Borden Chase and Charles Schnee (screenplay, based on a story by Borden Chase), Howard Hawks and Arthur Rosson (directors) Red River / 1948
Howard Hawks' 1948 film, Red River, is certainly one of the greatest of Hollywood westerns. If its plot and even cinematography is a bit old-fashioned, the inter-relationships between characters and the films presentation of a stampede, Indian attacks, and the plain dust and dirt of a cattle drive is incomparable.
Never liked seeing strangers. Maybe it's because no stranger ever good-newsed me.
At the other side of Dunson (Wayne) sits his adopted son, Matt Garth (broodingly and beautifully played by Montgomery Clift). Although tough in his own way—after having seen the Indians destroy his family and, later, having served in the Civil War—he is a far gentler and ruminative version of Dunson. Dunson has certainly plotted out his path in life, but Garth time again describes himself as having "figured it out." Unlike Dunson, he has done serious thinking about the choices before him, and ultimately, despite his loyalty to Dunson and his love for him, it will be at the center of their parting ways.
Cherry: That's a good looking gun you were about to use back there. Can I see it? (Matt turns, strokes his nose with his thumb and looks a bit amused, then hands his gun over. Cherry takes the gun.) And you'd like to see mine. (Cherry draws his own, and reciprocates by handing it to Matt. Cherry examines Matt's gun.) Nice! Awful nice! (Looking somewhat sideways at Matt) You know, there are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. You ever had a good Swiss watch?
Matt: (pointing toward a tin can in the distance) Go ahead! Try it! (Cherry fires a shot and knocks a can into the air. Matt also hits the can in the air with a shot of his own)
Cherry: Hey! That's very good! (Matt shoots at another can, knocking it into the air. Cherry hits it in the air with a shot of his own.)
Matt: Hey! Hey! That's good too! Go on! Keep it going!
It's clear their shooting serves them as a kind of orgasm that they hope may never end.
Los Angeles, March 4, 2011