Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Die Brucke
West Germany, 1959. Fono Film. Screenplay by Michael Mansfeld, Karl-Wilhelm Vivier, based on the novel by Manfred Gregor. Cinematography by Gerd von Bonin. Produced by Hermann Schwerin. Music by Hans-Martin Majewski. Production Design by Heinrich Graf Bruhl, Peter Scharff. Costume Design by Josef Wanke. Film Editing by Carl Otto Bartning. Academy Awards 1959. Golden Globe Awards 1959. National Board of Review Awards 1961.
In this powerful anti-war film, seven students in a tiny German village join the war effort at the tender age of 16 with dreams of becoming heroes. The Second World War is almost over, but they have every intention of doing their part. Imagine their disappointment, then, when their dreams of exotic lands are destroyed and they all end up defending a bridge leading to their own village that the Germans intend to blow up whether the enemy succeeds or not. The message is clear: war is a waste no matter what cause you are working towards, and it is always the most innocent people caught in the middle paying the highest price. Excellent direction and great acting from a host of likable faces make this more than just a thematic experience, but an entertaining one that ranks up there with All Quiet On The Western Front.