This movie is considered one of the classic westerns but has a strange ending. This Howard Hawks directed film was nominated for two Oscar’s but didn’t win in either category. The film is rated 7.8 on iMDB.com[1] and scores 100 percent on the Tomatometer and has an impressive 87 percent audience score on rottentomatoes.com[2].

The great film critic Roger Ebert named the essence of the film with his quote “…Red River” is one of the greatest of all Westerns when it stays with its central story about an older man and a younger one, and the first cattle drive down the Chisholm Trail. It is only in its few scenes involving women that it goes wrong[3].” Ebert points out a few more things like that the film is rooted in classic tragedy as the son needs to kill his father to achieve manhood and the man strives to live through his son.  He also says that film critic Tim Dirks said this move parallels the “Mutiny on the Bounty” storyline.

Another Ebert quote that is appropriate is “Two men act out a fierce psychological rivalry for two hours, only to cave in instantly to a female’s glib tongue-lashing.”

What is good about this movie is the joy the men show at the beginning of the drive, which clearly influenced City Slicker (1991), the flow of cattle across the landscape, and the ease with which the men did their jobs. They worked hard and endured with their reward somewhere over the horizo

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