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JAMES STEWART & ARTHUR KENNEDY IN 'BEND OF THE RIVER'

Arthur Kennedy and James Stewart in Bend of the River directed by Anthony Mann YEAR: 1952
Of James Stewart's "Cowboy Pictures" under the direction of Anthony Mann, WINCHESTER '73 is the most famous, THE NAKED SPUR his edgiest, THE MAN FROM LARAMIE the most underrated, THE FAR COUNTY the most picturesque, and the most uneven is BEND OF THE RIVER, starting out as one of many wagon trailer adventures until leading to Portland, Oregon, making this a North Western much like Jacques Tourneur's CANYON PASSAGE, which this uses chopped-tree-falling stock footage of...

Julia (Julie) Adams takes a while to get the point RATES: ***
At first Stewart, helping a group of mobile settlers, has a distracting voice. Not the usual alum-jawed, slow-paced drawl, it's more like he's imitating Edward G. Robinson. Which kinda fits. Stewart's Glyn McLyntock is a former outlaw, something we learn later after an outlaw friend, saved from a kangaroo court's noose and played by Arthur Kennedy who turns... well... that's a spoiler: What's important is that with Kennedy's initially friendly charm turned cocky bravado, BEND wouldn't be much at all. Rock Hudson as a handsome gambler adds very little...

It's about Kennedy and Stewart — the latter turning into what we'd later refer to as the "Rambo" character or, before that, MR. MAJESTYK: an underrated guy who shows his resilient worth against a ton of odds and proves he's more cunning and badass than any other badass within an untamed terrain that he's become used to. A shame that it took so long for this too happen, before which we got otherwise good actress Julia Adams reacting hilariously slow to an arrow through her chest, and too many familiar character actors talking about what's about to happen. When it finally does — blink once and it's gone.
Literally the bend in the river in BEND OF THE RIVER showing the neat North Western locale
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