Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Bend of the River

Hidden Violence

(All images are details from iPhone photos taken of the film playing from the Kino Blu-ray.)


Shares a plot-arc kick-off with Lang's Western Union from eleven years earlier.

The sympathetic/empathic relationship between Stewart and Kennedy: Kennedy about to be hanged; Stewart rubs his neckerchief. Kennedy chucks a knife into the back of a Shoshone warrior; Stewart has his turn doing the same moments later. They're two men with hidden pasts. Their semblances don't re-match until near the end. Kennedy takes over the caravan to redirect the food supply to the gold camp rather than the settlement, and proves himself just as much a hard-driver as Stewart, in a sequence whose shots Mann frames similarly. Before the two collide in battle in a sun-dappled river, and Stewart alone survives: his own neckerchief's disposed in the aftermath, his own hanging scar revealed for the first time "since [he was] a raider on the Missouri-Kansas border."


Pieces on Anthony Mann at Cinemasparagus:

T-Men [1947]

Corkscrew Alley / Raw Deal [1948]

Bend of the River [1952]

Thunder Bay [1953]


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