dir. howard hawks
“Well, I don’t like to see things goin’ good or bad. I like ’em in between.”
Upon seeing his friend John Wayne star in Red River, director John Ford was reported as saying “I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act!”
Leading a herd of cattle across the midwest, Tom Dunson and his adopted son Matt (Wayne and babe Montgomery Clift) find themselves at odds with each other regarding what’s best for themselves, the herd, and the help they’ve brought along the way.
It’s a good film; not the strongest addition to Wayne’s or Hawks’ filmographies, but a solid film all around. It was predictable and it didn’t knock my socks off; it doesn’t have the comedy of Stagecoach or the cinematography of The Searchers. It’s just kind of there, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not great either.
Criterion Spine #709