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Bend of the River [DVD] [1952]

Release Date:05/06/2003
Anthony Mann's Bend Of The River (1952) was his second film starring James Stewart, following Winchester '73 by a year. It tries hard to emulate that earlier movie, and mostly succeeds despite such distractions as Technicolor and a somewhat too opulent score by Hans J. Salter, and perhaps the multi-layered, knowing irony that laced the script of the earlier movie. On a technical level, however, it is well nigh impossible to complain about this DVD, which has been impeccably mastered. Indeed, this is a better looking presentation of the movie than one can get anywhere today except perhaps the Universal Studios screening room. The mastering is so clear, that the scenes between Stewart and co-star Arthur Kennedy starting at three and a half minutes in look almost like a beautifully lit broadcast of a live performance, and might be the best Technicolor that this reviewer has ever seen used in a western. The movie has been given a generous 20 chapter markers, all of which refer to a key plot point. The original trailer ignores the psychological side of the plot as well as the characters' complexities, in favor of the action. The only other extras are French, Spanish, and English subtitles and captions, accessible through a two-layer menu that opens automatically on start-up, with the "Play" command in the default position.

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    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1 out of 1)

    Special Features

    • Original theatrical trailer


    Bend of the River
    Another of the collaborations between actor James Stewart and director Anthony Mann, Bend of the River casts Stewart as a former outlaw, now working as trail guide for a group of Oregon-bound farmers. He is aided in this endeavor by Arthur Kennedy, a far-from-reformed horse thief. Upon arriving in Portland, Stewart gets in the middle of a scam operated by trader Howard Petrie, who has reneged on his promise to ship goods to the settlers. Unable to take action through legal channels, Stewart and farmer Jay C. Flippen steal the provision and scurry back to the settlement by boat. On their return, they discover that Kennedy has sold out to the crooked Petrie and intends to reclaim the supplies, taking Flippen and his daughter Julie Adams as hostages to ensure safe passage. It's up to Stewart to turn the tables on his former friend and save the day. As in the other Stewart-Mann productions, Jimmy breaks away from his usual easygoing screen persona to play a tough, self-serving rugged individual, whose true motives and loyalties remain in doubt until the very end of the film. Bend of the River was adapted by Borden Chase from Bill Gulick's novel Bend of the Snake. Watch for Stepin Fetchit, Rock Hudson, Royal Dano, and Frances Bavier in minor roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • James Stewart
      James Stewart - Glyn McLintock
    • Arthur Kennedy
      Arthur Kennedy - Emerson Cole
    • Julie Adams
      Julie Adams - Laura Baile
    • Rock Hudson
      Rock Hudson - Troy Wilson
    • Lori Nelson
      Lori Nelson - Margie Baile

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.