As a precursor to our film project, 12 Western Feature-Length Films in 12 Months, which Running Wild Films and 5J Media will start producing in 2016, director Travis Mills shares his thoughts on films from the genre as he studies Westerns in preparation for our own. Follow the project here on Facebook

This series of short blogs is titled “Western Impressions”.

Bend of the River (1952)


Another masterpiece or close to masterpiece from Anthony Mann. This film was the most unpredictable I’ve seen of the Stewart collaborations. I didn’t expect Rock Hudson and Arthur Kennedy to join Jimmy’s side when he makes the move on the bad guy but it works, so so well. And I didn’t expect that bad guy to be taken out of the equation so quickly only to be replaced by another, and then another. Once again, Borden Chase proves himself as one of the greatest of all Western screenwriters. The story and structure is fantastic; Mann/Stewart and team fill it out so well. My only complaint is the climax which disappoints. Something else was needed here… more of a solo encounter between Kennedy and Stewart in the woods and also a stronger choice for Hudson between good and evil.

Lasting impression: Julia Adams, I fell in love with her watching this film.