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Author Topic: Bend of the River (1952)  (Read 4812 times)
dave jenkins
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« on: August 28, 2006, 03:51:44 PM »

Playing on AMC this week. A good Anthony Mann Western (starring Mt. Hood) that anyone who has not yet seen it should watch.

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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2009, 10:32:26 PM »

I remembered nothing of this. It's great in the first part, but in the second there's something that doesn't make it work completely, probably a bit too repetitive. Kennedy is very good, I could have done without Flippen's character. Anyway a solid 7\10

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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2009, 10:47:05 PM »

Playing on AMC this week.

I'll watch it but not on AMC.

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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 06:28:35 PM »

It features some of the best locations and, above all, the best music of the Stewart/Mann collaborations.

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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 09:07:19 AM »

I hadn't been able to track this down at all, despite months of searching - not at Pitt, not at Carnegie, not at Family video, not on Netflix. Then yesterday I see it on sale for five dollars at Wal-Mart! Shocked I may have to go back and buy it.

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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2010, 01:09:34 PM »

Bend of the River - 8/10 - Middling by Anthony Mann standards, which still means a pretty solid Western. If the movie has any major flaw, it's that it frequently recalls Red River - sometimes in excusable generalities, others in particulars, especially in the second half. At least the story is well-executed, and lacking the Hawks film's awful ending, and there's lots of action and plot twists to keep things moving. As usual for a Mann flick, the gorgeous, well-photographed locations are the high point, even if some of them are used repeatedly. Bland score. James Stewart is about par for the course. Arthur Kennedy is very good but his double-cross of Stewart isn't wholly convincing; he got a better part in Man From Laramie. Julia Adams is pretty; Rock Hudson is pretty useless. A good flick on the whole, and certainly worth $5.

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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2010, 04:59:08 PM »

My favorite Mann western in color. I like the plot, which is not a mere situation, but a story the unfolds over a period of time. I also like the Arthur Kennedy character, who is just ambiguous enough to leave you uncertain about which way he's going to jump. The only thing that disappoints me is Stewart's too rapid recovery from Kennedy's betrayal. It should take Stewart weeks to catch up with the others, and we should be with him every agonizing step of the way, experiencing the hardships, the despair, until, at last, Stewart engages with Kennedy for the final reckoning. In a perfect world of perfect films we'd see Stewart beating Kennedy to death with his bare fists.

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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 01:18:20 PM »

Well, I was going to post my full-length review of Bend of the River here...

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« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2010, 10:54:07 PM »

Better don't do it now, the stars could burn out instantaneously if such act was to be carried out.

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« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 02:10:08 AM »

Just saw Bend of the River, the best thing about it is the locations, otherwise it's nothing special 6.5/10



I have now seen all 5 Mann/Stewart Westerns, and I have to say that The Far Country is the only one that I thought was a very good movie. The Man from Laramie is good (I saw 'em both a long while ago, but I guess the rating would be something like an 8/10 for TFC and a 7 or 7.5/10 for TMFL). I did not like the other 3 (Winchester '73, Bend of the River, The Naked Spur); although The Naked Spur is the only one of the 5 that I would say was a BAD movie. The ending to The Naked Spur was just absolutely ridiculous (not that it was good up to that point either, but) the notion that after going through all that shit, Stewart would just bury Ryan and not collect the bounty, is just plain stupid.

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« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 03:26:41 AM »

The Naked Spur is my least favorite also of the Stewart-Mann Westerns

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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2016, 10:26:59 PM »

I pretty much agree with 2010 Grogg's assessment.

There is too much plot, almost to an episodic extent, to the point where this needed a rewrite that was built around Stewart's and Kennedy's characters, causing their rift to mean something instead of having a character pull a 180 because the lead villain was killed.

This is a lot like The Far Country, good locations (did both movies use the same locations in spots (?)), but it has a messy story and this lacks the darkness of Laramie and Naked Spur, which really handle Stewart's characters amazingly well. Yeah, I know I'm alone there, but those two movies build momentum with every scene, and the entire film is built on character. Plot driven westerns or movies are great, but not when things are sloppily executed. Bend of the River, like The Far Country, falters on repeated views.

It still gets a 7.5/10 because of the direction and locations and it's certainly better than the average oater of its time, or any time for that matter. But it lacks the subtext and/or that quality that there's something deeper going on. Bend of the River is what it is.


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« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 05:29:47 AM »

It still gets a 7.5/10 because of the direction and locations and it's certainly better than the average oater of its time, or any time for that matter. But it lacks the subtext and/or that quality that there's something deeper going on. Bend of the River is what it is.
Did you just say "subtext"? Yeah, with a bit of tweaking this could have been called Kink of the River.

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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 09:33:03 AM »

Did you just say "subtext"? Yeah, with a bit of tweaking this could have been called Kink of the River.

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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 05:37:14 PM »

I like Laramie a lot, Naked Spur not so much. Bend's pretty unremarkable and that early rating seems high.

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