Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Tonight's Movie: Bend of the River (1952)

BEND OF THE RIVER is a tremendously entertaining Western starring James Stewart. It's one of eight films Stewart made in the '50s with director Anthony Mann.

The movie has it all: an engaging performance by Stewart as a former outlaw turned wagon train guide, plus action, romance, comedy, spectacular Oregon scenery, and a deep supporting cast. Stewart's costars are Arthur Kennedy, Julia (later known as Julie) Adams, and Rock Hudson. The many recognizable supporting players in the film include Chubby Johnson, Harry Morgan, Jay C. Flippen, and Frances Bavier (Aunt Bee from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW).

I have special memories of Julie Adams. When I was in high school I had a nonspeaking supporting role as a student in a local junior college production of THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE. "Miss Adams," as we called her, starred in the play. She was gracious and professional, and I treasure my signed program and the memory of having performed on the same stage with her. She is still acting, appearing this year in WORLD TRADE CENTER and episodes of the TV series LOST. For more photos and biographical information on Julie Adams, look here and here.

BEND OF THE RIVER was shot in Technicolor and runs 91 minutes. It's available on DVD and video.

The movie is also part of the Turner Classic Movies library.

October 2011 Update: I've written a more detailed review of BEND OF THE RIVER in conjunction with seeing it at the Egyptian Theatre with Julie Adams in attendance.

2019 Update: This film is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. My review of the Blu-ray is here.


Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know why but it was released over here in the UK as 'Where the River Bends'.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Very interesting, MIke! The titles are so similar, I'd be curious to know what the thinking was in modifying it for the UK.

Best wishes,

8:10 PM  

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