Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Inasmuch as Gunsmoke star James Arness was the protégé of movie luminary John Wayne, it is altogether fitting and proper that Arness step into Wayne's role in the 1988 TV-movie remake of the film classic Red River (1948). The remake follows the original slavishly, at least during the first half. Taciturn, no-nonsense trail boss Arness, in charge of a major cattle drive, runs roughshod over his hired hands. The trail boss' adopted son (Bruce Boxleitner playing the role essayed by Montgomery Clift in the original) finally rebels against the old man's tyranny and signs on with a rival outfit. Gregory Harrison, who also co-produced the film, co-stars as the hot-headed character played by John Ireland back in 1948. Incredibly, Arness is largely absent in the closing scene of the TV version of Red River (1988), thereby weakening the story's fabled showdown denouncement. The film pales in comparison to the original, though TV fans will find compensation in the presence of several former western-series stars (Guy Madison, Ty Hardin, Robert Horton, John Lupton) in supporting roles. Red River (1988) first rode over the TV horizon on April 10, 1988.
cattle-drive, cattle, son, trail-boss, rebel, driver