The beef market collapsed after the Civil War in an impoverished south. Those Texas ranchers who emerged from the hostilities with their lives and who survived the carpetbaggers with their land were hard-pressed to eke a legitimate living from the prarie. Few could sell their own cattle, let alone any others they could rustle and rebrand.
Click here to see the rest of this review
The work of a successful rancher involved, first of all, building or rustling a herd large enough to make a 1,000-mile trip to Missouri or some other northern market worthwhile, while establishing the famed Chisholm Trail. That success assumed, secondly, that he could inspire, motivate, or shame enough able-bodied sound-minded armed desperate men, usually single and sufficiently afraid or respectful of him, to hazard the exploit. Third, he would be obliged to negotiate passage through and beyond other bands of cattle herdsmen or rustlers. Many, in fact, would build their notoriety on the efficiency with which they could gun them down for as little reason as possible. Fourth, if that were not enough, he would also have to "negotiate" passage through and beyond plains Indians. Among these, the Comanchee expressed a clear disappointment with his single purpose and presence on their ancestral land, which was right in the middle of the Chisolm Trail. They made the point convincingly in many ways, but their favorite was by shooting cattlemen through with traditionally-feathered arrows from galloping painted ponies while riding bare-back. Fifth, his cattle would be of a herd mentality and would spook at anything, then trample anyone nearby to dust to get -- well, anywhere else at all, specifically in every direction. Sixth, any one of this rancher's men would drop him and the herd like a nail clipping for a pretty girl, a loose woman, or simply a good time, roughly defined as a drop of cheap liquor or a card game with a stacked deck.
Needless to say that after considering all of this, almost everyone qualified [those standing] find the stated proposition attractive enough and signs on for the all expenses-paid possibly one-way trip through Indian territory and cattle poop to glory. In the film, young brides dream of red shoes, their grooms of a shot of Red Eye Whiskey, and their trail bosses of the Red River brand being seered into the flesh of anything nearby that moves [and a shot of Red Eye Whiskey].
Arguably the greatest moment of the film arrives near the very beginning, in a prolonged period of silence, as the camera pans our intrepid decision makers and their four-legged money just about to take their first steps together.
The review of this Movie prepared by Lee Kane
RED RIVER is a western directed in 1948 by Howard Hawks. In 15 years, John -Thomas Dunson- Wayne has become the greatest rancher of the southern part of Texas, but to sell his cattle, he must take his 9000 cows to Missouri, a 1000 miles journey through the desert and the indian territories. Soon Dunson, more and more isolated among his own men, must also deal with the rebellion of Montgomery -Matthew Garth- Clift, his adopted son.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler