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Bend of the River (1952)

1:47 | Trailer
When a town boss confiscates homesteader's supplies after gold is discovered nearby, a tough cowboy risks his life to try and get it to them.


Anthony Mann


Borden Chase (screenplay), William Gulick (novel) (as Bill Gulick)





Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Glyn McLyntock
Arthur Kennedy ... Emerson Cole
Julie Adams ... Laura Baile (as Julia Adams)
Rock Hudson ... Trey Wilson
Jay C. Flippen ... Jeremy Baile
Lori Nelson ... Marjie Baile
Chubby Johnson ... Cap'n Mello
Stepin Fetchit ... Adam (as Stepin' Fetchit)
Harry Morgan ... Shorty (as Henry Morgan)
Howard Petrie ... Tom Hendricks
Frances Bavier ... Mrs. Prentiss
Jack Lambert ... Red
Royal Dano ... Long Tom
Frank Chase Frank Chase ... Wasco
Cliff Lyons ... Willie
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Two men with questionable pasts, Glyn McLyntock and his friend Cole, lead a wagon-train load of homesteaders from Missouri to the Oregon territory. They establish a settlement outside of Portland and as winter nears, it is necessary for McLyntock and Cole to rescue and deliver food and supplies being held in Portland by corrupt officials. On the trip back to the settlement, up river and over a mountain, Cole engineers a mutiny to divert the supplies to a gold mining camp for a handsome profit. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The greatness...the glory...the fury...of the Northwest Frontier!


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Did You Know?


Filmed on Mt Hood in July 1951 See more »


Near the middle of the movie, the wagons filled with supplies for the settlement have stopped to "noon" just above the tree line. Just as Glyn rides up to get a cup of coffee, there are a series of what look like power poles or telephone lines at the left side of the screen on the horizon. See more »


Cap'n Mello: You're a little naked to go calling on Hendricks. You ain't wearin' a gun.
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Referenced in Sometimes a Great Notion (1971) See more »

User Reviews

James Stewart leads a wagon-train across Oregon territory facing off mean miners , starving prospectors and corrupt officials
7 April 2017 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Moving Western in which a gunfighter called McLyntock must battle nasty miners , ambitious prospectors and a corrupt owner , including spectacular landscapes . From Universal-international a breathtaking as well as rip-snorting Western that shows the greatness , the glory , the fury of the untamed Northwest frontier . Stars a tough , hardened gunslinger guide McLyntock (James Stewart) who leads his wagon train challenging the gold-rich glory that was Oregon full of mountains with snow , scarlet with sin , yellow with the dust that lured him on . As a self-minded , haunted cowboy (James Stewart) leads his wagons plenty of settlers (Julie Adams , Lori Nelson , J.C.Flippen) and herd to Portland , in hopes of huge profits . Glyn McLyntock saves from a lynching and befriends another gunfighter , Cole (Arthur Kennedy) , and when they arrive in Portland both of whom lead and transport cows by boat . At last , they arrive in Portland , a bustling little town filled with prospectors and usual saloons . Later on , they have to escape from nasty town boss who confiscated homesteader's supplies after gold is discovered nearby . McLyntock and his partners end up having supplies and herd back from the villain baron .

One of a series made by star Stewart with director Anthony Mann , it features splendid Western vistas , fierce gun-play and fist-play , ambiguous roles , impressively busy crowd sequences and many other things . Adventure western movie in which a two-fisted cowboy leads his wagons and herd through Oregon territory , pitting himself against the wilderness , bandits , mean prospectors , traitors and an ambitious , corrupt boss town . This is an epic western filled with ambiguity , thrills , emotion , dual characters , some ambivalent roles in which stand out their corruption and ambition and being ¨Greed¨ their essential objective . The film is divided in three parts , the first one describes on rout to their destination ; the intervening period dealing with the busy town Portland and third part concerning on the trip back to the settlement , up river and over a mountain . Set late XIX Century , it shows the moral obligation to build a civilized community and need to a collective effort , joining individuals against corrupt and selfish people . Interesting and stirring screenplay based on the novel titled ¨Bend of the snake¨ by Bill Gulich . Sympathetic as well as brave acting by the great James Stewart as the stubborn Mclyntock who must fight frontier lawlessness and locks horns with a crooked colleague , magnificently played by Arthur Kennedy . Stewart is top-drawer as an ex-Pistolero who risks his life to attempt and get provisions to homesteaders to build their promised land . Stewart has top grade character written all over it . Gorgeous Julie Adams as the good-bad girl who must be forgiven in the end . Support cast is frankly extraordinary with a large plethora of illustrious names , such as : Lori Nelson , Harry Morgan , Jack Lambert , Frank Ferguson , Royal Dano , Cliff Lyons , and special mention for Jay C. Flippen as the grizzled westerner and a show-stealing acting by the always great Chubby Johnson who gives the comic relief talking about river Mississipi . And one of the first important roles for Rock Hudson who received extreme cheering and applause at the premiere .

Lyric and stirring musical score by Hans J. Salter . Colorful cinematography in Technicolor Irving Glassberg , and the Oregon sets takes it out of the ordinary Western scenarios , being shot in Oregon , mostly in Mount Hood, Timberline, Columbia River, Sandy River, Oregon , Sacramento river in northern California , Rooster Rock State Park, Palmer Glacier , Mount Hood, Columbia River Gorge , Washington . The motion picture was stunningly directed by Anthony Mann . Being made during Mann's best period of work . The film forms a stunning diptych along with ¨Bend the river¨ by the awesome quartet : Anthony Mann , screenwriter Borden Chase , producer Aaron Rosenberg and James Stewart who made a great number of top-notch films . This is another superbly powerful triumph from Anthony Mann who realized various Western masterpieces such as ¨The furies¨ , ¨Devil's doorway¨ , ¨Tin star¨ , ¨Man of the West¨ and several with his habitual star , James Stewart , many of them playing more violent , ruthless and cynical roles than usuals , such as : ¨Winchester 73¨ , ¨Bend the river¨ , ¨The far country¨ , ¨Man from Laramie¨ , ¨Colorado Jim¨ , ¨Thunder Bay¨ , ¨The Glenn Miller story¨. Rating : Above average ; it is probably one of the best Western in the fifties . Well worth watching .

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Release Date:

15 April 1952 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Bend of the Snake See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbia River, Oregon, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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