Red River [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1948]

  • SKU: 8191700
  • Release Date: 07/08/2014
  • Rating: NR
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Red River [Criterion Collection] (DVD)  1948 - Larger Front
Red River [Criterion Collection] (DVD) 1948
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Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)


Red River
John Wayne -- showing off a darker side to his screen persona than we'd previously seen -- portrays Thomas Dunson, a frontiersman who, with his longtime partner Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), abandons a westbound wagon train in 1851 to make his future as a rancher in Texas. Doing so forces him to abandon Fen (Colleen Gray), his fiancee -- and when she is killed in an Indian raid a short time later, it taints any good that Dunson might find in the future he carves out for himself, destroying any joy he might derive from life. The sole survivor of the raid is Matthew Garth (Mickey Kuhn), a young orphan who is unusually handy with a gun for one his age -- and already knows how to channel his grief and horror at what he's seen, as much as Dunson does. Dunson informally adopts Matt as his son, and over the next 14 years he builds up one of the largest ranches in the entire state of Texas. And all of it is worth nothing, a result of the economic ruin wrought on the state in the aftermath of the Civil War. Matthew (Montgomery Clift), now back from the war and doing some of his own adventuring, finds a darker, more taciturn Dunson than he's ever known -- as Groot tells it, he's afraid because he just doesn't know how to fight the threats he now faces. With Matthew now returned, Dunson decides to move his herd, nearly 10,000 head of cattle, to Missouri, where there is a market for beef, over 1000 miles away through territory controlled by border gangs hundreds of men strong that have stopped every cattle drive up to now, and Indians who have picked off what the gangs missed. Dunson drives his men as hard as he does himself, relentlessly, till even some of his best hands break under the strain -- and he's not above killing anyone who challenges his authority on the drive. He's able to hold them in line as long as Matthew backs him up, and he does until Dunson, exhausted and worn down by lack of sleep, finally goes too far. Matthew steps in, backed by laconic, smirking gunman Cherry Valance (John Ireland) and most of the rest of the men and takes the herd from Dunson. Leaving his father and mentor behind, he heads the herd toward Kansas, where -- so the men are told -- there's a new railroad. Along the way, he meets Tess Millay (Joanne Dru), a card-dealer who falls in love with the young man. But he has to finish the drive and leaves her behind, much as Dunson left Fen. And they all know that Dunson is coming after Matthew to kill him. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • John Wayne
    John Wayne - Tom Dunson
  • Montgomery Clift
    Montgomery Clift - Matthew Garth
  • Joanne Dru
    Joanne Dru - Tess Millay
  • Walter Brennan
    Walter Brennan - Nadine Groot
  • Coleen Gray
    Coleen Gray - Fen

Overall customer rating

would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Western some may not have seen

    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is my favorite Western, period, and not just my favorite John Wayne western. I really like Rio Bravo, The Searchers, True Grit, Stagecoach, the Dollars Trilogy (Clint Eastwood), and the list goes on; but this is my favorite. Maybe I am biased towards wagon-train/traveling by wagon adventures and cattle drive movies, though. My favorite John Wayne movies are this and Stagecoach. I just feel like I am back in the old west on a cattle drive watching Red River. The fact that they filmed these old westerns on location really creates a great atmospheric feel. This is a less bombastic and more nuanced (but still powerful) performance by John Wayne, showing that he he could really act if he tried.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic Movie Even Better on Blu-Ray

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    This is one of John Wayne's greatest movies. The picture quality is fantastic. The special features are very good and informative.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Criterion rules!

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is another great release from Criterion, with so many excellent supplements to go with the movie.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Classic western

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    John Wayne at his best in this fabulous flight. Even better in bluray

    I would recommend this to a friend

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