By Suzanne Liandrat-Guigues
This learn explores the thematic complexity of Red River, in addition to its ancient resonances and its position in movie background. the writer makes a speciality of the actors' contribution to the motion picture and on Red River's dating to different Howard Hawks motion picture classics.
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Extra resources for Red River (BFI Film Classics)
Nothing matters beyond their struggle in an enclosed space, which 44 William Wyler allows him to experiment with the framings that would invest the story with visual and geometric tension. Throughout his career as a director, Wyler would thrive in the studio setting with properties, often originating on the stage, that were limited and confining, thus pushing him to experiment further with depth-of-field staging, which tested the limits of the shot’s visual richness. 2 Coming into His Own Counsellor-at-Law (1933) The experience of directing A House Divided whetted Wyler’s appetite for more serious projects.
Like the original, their script, titled “Forgotten Boy,” was about children who had run away from home during the Depression because their parents could not support them. Many of them rode the rails, crossing state lines. In some states, officials refused to allow these children to get off the trains, and when a dozen of them died from starvation and thirst in a Texas boxcar, it caused a national scandal. Wyler and Huston traveled around California, talking to brakemen, hobos, and kids. Wyler also had a reader from the studio search for stories in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner about children caught committing crimes, and he attended night sessions of juvenile court.
Huston recalled the script’s final scene, involving two boys who had Coming into His Own 47 tried to rob a pawnshop: “One of them had been seriously wounded—dying—and the other held a menacing crowd at bay with a gun in his hand. ’”7 The film was never made because, according to Huston, as it was being prepared for production, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s new administration promptly put these runaways to work in the reforestation program of the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1932, Wyler directed a film for Universal, Tom Brown of Culver, about a rebellious boy attending a military academy and his relationships with various friends.