Red River (1948)

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Red River (1948)

Red River (1948). 127 minutes. Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring John Wayne (as Thomas Dunson), Montgomery Clift (as Matthew Garth), Walter Brennan (as Groot Nadine), Joanne Dru (as Tess Millay), Coleen Gray (as Fen), Harry Carey, Sr. (as Mr. Melville), John Ireland (as Cherry Valance), Harry Carey, Jr. (as Dan Latimer), Ivan Parry (as Bunk Kenneally), and Chief Yowlachie (as Two Jaw Quo). Music by Dmitri Tiomkin.

Red River ranks among the greatest celebrations of the open-air American West. During its over two-hour running time, only two scenes take place indoors, and both seem contrived. The fact that they feel out of place thus only reinforces our sense that this movie belongs outdoors underneath a wide, expansive sky. Red River seeks to impart its spirit of hugeness not only in the mass movement of its central cattle drive but also with the mass enthusiasm of its men. Take a look at the scene where John Wayne as Thomas Dunson tells … Read the rest

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

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The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). 126 minutes. Directed by John Huston. Starring Humphrey Bogart (as Fred C. Dobbs), Walter Huston (as Howard), Tim Holt (as Bob Curtin), Bruce Bennett (as James Cody), Barton MacLane (as Pat McCormick), Alfonso Bedoya (as Gold Hat), Arturo Soto Rangel (as El Presidente), Manuel Dondé (as El Jefe), José Torvay (as Pablo), Margarito Luna (as Pancho), Robert Blake (as boy selling lottery tickets), John Huston (as American in Tampico wearing white suit). Screenplay by John Huston. Music by Max Steiner.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is one of director John Huston’s masterpieces. It stars his father, Walter Huston, as a tough old miner who leads two aspiring prospectors into the mountains of Mexico in pursuit of gold. They do find gold, but they also discover a darker side to themselves that leads to betrayal and death. Its story about the corrupting power of wealth is in line with another movie that ends … Read the rest

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

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The Great Train Robbery (1903)

The Great Train Robbery (1903). 12 minutes. Directed by Edwin S. Porter. Starring Alfred C. Abadie (as sheriff), Broncho Billy Anderson (as bandit, shot passenger, and dancer), Justus D. Barnes (as bandit who fires at camera), Walter Cameron (as sheriff), Donald Gallaher (as little boy), Frank Hanaway (as bandit), Adam Charles Hayman (as bandit), John Manus Dougherty, Sr. (as bandit), Marie Murray (as dancer), and Mary Snow (as little girl). Written and produced by Edwin S. Porter.

The silent short The Great Train Robbery is considered to be a landmark in early film. It is the first Western (although it was not shot in the American West), the first action film, and one of the first narrative films. It features legendary Western actor Broncho Billy Anderson, who would go on to found Essanay Studios near Fremont, California. It also contains one of the most iconic final images in all of film: in the last frames, a bandit (played by … Read the rest