Film Review v- THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955)

James Stewart and Cathy O'Donnell in The Man from Laramie (1955)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (USA, 1955) ***½
      Distributor: Columbia Pictures; Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation / William Goetz Productions; Release Date: 13 July 1955 (USA), August 1955 (UK); Filming Dates: 29 September–26 November 1954; Running Time: 104m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: 4-Track Stereo (RCA Sound Recording); Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: CinemaScope; Aspect Ratio: 2.55:1; BBFC Cert: U.
      Director: Anthony Mann; Writer: Philip Yordan, Frank Burt (based on the novel by Thomas T. Flynn); Producer: William Goetz; Director of Photography: Charles Lang; Music Composer: George Duning; Film Editor: William A. Lyon; Art Director: Cary Odell; Make-up: Clay Campbell; Sound: George Cooper.
      Cast: James Stewart (Will Lockhart), Arthur Kennedy (Vic Hansbro), Donald Crisp (Alec Waggoman), Cathy O’Donnell (Barbara Waggoman), Alex Nicol (Dave Waggoman), Aline MacMahon (Kate Canaday), Wallace Ford (Charley O’Leary), Jack Elam (Chris Boldt), John War Eagle (Frank Darrah), James Millican (Tom Quigby), Gregg Barton (Fritz), Boyd Stockman (Spud Oxton), Frank DeKova (Padre).
      Synopsis: A stranger defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.
      Comment: Fifth and final Western collaboration between director Mann and start Stewart. It is another psychological tale with Stewart seeking revenge on the gun-runners who traded rifles to the Apaches who killed his brother. Stewart gets involved in a range war between Crisp and MacMahon in the process. Lively actions scenes and strong dramatic moments occasionally bring overwrought performances from less experienced members of the cast, but Stewart and Kennedy deliver the goods. Believed to be the first Western shot in cinemascope and Lang’s photography captures the New Mexican vistas admirably.
      Notes: The theme song was written by Lester Lee and Ned Washington and was recorded in the United States by Al Martino and in the United Kingdom by Jimmy Young.

Film Review – BEND OF THE RIVER (1952)

James Stewart and Julie Adams in Bend of the River (1952)BEND OF THE RIVER (USA, 1952) ****
      Distributor: Universal Pictures; Production Company: Universal International Pictures (UI); Release Date: 23 January 1952 (USA), 13 March 1952 (UK); Filming Dates: 26 July–13 September 1951; Running Time: 91m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric Recording); Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Spherical; Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1; BBFC Cert: PG.
      Director: Anthony Mann; Writer: Borden Chase (based on the novel “Bend of the Snake” by William Gulick); Producer: Aaron Rosenberg; Associate Producer: Frank Cleaver; Director of Photography: Irving Glassberg; Music Composer: Hans J. Salter; Film Editor: Russell F. Schoengarth; Casting Director: Phil Benjamin (uncredited); Art Director: Bernard Herzbrun, Nathan Juran; Set Decorator: Oliver Emert, Russell A. Gausman; Costumes: Rosemary Odell; Make-up: Bud Westmore; Sound: Leslie I. Carey, Joe Lapis.
      Cast: James Stewart (Glyn McLyntock), Arthur Kennedy (Emerson Cole), Julie Adams (Laura Baile), Rock Hudson (Trey Wilson), Jay C. Flippen (Jeremy Baile), Lori Nelson (Marjie Baile), Chubby Johnson (Cap’n Mello), Stepin Fetchit (Adam), Harry Morgan (Shorty), Howard Petrie (Tom Hendricks), Frances Bavier (Mrs. Prentiss), Jack Lambert (Red), Royal Dano (Long Tom), Frank Chase (Wasco), Cliff Lyons (Willie), Frank Ferguson (Tom Grundy).
      Synopsis: When a town boss confiscates homesteader’s supplies after gold is discovered nearby, a tough cowboy risks his life to try and get it to them.
      Comment: James Stewart and director Anthony Mann team up for the second of five westerns they made together. The relatively simple tale is built around the complex characters of two former gunfighters (Stewart and Kennedy) attempting to distance themselves from their past as they fall in with a group of settlers led by Flippen. Adams plays Flippen’s daughter who is initially attracted to the more volatile Kennedy. Mann directs with a strong feel for the material and the characters and gets the best from his actors. The unforgiving landscapes and the glorious scenery are well captured by Glassberg’s cinematography. The story has a strong conclusion as Stewart and Kennedy go up against each other, demonstrating the different paths they have chosen. An early role for Hudson as a charming gambler.
      Notes: Original UK title: WHERE THE RIVER BENDS.