(1948)5Lucia BozzolaIn his first collaboration with John Wayne, Howard Hawks examines capitalism and dueling masculinities in the rousing context of a Western cattle drive. A Mutiny on the Bounty for Big Sky country, Red River features a challenge between Montgomery Clift's Matthew Garth and Wayne's Tom Dunson that becomes a contest between new and old models of Western manhood -- a clash enhanced by the different performance styles of ambiguous, Method-acting, proto-rebel Clift and stolidly imposing star Wayne. Young and adaptable, Garth sees the necessity of finding new markets and cooperating with a community, including such potential adversaries as John Ireland's gun-loving Cherry, while Dunson's Old West individualism becomes an inflexible, economically ruinous monomania. The unsympathetic Dunson challenged the traditional Wayne persona, presaging the disturbed Western heroes that proliferated in the 1950s and 1960s, including Wayne's later role as psychotic Ethan Edwards in John Ford's The Searchers (1956) and in the films that Red River writer Borden Chase wrote for director Anthony Mann. Powered by Russell Harlan's dynamic yet moody black-and-white cinematography and Dimitri Tiomkin's score, Red River became a substantial hit, confirming Clift's star quality in his film debut and earning Oscar nominations for Chase and action editor Christian Nyby; it still stands as one of Hawks's top Westerns.