Red River (1948)

Director: Howard Hawks

1948, 133 minutes, Digital, NR

Cast: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Coleen Gray

John Wayne stars as headstrong frontiersman Tom Dunson, who is taking his leave of a westbound wagon train to seek his fortune in Texas. This impulsive act loses him the love of his fiancée Fen (Colleen Gray), but gains him a lifelong friend in old camp cook Groot Nadine (Walter Brennan). Not long afterward, Dunson discovers that Fen was killed in an Indian raid, a fact that leaves him an emotionless cipher. The only survivor of the tragedy is a young orphan named Matthew Garth (Mickey Kuhn), whom Dunson unofficially adopts as his son. As the years pass, the tactiturn Dunson becomes the most powerful and feared cattle baron in the territory, but the grown-up Garth eventually rebels against Dunson.

In his quest for perfection, director Howard Hawks went $1 million overbudget and several months over schedule, but the end result was a $4 million hit, and is considered essential viewing for western buffs in particular and film buffs in general,