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For our release of Howard Hawks’s Red River, we asked the legendary director and writer Peter Bogdanovich to share his thoughts on the film, which he ranks as one of his favorites. (He once called it “the best epic western ever made.”) Among many topics, he covers John Wayne’s performance, discussing the importance of the role in the Duke’s career. In this excerpt, he says it was the first time this Hollywood icon played a character who wasn’t wholly likeable, paving the way for other complex parts that walked the line between hero and villain.