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Red River (1948) Meanders Down to the Criterion Collection

Red River (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

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The Criterion Collection released Red River to Blu-ray on May 29, 2018. Howard Hawks directed the film starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, and Joanne Dru.

‘Red River’ Criterion Summary

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.

Read the full summary, and listen to our film review.

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
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 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

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Monterey Productions released Red River on September 17, 1948. Howard Hawks directed the film starring John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, and Joanne Dru.

User Rating: 3.7 ( 1 votes)
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