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Against the legendary John Wayne, Montgomery Clift plays the character of the Duke's adopted son. His low-keyed performance is, in my opinion, unique at that pre-Marlon Brando time. From his first appearance as a young boy on, Howard Hawks characterizes him as -a man with a gun- and gives to this manly attribute a symbolic role throughout the entire movie. Hence, the relation Montgomery Clift-John Ireland can be read at a level invisible for the blind monks of the Hays Code.
A recurrent theme appearing in the Hawksian filmography is the theme of the Strong Woman. So let's admire the character of Joanne Dru who is not disturbed at all by the arrow stuck in her shoulder and who, later in the movie, is the only character who's got the guts to face John Wayne, the granite Father.
RED RIVER is a movie that must absolutely have a place in your library. It's a movie that has influenced a lot Steven Spielberg and company , it's a milestone in Movie History. It's a masterpiece.
A DVD zone reference.