Glyn McLyntock is a former outlaw, who now works as a trail guide for a group of farmers headed to Oregon with the intent on starting a new life. As they travel across country they run into a hostile group of Native Americans, but thanks to Glyn and Arthur Kennedy, a not-so-reformed thief Glyn meets along the way, the farmers make it safely to Portland. On their arrival, Glyn makes an agreement with a shady trader Howard Petrie, who promises to ship goods and supplies to their settlement up River. They never receive the supplies from Mr. Petrie, leading Glyn McLyntock with no other choice but to reclaim his supplies by force. On their return to the settlement McLyntock discovers that Arthur Kennedy has changed sides, hired by Howard Petrie to retrieve the supplies. Now stuck between a rock and a hard place, McLyntock must turn the tables on his former friend and save the settlers from the greed of Mr. Petrie and company. Anthony Mann's Bend of the River is a phenomenal Western about a troubled main protagonist who is simply attempting to leave his troubled past behind. With Bend of the River, Mann captures a time where alliances were constantly in flux, and moral and social responsibility tended to be as elusive as the gold in the mountain tops. At its core, Bend of the River is a story of Redemption, with McLyntock, a former Missouri border raider, desperately trying to do the right thing in the wild wild west. McLyntock keeps his past close to his chest, fearful that if anyone learned of his past transgressions he would quickly be disregarded as a monstrous person. McLyntock is a skilled gunsman who protects these farmers from the greed around them, viewing this as his one chance of redemption and a chance to be looked at in a positive light. As one would expect, this is a superbly well-shot Western but the film's commentary on Good vs. Evil and the ability for individuals to change is what sets this film apart, being a debate that still rages on to this day.
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