Main      Site Guide    
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Bend of the River (1952)



Reviews and Comments

Jimmy Stewart is remembered for playing characters who are pretty nice guys. But in Bend of the River and other westerns, he could be a pretty tough guy. This adventure about two men trying to leave dark pasts behind them is the perfect showcase for Stewart's unique screen presence, although it doesn't feel like a showcase for anything but a good story. Stewart has a way of portraying instantly likeable characters, no matter how tough they are or how shadowed their pasts. That's important for buying into the central character of Bend of the River, who tries to help a small group of settlers build homes and farms amidst the tumult of the gold rush. Greed turns fence sitters into profiteers or outright criminals, and that makes things hard all around. High tension and energy keeps this film moving along, and a healthy dose of heart and humanity make the journey worthwhile.