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709 - Red River


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#1 Izo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:02 PM

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RED RIVER
Howard Hawks

United States • 1948 • 127 minutes • Black and White • 1.33:1 • English
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, which is based on a real-life late nineteenth-century expedition. Yet 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.

DISC FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River
  • New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
  • New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
  • New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature
  • Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
  • Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
  • More!
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel, previously out of print


#2 Izo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:03 PM

Notes:

  • DVD/BD Release Date: May 27, 2014


#3 Izo

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Posted 18 February 2014 - 10:38 PM

I only saw this film once, years ago, but I really loved it right up until the ending.  The extras on this (and the novel!) are extremely tempting.  I'll definitely be picking this up.



#4 Lawrence

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:24 AM

This is one of those films I'm certain I must have seen when I was little, but I doubt I've seen since. I'm not huge on westerns, but when they're good I really love them. I've heard this talked up by numerous people over the years, so I'm actually quite looking forward to it.


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#5 clydefro

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 10:49 PM

This is actually my favorite film John Wayne was in but it's primarily because of Montgomery Clift. I love that Wayne is really not a hero or the guy you want to emulate here. Clift isn't necessarily either but his character (and the dynamic with Wayne's) is what makes it all interesting. 

 

The other cool thing to keep in mind is that Howard Hawks was not at all a westerns filmmaker. This was his first and he didn't make another until Rio Bravo, and only doing a couple more after that. Hawks' masculine style certainly fit within the western genre but he nonetheless didn't bother with it for most of his career. 

 

I am so happy to finally see this coming after literally years of anticipation. I never even bought the MGM DVD because it's pretty lackluster and I'm itching to see the film again. 



#6 John Beresford Fiptipton

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Posted 17 August 2016 - 12:09 PM

For my first post on Criterion Forum, may I say that I really appreciate Criterion's careful attention to this film. American westerns constitute some of the finest films ever made, and Red River is one of the best. Up until that notorious ending. In the original ending, Tom Dunson forces walks down the street and forces Mat Garth into a fight, but Garth proves faster with a gun. Dunson is shot. This inevitable conclusion was scrapped, and the new ending is what you see. I suppose Joanne Dru sells the scene, but I don't know anyone who likes it. But that's neither here nor there.

 

I've seen Red River screened many times over the years, beginning in the 1970s in 35mm at festivals and repertory theaters, and of course on television and video. But I've never seen it quite so sharp and bright. While I welcome the sharpness and clarity of the hi-def scan, one doesn't have to know the film from 35mm screenings to realize that this transfer is two or three clicks too bright. Drastically so. Texture and mood is lost. This is an error in the grading process. I do wish that Criterion would take another look and acknowledge that a mistake to the detriment of the film has been made.






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