Rock Hudson ‘so upset’ James Stewart he never spoke to him again after Bend of the River

Bend of the River: Trailer for 1952 western with James Stewart

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Back in the early 1950s, Bill Gulick’s novel Bend of the Snake was adapted into the 1952 movie Bend of the River. The Western followed James Stewart’s tough cowboy Glyn McLyntock risking his life to deliver confiscated food and supplies to homesteaders after gold is discovered in the area. The part was a big turning point in the star’s career, seeing him begin to play more violent and ruthless characters – which he hadn’t been known for in the 1940s.

Bend of the River was also the last time Stewart sported his own head of hair in a movie, being 44-years-old at the time of release.

The middle-aged star shared billing with Arthur Kennedy and Julie Adams who played McLyntock’s pal Emerson Cole and pioneer Laura Baile respectively.

Fourth on the poster behind their names was a rising star in his late 20s, Rock Hudson (real name was Roy Harold Scherer Jr) in the role of a professional gambler called Trey Wilson.

This movie was one of the closeted actor’s final films in a supporting part before hitting stardom as a Hollywood leading man.

This is hardly surprising given the response from the audience to Hudson compared to Stewart, even though the movie originally received poor reviews before its critical acclaim in later years.

When Bend of the River premiered in 1952, the It’s A Wonderful Life star was so upset that the supporting actor received more cheers and applause than he did.

As a result, he vowed never to talk to him or work with him again, which ended up being the case.

Hudson went on to enjoy a career as a leading man in movies like Scarlet Angel, The Lawless Breed, Seminole, Magnificent Obsession and Giant.

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Despite Stewart’s confidence wobble, he continued to have an impressive career.

After Bend of the River, he collaborated with director Anthony Mann on four more movies over the next couple of years.

The 1950s also saw work with Alfred Hitchcock for him in the likes of Rear Window and Vertigo.

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