Black SplatRed River (1948)

"Cherry was right. You're soft. You should’ve let him kill me, ‘cause I’m gonna kill you."

Red River - John Wayne and Montgomery Clift

Description: John Wayne as cattle drover Tom Dunson quietly swearing vengeance to his adopted son in the motion picture Red River (1948).

In the film. Tom Dunson adopts a young boy who survives a wagon train massacre by Indians. Along with sidekick, Nadine Groot (Walter Brennan), the three set out to build a cattle empire. When Matt is grown, he accompanies Tom on a massive cattle drive north from Texas to the Missouri railhead.

Along the way, Matt feels it would be better to lead the cattle to a new railhead in Kansas. Tom disagrees but Matt wins the confidence of the drovers and takes the herd away from Tom and heads to Kansas. Feeling betrayed, Tom tells Matt he may have won this roumd, but the next time they meet, he will kill him. As Matt leaves, Tom vows:

“Cherry was right. You're soft. You should’ve let him kill me, ‘cause I’m gonna kill you...I don’t know when, but I’ll catch up. Ever time you turn around, expect to see me. ‘Cause one time you’ll turn around and I’ll be there...and I’m gonna kill you, Matt.”

Earlier in the film, Cherry Valance (John Ireland), a cattle drover, tells Matt, "You're fast with that gun, Matt. Awful fast. But your heart's soft. Too soft. Might get you hurt some day."

Matt successfuly moves the herd to Kansas, but soon after, Tom arrives with gun in hand looking for revenge. Cherry Valence tries to head off Tom, but Tom shoots Cherry, who gets off a shot and hits. Tom in the side.

Approaching Matt, Tom challenges him to draw, but Matt refuses to draw on his father. Frustrated, Tom fires at Matt, grazing his chin with one of the bullets. When Matt still refuses to draw, Tom tosses his gun away and slugs Matt in the face. Tom continues to pummel his son until Matt decides he's had enough and punches Tom in the face, knocking him to the dust.

Red River - John Wayne and Montgomery Clift fight

The two continue their rough and tumble fistfight until Tess Millay (Joanne Dru) fires a warning shot and reminds them they love each other and their fighting is stupid and should stop. Tom and Matt then realize they are a family again and go home together.

Red River - Tess Millay breaks up fight with gun

Tom: When we get back to the ranch, I want you to change the brand. It'll be like this: The Red River D, and we'll add an M to it. You don't mind that, do you?
Matt: No.
Tom: You earned it.

Red River - Poster

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