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 Red River (1946)

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Cass Dowdy

Posts : 6
Join date : 2013-12-14
Age : 58
Location : Ontario

PostSubject: Red River (1946)   Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:57 pm

John Wayne is big, tough Tom Dunson in this great Howard Hawks picture.
Walter Brennan is Nadine Groot (an odd name), Dunson's side kick. Dunson
and Groot are heading west with a wagon train when they decide to turn
south into Texas. They pick up a stray, a young boy who is the lone survivor
of an Indian attack. Young Matt Garth, played by Montgomery Clift is adopted
by Dunson. The name 'Matt Garth' will show up again 30 years later in the movie
Midway. They cross the Red River and Dunson lays claim to all the land from the
Red River south to the Rio Grande. Fourteen years pass and they have built up
a huge ranch with nearly 10,000 head. Dunson has to get his herd to eastern
markets otherwise he will go broke. They set out on a 1000 mile cattle drive
for the railway in Missouri, a three month ordeal. Some ranchers have tried it
and failed as they ran into Indians and raiders. The cattlemen of Missouri would
block Texas Longhorns from coming east because they carried harmful ticks.
Also, they did not want the added competition, cattle were going for $40 a head
in Missouri and only $4 in Texas. They did not want they market flooded.
Dunson becomes a tyrant as he mercilessly drives the herd and the men harder
and harder. When two of his men are captured after they deserted, Dunson intends
to hang both of them. Garth intervenes and takes control of the drive, leaving a
fuming Dunson behind. Garth changes course and heads north for Abilene Kansas
via the Chisholm Trail. He's gambling that the railway will be there waiting for
them. They make it into Abilene, and the railway, with Dunson in hot pursuit.
Garth sells the entire herd at $21 a head, after paying off the men, he has the
check made payable to Tom Dunson. Garth and Dunson have a confrontation the
next morning, fists fly but all is well in the end. Montgomery Clift was offered the
part of Dude in Rio Bravo but he turned it down. This would have reunited John
Wayne, Walter Brennan, and Montgomery Clift. The role of Dude went to Dean
Martin and the rest is history. Dimitri Tiomkin did the music for this one as he
often did with a Howard Hawks movie. We get to hear 'My rifle pony and me' in
an orchestral version, another Rio Bravo connection.
Red River was filmed in Arizona in 1946.
A great old classic.
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