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4.6 out of 5 stars
39
4.6 out of 5 stars
Bend Of The River [DVD]
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on 29 May 2017
I recently watched this film, for what might have been the tenth time on television. I remember as a child being a cowboy enthusiast to the ninth degree, sleeping with my cowboy hat on etc. James Stewart had a particular delivery of his lines that both annoyed and enthralled, certainly adding to the earnestness of his performances. As I have a sizeable collection of films which includes westerns, naturally I felt inclined to add this one. It should be a testament to his star appeal, even after all these years that, people will watch his performances and wish to keep copies of them.
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on 31 July 2017
Good DVD.A good moral tale that you get from most early Cowboy films,, it's good to learn things as you watch, about people's character and how people react to it. Beautiful country and good script.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 November 2006
Bend of the River is in many ways Anthony Mann's `nicest' Western, but underneath the gorgeous Technicolor location work there's a darker side to Stewart's border raider desperate to reform and his relationship with friendly enemy Arthur Kennedy that threatens fireworks to come - and when they do, in the last 20 minutes, there's no problem in believing the depth of Stewart's rage or the relentlessness of his pursuit. Shot on many of the same locations as the even darker The Far Country, it's still terrific entertainment. Stepinfetchit's role is a little uncomfortable, but compared to the humiliation inflicted upon him in other pictures he's allowed a bit more dignity here than usual, closer to Hank Worden's Old Mose Harper in The Searchers than the racial stereotypes other directors expected.

As with Universal's DVD of Winchester '73, the print quality isn't always quite as good as it could be, but it's an acceptable transfer.
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really great
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on 9 October 2017
Classic western - James Stewart at his best.
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on 24 February 2007
Although James Stewart had appeared in the western DESTRY RIDES AGAIN (1939) he was more likely to be found in some sophisticated comedy or other up to and after WW2. Then he played the former army scout Tom Jeffords in BROKEN ARROW (1950). Directed by Delmer Daves.

Next came his first collaboration with director Anthony Mann in WINCHESTER '73 (1950) filmed in black & white, following the success of these two well-received westerns, James Stewart's and Anthony Mann's second western outing was BEND OF THE RIVER aka WHERE THE RIVER BENDS (1952). Adapted by Borden Chase (script writer) from a story "Bend of the Snake" by William Gulick, this time with the added bonus of Technicolor and the beautiful scenery on and around Mount Hood, Oregon, USA. Although BROKEN ARROW was made first it was released after WINCHESTER '73.

Starring along with James Stewart are Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson and Jay C Flippen. The last two also appeared with Stewart in the aforementioned WINCHESTER '73 Wagon Master Jeremy Baile (Flippen) is leading a group of settlers from Missouri to Oregon. McLyntock (Stewart) is the scout who saves Cole (Kennedy) from a lynch party, both men turn out to be former Missouri border raiders during the Civil War. Along the way they meet Indians, Gold Fever, Treachery and the Forces of Nature.

Made in only six weeks BEND OF THE RIVER turned into a cash machine for Universal and was one of the most successful westerns of all time (Inflation adjusted).

Finally this magnificent western puts the Mann-Stewart partnership second only to John Ford and John Wayne. No matter how often I see this film it remains one of my favourite westerns ever, and still looks fine on this 2004 DVD Release. Look out for the 2006 DVD release of THE NAKED SPUR (1953) the third western in the Mann-Stewart series.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 April 2009
Having watched this film recently, it reminded me what a very good Western it is. "Bend in the River"(52) is the second in the series of Western collaborations between James Stewart and the director Anthony Mann. The series included "Winchester 73"(50), "The Naked Spur"(53),"The Far Country"(55) and "The Man from Laramie"(55). A very fine series of Westerns that redefined the psychological Western and the use of landscapes to match the mood of the characters. The screenplay was written by Borden Chase who also wrote Winchester and the Far Country.

The story concerns two men, Glyn McLyntock played by Stewart and Emerson Cole played with great flair by Arthur Kennedy. They are both former outlaws having been Missouri raiders. Glyn has gone good, but Emerson remains a rotten apple at heart. When the two assist a wagon train of settlers in Oregon, Emersons true self comes to the surface like the festering "Picture of Dorian Gray". In a climactic fight which unusually takes place in a raging river, Glyn is forced to kill Emerson. He is free to settle down with the very attractive daughter of a settler.

