4 Movie Marathon: James Stewart Western Collection
Bend of the River
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.
The Far Country
James Stewart and Walter Brennan are a loner and his sidekick who figure to get rich quick by selling a herd of cattle at a fancy price in this tale set in the wild gold-rush days of Dawson, Yukon Territory. They are soon caught up in conflict with the local, self-appointed lawman, John McIntire, and his claim-jumping henchmen. When Brennan is killed, Stewart is f-rced to put an end to rampant lawlessness in a guns-blazing climax. Ruth Roman plays a saloon keeper who falls for Stewart. Also stars Steve Brodie, Jack Elam, Jay C. Flippen, Kathleen Freeman, Chubby Johnson, Henry Morgan and Robert Wilke. Anthony Mann directed the film, which was shot on location in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.
When the local railroad becomes the constant target of a band of desperadoes led by the notorious Whitely Harbin (Dan Duryea), train officials recruit soft-spoken but life-hardened employee Grant McLaine (Stewart) to guard the payroll from any more robberies. Trouble is, the gang's most skilled and lethal gunslinger, the Utica Kid (Audie Murphy), is Grant's kid brother. Torn between the bonds of blood and his allegiance to the railroad, Grant finds himself hoping for the best but preparing for the worst as the train comes under attack from Harbin's bandits, climaxing in an unforgettable gun battle as the brothers from opposite sides of the law meet again to settle an old score.
The Rare Breed
Veteran Western director Andrew V. McLaglen puts his brand on this exciting story, based on America's acquisition of English Hereford cattle (which would phase out Texas longhorns). In the 1880s, Englishwoman Martha Price (Maureen O'Hara) and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills) come to America to sell their prize Hereford bull at an auction. When he is purchased by Bowen, a wild Scotsman (Brian Keith), the women hire a footloose cowhand named Burnett (James Stewart) to help them transport the animal to its new owner. So begins an adventure that test the mettle of all involved as they battle killers, cattle stampedes - and each other. But when they reach Bowen's ranch, even greater obstacles f-rce them to summon up extraordinary courage if they, and the prize bull, are to survive.