Howard Hawks, sometimes wrongly conflated with John Ford, has not started by Western. RED RIVER was nevertheless the first step in the genre before Rio Bravo does not provide him with the card of a member of the very closed club of the undisputed masters of the 7th art
It was in 1851 that the case is proceeding, a convoy is brutally attacked by the deadly fire of the indians while young Tom (John Wayne), a strong man who has the life in front of you, just made his farewell to his dear and tender. Therefore, the world wobbles, the Civil war, and the Carpetbaggers sweep the lands in the South used to be ” lush “, carried by the wind and RED RIVER flies, fifteen years later, providing the passage one of the most beautiful ellipses of the history of the cinema, on a promise, to build the biggest farm that America is never known, a breeding disproportionate amount of some 10 000 animals.
RED RIVER then sinks into a dark melancholy that emerges from a black-and-white as majestic as a desert. Because fifteen years later, Tom is an old man cantankerous, totalitarian and tired. In front of this giant, reign the enthusiasm of Matt (Montgomery Clift), this small boy picked up on the low side of the American dream. It is an avatar of Tom, became at the option of the years, his mentor. Matt is an innocent resurrection, but also, a faithful companion along the way. And then, finally, the project seems to become reality when fifteen years of hard work come to their terms. Suddenly, as an inevitability, the whole thing collapses and the impossible journey, the last chance the tip of its nose. The sale cattle will be at any price and the deep wounds of the past, will reappear on the big day.
At the heart of a staging arid, turbulent, raging, the mutiny grew up in the shadow of the intransigence of blind Tom and Howard Hawks auscultating in each plan, the conflict range between the past and the future, between Tom and Matt, between madness and reason. Therefore, the dialogue is increasingly rare, and deafness, more and more obvious. It is found in John Ford, and more particularly in The Charge-Heroic (1949), at the same time as RED RIVER raises the question of a community scope at arm’s length by the true hero of the Story, disappear. In Hawks, also, the woman holds a place of first choice in this group fractured from the inside. This saving power, which emerges like a miracle incredible, never gives up before the fight, the contradiction, and closes with tenderness the heavy scars of the past.
“RED RIVER, as the river bloodied by the life and crosses the time.”
Needless to say, the RED RIVER is a masterpiece. It is above all a journey that explores the reasons for the immortals, such as the history of America and its conquest by the West, which built the group, and the sense of selfless sacrifice. Howard Hawks sign, therefore, an epic story, flayed, moving, where you can admire the composition as tyrannical as melancholy of John Wayne. RED RIVER, as the river bloodied by the life and travels through time, is the story of a man forever scarred, stuck between two worlds, who clings to his dream as his life. The essence of the Western.
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• Production : Howard Hawks
• Screenplay :Borden Chase & Charles Schnee, based on the work of Borden Chase
• Main actors : John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru
• Release Date : August 1949
• Date of recovery : January 17, 2018
• Duration : 2h13min