Bend of the River (1952)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.
Classics , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


James Stewart
as Glyn McLyntock
Julie Adams
as Laura Baile
Arthur Kennedy
as Emerson Cole
Rock Hudson
as Trey Wilson
Lori Nelson
as Marjie
Jay C. Flippen
as Jeremy Baile
Harry Morgan
as Shorty
Chubby Johnson
as Cap'n Mello
Howard Petrie
as Tom Hendricks
Frances Bavier
as Mrs. Prentiss
Royal Dano
as Long Tom
Frank Chase
as Wasco
Cliff Lyons
as Willie
Frank Ferguson
as Don Grundy
Donald Kerr
as Barker
Philo McCullough
as Prospector
Lillian Randolph
as Aunt Tildy
George Taylor
as Prospector
Britt Wood
as Roustabout
Henry Morgan
as Shorty
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Bend of the River

All Critics (6)

It's like Stewart was pouring every negative emotion he felt over the past ten years into one moment.

Full Review… | July 4, 2014
Antagony & Ecstasy

Against Mann's splendors, as always, lie the elusiveness of civilization, the flux of alliances, and the purgative wrestling of warriors

Full Review… | April 6, 2010

The screenplay keeps the simple tale moving at a furious clip.

Full Review… | July 7, 2008

One of five masterful Westerns Anthony Mann made with James Stewart.

Full Review… | January 17, 2008
Combustible Celluloid

One of the greatest Westerns ever.

Full Review… | November 5, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

June 17, 2005

Audience Reviews for Bend of the River

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 Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


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
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

Furious! One great western. Apparently, the road to redemption involves kicking all kinds of ass.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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