Red River

  • U
  • Howard Hawks (1948)
  • US
  • 127 min
Red River
Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

This magnificent western is one of the greatest achievements of American cinema. Basing his film on co-screenwriter Borden Chase's novel, producer/director Howard Hawks created a rich masterpiece that repays frequent viewings. Set after the Civil War, it follows the journey of a massive cattle drive from Texas to Missouri. Hawks is aided by arguably John Wayne's finest performance (as uncompromising cattle boss Tom Dunson), and Wayne is matched by young Montgomery Clift (in a star-making role as Matthew Garth, Dunson's fast-on-the-draw ward). This is Hollywood film-making at its highest level, with music by Dimitri Tiomkin and photography by Russell Harlan that enhances and embellishes the text, it's not to be missed.

Plot Summary

Conflict grows between a tough Texan rancher and his Civil War veteran foster son during a 1,000 mile cattle drive to Missouri. The older man's uncompromising methods and unyielding outlook lead his workers to mutiny - and the son ends up siding with the rebellious ranch hands against his father. Howard Hawks' Western, starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan, Joanne Dru and Coleen Gray.

Cast and crew


Thomas Dunson
John Wayne
Matthew Garth
Montgomery Clift
Tess Millay
Joanne Dru
Groot Nadine
Walter Brennan
Coleen Gray
Cherry Valance
John Ireland
Buster McGee
Noah Beery Jr
Chief Yowlachie
Mr Melville
Harry Carey
Dan Latimer
Harry Carey Jr
Teeler Yacy
Paul Fix
Matt as a boy
Mickey Kuhn
Dance-hall girl
Shelley Winters


Howard Hawks

Other Information

Black and White
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate U