The Western is a particularly masculine genre and Red River is an archetypal male-bond movie. Conflict between the men is acted out with a symbolic phallus - who has the fastest draw? Comedy consists of rough male banter. For example, playing poker, Groot, the garrulous old cook (Walter Brennan), loses his false teeth to an Indian in the company. When at one point on the trail he asks for them back because they 'help to keep the dust outta my mouth' Quo the Indian replies, 'Keep mouth shut. Dust not get in.' When women do appear in the film, at the beginning and the end, their performance is stilted, perhaps because they are required to act and talk more like men than women. Women are kept to the margins in Red River, even though in the end they are what is at stake, what is fought for.