Howard Hawks

Red River

Red River

No matter what genre he worked in, Howard Hawks played by his own rules, and never was this more evident than in his first western, the rowdy and whip-smart Red River. In it, John Wayne found one of his greatest roles, as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son—played by Montgomery Clift, in a breakout performance—reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri. The film is based on a novel that dramatizes the real-life late nineteenth-century expeditions along the Chisholm Trail, but Hawks is less interested in historical accuracy than in tweaking the codes of masculinity that propel the myths of the American West. The unerringly macho Wayne and the neurotic, boyish Clift make for an improbably perfect pair, held aloft by a quick-witted, multilayered screenplay and Hawks’s formidable direction.

Film Info

  • Howard Hawks
  • United States
  • 1948
  • 127 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #709

Special Features

  • 2K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 2K digital restoration of the longer, prerelease version of Red River, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2014 with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
  • Interview from 2014 with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
  • Interview from 2014 with film scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about the western genre
  • Audio excerpts from a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
  • Audio excerpts from a 1970 interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Red River from 1949, featuring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, and Walter Brennan
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby (dual-format only); a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel (dual-format only)
    New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • 2K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 2K digital restoration of the longer, prerelease version of Red River, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Interview from 2014 with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
  • Interview from 2014 with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
  • Interview from 2014 with film scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about the western genre
  • Audio excerpts from a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
  • Audio excerpts from a 1970 interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
  • Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of Red River from 1949, featuring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, and Walter Brennan
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby (dual-format only); a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel (dual-format only)
    New cover by Eric Skillman
Red River
Cast
John Wayne
Thomas Dunson
Montgomery Clift
Matthew Garth
Joanne Dru
Tess Millay
Walter Brennan
Nadine Groot
Coleen Gray
Fen
Harry Carey Sr.
Mr. Melville
John Ireland
Cherry Valance
Noah Beery Jr.
Buster McGee
Harry Carey Jr.
Dan Latimer
Chief Yowlachie
Quo
Paul Fix
Teeler Yacey
Hank Worden
Simms Reeves
Mickey Kuhn
Young Matthew Garth
Ray Hyke
Walt Jergens
Hal Taliaferro
Old Leather
Ivan Parry
Bunk Kenneally
Credits
Director
Howard Hawks
Produced by
Howard Hawks
Screenplay
Borden Chase
Screenplay
Charles Schnee
From the Saturday Evening Post story by
Borden Chase
Codirector
Arthur Rosson
Photographed by
Russell Harlan
Film editor
Christian Nyby
Art director
John Datu Arensma
Sound
Richard Deweese
Music composed and directed by
Dimitri Tiomkin
The song “Settle Down” by
Dimitri Tiomkin
Music recorder
Vinton Vernon
Makeup
Lee Greenway
Special effects
Donald Steward
Special photographic effects
Allan Thompson
Assistant director
William McCarrey
Production manager
Norman Cook

From The Current

Hooked on Film: David Thomson on Howard Hawks’s Red River
Hooked on Film: David Thomson on Howard Hawks’s Red River

For a program on our forthcoming release of Howard Hawks’s 1939 romantic adventure drama Only Angels Have Wings, we sat down for an interview with film critic and historian David Thomson. In our conversation with him, Thomson shared his formative e…

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Peter Bogdanovich on John Wayne in Red River
Peter Bogdanovich on John Wayne in Red River

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 ma…

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Red River: The Longest Drive
Red River: The Longest Drive

Howard Hawks was both a skillful Hollywood craftsman and a deeply personal artist, and this western of uncommon wit and grandeur is among his greatest and quirkiest films.

By Geoffrey O’Brien

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Tracy Letts’s Top 10

Tracy Letts is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for drama for August: Osage County and a Tony Award for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Movie-Crazy: A Conversation with Allan Arkush
Movie-Crazy: A Conversation with Allan Arkush

In 1970, legendary filmmaker Roger Corman founded New World Pictures, an independent studio that produced and distributed everything from B-movies and exploitation films to acclaimed foreign art-house fare by Federico Fellini, François Truffaut, and…

By Hillary Weston

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Red River: An Interview with Christian Nyby
Red River: An Interview with Christian Nyby

The following is excerpted from an interview with Red River editor Christian Nyby that critic Ric Gentry conducted in 1991.

By Ric Gentry

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