watch.
The way they made the cattle move was real. They didn’t have C.G.I. back then to gather a massive group of cattle.
My favorite part is the stampede scene. Again, C.G.I. didn’t exist back then.
If you own a DVD/Blu-Ray copy, the late Peter Bogdanovich talks about the film. You can tell he’s a movie buff.
Poor: A forced romance with Matt & Tess happened. If this were real life, it’ll take a week or two for a pair to properly get to know each other before a relationship is fully established.
A climatic fight near the end became anti-climatic.
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BRIGHTNESS!
Despite two nitpicks, Red River is a solid John Wayne western. If you’re a Criterion Collection enthusiast, grab a DVD/Blu-Ray copy along with Stagecoach. I want Criterion to digitally restore The High and the Mighty.