The Red River D Belt Buckle

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    There are 98 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Drpmkp.

    • It would be interesting to see photos of some of the other 1946 buckles that were given out to the cast and crew of 'Red River' before they are lost or mysteriously disappear.
      The buckle that Howard Hawks owned with the "JW" initials is also unaccounted for. The close-up photos I have seen are the ones for John Wayne, Montgomery Clift and Norman Cook. I don't know who now owns the Montgomery Clift buckle.
      Apparently the women in the cast and crew received buckles made in a different size. I have never seen a photo of any of those buckles.
      There was a 1948 version of the buckle made for the movie's opening that year. I don't believe I have seen any photos of any of those either.
    • I agree that the buckles were probably intended to look exactly the same. However, each of them were individually hand crafted by a skilled silversmith that would more than likely show slight unintended differences in each. Just looking at the John Wayne, Montgomery Clift and Norman Cook buckles you can see that the Norman Cook buckle does not have the "r" loop in the word "River." It originally could have had it but perhaps maybe repaired at some point after it was made.
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    • Another Red River D belt buckle mystery? I recently found a post about this particular buckle on the Internet. This is a silver and gold belt buckle given to a female cast/crew member by Howard Hawks when she worked on the movie Red River in 1946. It contains the initials "HMC" in the lower left corner. It reportedly was stolen from a house on the Klamath River near Seiad Valley in Northern California on July 5, 2015. Record No. 54630. Reward: $2000.
      Does anybody have any idea what female cast or crew member that the "HMC" stands for on this buckle?
      • Red River D HMC Buckle - 01.jpg

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    • Fascinating thread folks! Interesting things being shared. :thumbup:
      Kevin - Moderator/Administrator
      Official JWMB online store
    • I would like to share with you a couple of interesting articles I discovered from 2013 on the subject of vintage Mexican silver. In the second article it talks about the Red River D buckle and the La Azteca Silver Shop in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The last sentence in the part II article mentions a coming third and last installment to the story.
      I never found the third installment to the story. I did, however, contact the author of the articles. I was informed that they never got around to writing the third installment. They will review their notes from 2013 and contact me with more information on the subject. I definitely look forward to finding out what other information might be revealed!

      Part One:
      Vintage Mexican Silver: Plateria La Azteca, John Wayne's Red River Belt Buckle and the silversmithing of the Martinez family: Part One

      Part Two:
      Vintage Mexican Silver: Plateria La Azteca, John Wayne's Red River Belt Buckle and the Silversmithing of the Martinez family: Part Two
    • During the 1940s and 1950s there were numerous Westerns such as 'Red River' being filmed on locations in southern Arizona. Just outside of Tucson was a large western movie set called 'Old Tucson.'
      In those days movie studio executives, crew and cast members such as John Wayne and other celebrities would regularly go to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico for food, drinks and entertainment. Nogale's main claim to fame was 'La Caverna' also known as 'The Cavern,' a restaurant built into a rock wall just a few feet from the border.
      Here is an interesting video about 'La Caverna' Restaurant:

    • John Wayne always loved the southern Arizona region. He purchased a ranch around the same time the film ‘Red River’ was being made. It was referred to as ‘The Red River Ranch.’

      In the late 1960s John Wayne climbed atop a rise on the ranch overlooking the handsome Santa Cruz Valley in Arizona near the Mexican border and envisioned building a huge compound for his family there.
      The 4,200-foot rise, known as 'Duke's Hill,' was the highest point of Wayne's 670-acre spread of Sonoran Desert, with a view of cottonwoods lining the Santa Cruz River, just six miles from Nogales, Sonora, one of the actor's favorite haunts. However, Wayne died in 1979 before he could start building on his 100-acre hill.

      Cattle rancher, partner and longtime friend of John Wayne, Ralph Wingfield, in 1998 at the age of 89 said the scenic land was never developed because "John got sick and I got too old." Wingfield died in 2001 at the age of 91. Ralph Wingfield supplied cattle for the movie “Red River” starring John Wayne and the two men became good friends.

      The spread, surrounded by several working ranches and adjacent to the Nogales International Airport, was eventually put up for sale by Duke’s sons Michael and Ethan Wayne. It was the last of the Wayne land legacy in Arizona, which served as the landscape for some of the actor's best-known Western movies.

      I recently found a listing of the property on a real estate site. I don’t know if it ever was sold, being resold or perhaps it could just be an old outdated listing. I would be interested to know what ever became of ‘Duke’s Hill.’ Was it ever developed? Was it subdivided?
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    • @Drpmkp there's a thread from 2011 discussing Dukes hill at "dukes hill ranch in arizona" The listing you've found might be an old listing.
      Kevin - Moderator/Administrator
      Official JWMB online store

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