Blu-ray, DVD Release: Red River

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 27, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Studio: Criterion

Red River.

John Wayne and Montgomery Clift head to Missouri in Red River.

No matter what genre he worked in, Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday) played by his own rules, and never was this more evident than in his first western, the rowdy and whip-smart 1948 film Red River.

In this American cinema classic, John Wayne (True Grit) found one of his greatest roles as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son, played by Montgomery Clift (From Here to Eternity) in a breakout performance, reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri, which is based on a real-life late nineteenth-century expedition.

Yet 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, multi-layered screenplay and Hawks’s formidable direction.

Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the movie includes the following features:

• New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River
• New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
• New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
• New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature
• Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
• Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
• Two Blu-rays and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
• More!
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel, previously out of print


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.