Bend of the River

1952

Bend of the River

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,147
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Bend of the River Photos

Movie Info

In this film, James Stewart stars as a former outlaw, now working as trail guide for a group of Oregon-bound farmers. He is aided in this endeavor by a far-from-reformed horse thief. Upon arriving in Portland, Stewart gets in the middle of a scam operated by trader Howard Petrie.

Cast

Critic Reviews for Bend of the River

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (8)

Audience Reviews for Bend of the River

  • Oct 09, 2015
    Some minor flaws aside, (one dated racial typecast character, a simplistic mining- agriculture dichotomy) I consider this one of the best westerns you'll ever see, and a great movie outside even its genre trappings. One of the most interesting facets of this film is the interplay between its gun wielding characters, and their shaky alliance which unfolds in a riveting way. Bend of the River also contains one of James Stewart's darkest on screen moments, and it comes off as both believable and awesome.
    Paris S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 19, 2012
    One of James Stewart's best westerns, and another great teaming between him and director Anthony Mann. It's fast moving, with excellent cinematography, good performances all around, and a solid script. James Stewart was completely believable as the bad ass trying to leave his past, and is matched well against men of similar backgrounds but dubious character. The plot is a simple one, but is kept interesting through twists and double crosses that work because of a script that succeeds in its characterizations. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • May 10, 2009
    The second and most visually breathtaking of the Anthony Mann/James Stewart westerns. In this one, Jimmy plays a former Missouri border raider guiding a wagon train of intrepid farmers up to Oregon, where he hopes to bury his past and start a new life as a rancher. Depicting the settlers' journey as the kind of long, hard slog usually reserved for a Werner Herzog movie, it is astonishing how much action and adventure Mann manages to cram into these 90 minutes. The core of the movie, however, is the uneasy but mutually respectful friendship between Stewart and Arthur Kennedy, a fellow border raider Jimmy rescues from a lynch mob. The script cleverly uses Kennedy, who is much less eager to reform than Stewart, to illustrate the kind of a man Jimmy must once have been, and the crueller side of his nature he is desperately fighting to suppress. The only real weakness here is Rock Hudson's character, a callow professional gambler standing at a crossroads between a virtuous or a wicked path in life (Stewart's or Kennedy's). I can see why he's in the picture but he's not really given anything to do, and you'll notice that Hudson is always conveniently out of the way whenever Stewart and Kennedy butt heads, presumably to defer his taking of a side for as long as possible.
    Stephen M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2009
    one of the greatest of the stewart/mann westerns. arthur kennedy is really great here as a slippery outlaw with a twinkle in his eye
    Stella D Super Reviewer

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