The film is beautifully shot. Not in a prairie location as the Amazon synopsis suggests. Unless I am mistaken Prairies consist of a lot of undulating grasslands and not majestic mountain peaks and glaciers which Oregon most certainly has. The cast is particularly strong. Rock Hudson turns up as Trey Wilson a gambler on the good guy's side. Jay C Flippen plays a settler and the attractive Julie Adams provides the love interest. Harry Morgan also appears as a heavy. Hard to reconcile that with his role in MASH.

This film is ravishing to look at it. It is unfortunately marred slightly by Stepinfetchit's racial stereotype, more in keeping with Harriet Beecher Stowes "Uncle Toms Cabin". This will not endear it to many but it is a minor blemish given the overall picture. I like the scene where the Jay C Flippen character whilst sifting through a barrel of apples hooks out a rotten one and compares it with Emerson. He alludes to his past and being unable to change. Stewart with his own dark past replies "Apples aren't like men". At the films ending, Flippen knowing McLyntock's past is forced to concede that point. It is true we can change for the bad. But it is equally true that we can change for the good. A very enjoyable film.
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on 23 December 2000
A great western full of adventure and gunfights. James Stewart always appears to take the role of an extremly convincing cowboy and never more so than in this film. The scenery is breathtaking.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 2 March 2009
Having watched this film recently, it reminded me what a very good Western it is. "Bend in the River"(52) is the second in the series of Western collaborations between James Stewart and the director Anthony Mann. The series included "Winchester 73"(50), "The Naked Spur"(53),"The Far Country"(55) and "The Man from Laramie"(55). A very fine series of Westerns that redefined the psychological Western and the use of landscapes to match the mood of the characters. The screenplay was written by Borden Chase who also wrote Winchester and the Far Country.

The story concerns two men, Glyn McLyntock played by Stewart and Emerson Cole played with great flair by Arthur Kennedy. They are both former outlaws having been Missouri raiders. Glyn has gone good, but Emerson remains a rotten apple at heart. When the two assist a wagon train of settlers in Oregon, Emersons true self comes to the surface like the festering "Picture of Dorian Gray". In a climactic fight which unusually takes place in a raging river, Glyn is forced to kill Emerson. He is free to settle down with the very attractive daughter of a settler.

The film is beautifully shot. Not in a prairie location as the Amazon synopsis suggests. Unless I am mistaken Prairies consist of a lot of undulating grasslands and not majestic mountain peaks and glaciers which Oregon most certainly has. The cast is particularly strong. Rock Hudson turns up as Trey Wilson a gambler on the good guy's side. Jay C Flippen plays a settler and the attractive Julie Adams provides the love interest. Harry Morgan also appears as a heavy. Hard to reconcile that with his role in MASH.

This film is ravishing to look at it. It is unfortunately marred slightly by Stepinfetchit's racial stereotype, more in keeping with Harriet Beecher Stowes "Uncle Toms Cabin". This will not endear it to many but it is a minor blemish given the overall picture. I like the scene where the Jay C Flippen character whilst sifting through a barrel of apples hooks out a rotten one and compares it with Emerson. He alludes to his past and being unable to change. Stewart with his own dark past replies "Apples aren't like men". At the films ending, Flippen knowing McLyntock's past is forced to concede that point. It is true we can change for the bad. But it is equally true that we can change for the good. A very enjoyable film.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 April 2011
The second of five genre defining Westerns that director Anthony Mann made with James Stewart, Bend Of The River is the first one to be made in color. The slick screenplay is written by Borden Chase from William Gulick's novel "Bend Of The Snake," with support for Stewart coming from Arthur Kennedy, Julie Adams, Rock Hudson & Jay C. Flippen.

Stewart plays guide Glyn McLyntock who in 1847 is leading a wagon-train of homesteaders from troubled Missouri to the Oregon Territory. What the group are hoping for is a new start, a paradise, with McLyntock himself hoping for a new identity to escape his own troubled past. But after rescuing Emerson Cole {Kennedy} from a lynching, it's an act that has far reaching consequences for McLyntock and the trail once they get to Portland.

In typical Anthony Mann style, McLyntock is a man tested to the maximum as he seeks to throw off his shackles and find a new redemption within a peaceful community. Cloaked in what would be become Mann's trademark stunning vistas {cinematography courtesy of Irving Glassberg}, Bend Of The River is often thought of as the lighter tale from the Stewart/Mann partnership; most likely because it has more action and no little amount of comedy in there. But although it's a simple story in essence, it is given a hardboiled and psychological edge by the makers. An edge that asks searching questions of its "hero" in waiting. Can "McLyntock" indeed escape his past? And as a "hero" is it OK to use violence when he is wronged? Potent stuff that is acted with tremendous gravitas by Stewart.

Very recommended picture, but in truth all five of them are really. 7/10
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