Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Red River (1948)

After losing the woman (Coleen Gray) he loves in an Indian attack, a cattleman (John Wayne) discovers a young boy (Mickey Kuhn), who survived the Indian attack, wandering in the wilderness. He adopts him and as a young man (now played by Montgomery Clift), they set out to take their cattle to Missouri to sell. But the trek proves far more treacherous than expected and a split comes between the two men. This Howard Hawks western is one of the great films in the genre. The detailed focus on characterization rather than action is unusual in a western of this period. It's also one of Wayne's 2 or 3 best performances and one of the more complex characters he's played. After screening the film, John Ford is reputed to have said, "I didn't know the SOB could act!". The untrained Wayne and the "method" acting Clift would seem, in theory, not a good idea but they play beautifully together. Only Joanne Dru as Clift's love interest seems out of place. Russell Harlan's (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) B&W images give the film an epic feel though I could have done without Dimitri Tiomkin's over emphatic underscore. With Walter Brennan, John Ireland, Harry Carey (both Sr. and Jr.), Paul Fix, Chief Yowlachie and Shelley Winters in a don't blink or you'll miss her bit part. 

No comments:

Post a Comment