In the move Red River there appears to be two very strong alpha male cowboys. Both Tom Dunson and Matt Garth have the look and possess certain skills such as a quick draw of a gun that would define an alpha male cowboy. However as the movie went on you came to realize that Tom and Matt had opposing viewpoints and feelings on certain issues. On the long and grueling cattle drive Matt often showed compassion for the men on the drive that Tom did not. When one man started a stampede that lost a portion of the cows and killed one of their men Tom reacted with anger towards this man trying to whip him. To protect himself this man drew a gun on Tom. Matt quickly shot the man in the shoulder because he knew Tom would have “shot him between the eyes” and killed him. Latter in the movie Matt saved two men that deserted the party from being hung. A cut throat attitude and call to duty that are two attributes the alpha male cowboy possess. Tom clearly shows both of these characteristics. Matt’s understanding and compassion shown towards the men starts to pull the viewer away from the idea that Matt is an alpha male cowboy.
The alpha male cowboy is supposed to be emotionless. Fear is something that the cowboy is never supposed to show. After Matt took over the cattle drive Tom stated he would be back to kill him. When Matt’s love interest in the movie comes to see him she notices that he is shaking. It is very clear that Matt is afraid of the arrival of Tom. This proves that Matt cannot be an alpha male cowboy.
Finally at the end of the movie it is implied that Matt will marry his love interest in the movie. Even Tom tells him he better marry her. The cowboy can have a love interest but when the movie ends the alpha male cowboy is always alone. Even though at the beginning of the movie there appears to be two alpha male cowboys, as the movie progresses the viewer realizes there is only one.