Red River (1948) Directed by Howard Hawks
Red River tells the epic tale of the cattle drive that opened up the Chisholm Trail in 1867. Like the Odyssey and the Exodus, the journey is fraught with conflict and adventure, but also symbolizes the great American movement westward. Leading the ambitious journey is John Wayne, a ruthless authority figure who runs things his own way. His stepson, Montgomery Clift, has ideas of his own. As in many Wayne movies, the conflict ends in a brawl, brilliantly staged by director Hawks. Only Joanne Dru has the firepower to break it up.