Saturday, October 08, 2016
Possibly Hawks' finest Western, rivaled only by RIO BRAVO, it tells the epic story of the first cattle drive on the Chisholm Trail. John Wayne has one of his finest roles as the financially devastated cattle rancher who must move his entire herd from Texas to Kansas, while slowly losing his authority and gradually breaking under the strain of the difficult journey. Montgomery Clift, in a remarkably assured screen debut, is the young ranch hand who defies Wayne in order to assume command and, in true Hawksian fashion, to get the job done right. A rousing score by Dimitri Tiomkin and breathtaking cinematography by Russell Harlan contribute greatly to the film's deservedly high reputation.