James Stewart’s “Bend of the River” Remains the Definitive Western

Now available on Blu-ray from KL Studio Classics, the 1952 Western Bend of the River stars James Stewart as Glyn McLyntock — a former outlaw who is now working clean as a wagon scout on a perilious mission to assist a group of settlers in their journey to make new lives in Oregon Territory. His abilities are pushed to their limits by numerous problems, including attacking Native Americans, a gold rush that’s driving supply prices up, rations that are rapidly being depleted, and, most disturbingly, trouble caused by associate Emerson Cole (Arthur Kennedy) — a thief who he helped saved from being executed but who now has become a deadly rival.

Here’s the film’s theatrical trailer:

The impressive supporting cast for this picture — which earned a jaw-dropping for its time $3,000,000 at the box office during its initial 1952 release — includes Rock Hudson, Julie Adams, and Harry Morgan.

The just-released Blu-ray includes audio commentary by film historian Toby Roan as well as the movie’s original trailer. It looks and sounds better than ever before, ensuring that Bend of the River‘s status as a legendary Western is assured for another generation of viewers.