Bend of the River
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Man-with-a-past James Stewart guides a band of pioneers from Missouri over the Oregon Trail to a new life in the Columbia River Basin in this Western adventure directed by Anthony Mann. When the settlers are cheated out of their supplies and cattle, Stewart crosses rivers, climbs mountains, and out-guns greedy hijackers to ensure their survival through the first winter. Along the way, he is double-crossed by ally Arthur Kennedy and assisted by handsome San Francisco gambler Rock Hudson and beautiful farmer’s daughter Julie Adams. Veteran entertainer Stepin’ Fetchit is featured as the riverboat cabin boy.
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Incidentally, anyone with a serious fascination with the great Leone works will be delighted to find, in these two series, the sources of lots and lots of quotes. The gang (Leone, Bertolucci, etc.) responsible for Il Brutto and Once upon a Time ... were watching. "Frank? Why Frank?"
There is not much to be said about this DVD transfer, just that as MGM/UA, even Universal Studios don't do too much with their classics, except transferring their Films in digital format.
One must also add, that so far, since the copies transferred, where almost pristine looking, save some minor scratches and dust speckles, their DVDs, and those of MGM/UA, still look at least decent if not good on a 16:9 Television.
Yet one wonders why they never bother to restore them digitally to a cleaner copy and perhaps adding some depth to their soundtracks.
But it is a James Stewart Western, and like those of the Duke, they cannot be missed and on DVD they really look at their best.
They are just Classics and as such, they should be part of any serious movie collector's movie vault.