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Bend of the River (1952)

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.

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

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

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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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the film received generally poor reviews, it is noteworthy as marking a turning point in James Stewart's career, as he began to play much more violent, cynical and ruthless characters. See more »

Goofs

At the base of Mt Hood, the settlers are attacked by a band of Indians that the trail guide declares are Shoshone. Although there were Shoshone (Paiute) tribes in southeast Oregon, Mt Hood is in north central Oregon along the Washington border - too far to the northwest to have been on any Shoshone ground. See more »

Quotes

Jeremy Baile: I don't like that man Cole.
Glyn McLyntock: Why not?
Jeremy Baile: I heard Grundy say he was a raider on the Missouri border.
Glyn McLyntock: Well, lots of people used to raid along the border.
Jeremy Baile: That kind can't change. When an apple's rotten, there's nothing you can do except throw it away or it will spoil the whole barrel.
Glyn McLyntock: Well, there's a difference between men and apples.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A cut above usual Western fare
16 July 2006 | by matchettjaSee all my reviews

The story revolves around a group of pioneers traveling the Oregon Trail on their way to start new lives in the Oregon territory. After purchasing supplies in Portland and a promise to have them delivered before winter, they begin building their settlements in the valley they have chosen. In the meantime, gold is discovered in the territory and a dispute arises as to who will get those precious wagon loads of supplies.

There is much to enjoy. The cinematography, filmed in the Columbia River Gorge and around Mt. Hood in Oregon, is wonderful. We also get a glimpse of Celilo Falls, once a sacred fishing site for native Americans in the area but now buried beneath the waters backed up behind the Dalles Dam. The music score blends in nicely with the action and there is plenty of that. Of the actors, Rock Hudson seems out of place, but James Stewart more than makes up for it with his frenzied performance. He is electric when, left behind on the mountain side, he tells his adversary, "You'll be seeing me!"

However, this film is not without its faults. Quite a lot of blood is shed trying to get those wagons delivered but it doesn't seem to be much cause for concern or regret, as if life out on the frontier didn't hold much value. Characters are introduced one moment to be summarily disposed of the next. Trail boss Stewart, a former border raider during the Civil War looking to change his life, still uses violence on behalf of the settlers, who seem to enjoy moral superiority over the miners.

Thus, I don't consider "Bend of the River" among the best of several director Mann/actor Stewart collaborations of the 1950's. Even so, it is a cut above usual Western fare. The scenery, music and steel-eyed Stewart are all magnificent.


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