The Bridge (1959)

BERNARD WICKI

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Die Brucke

West Germany, 1959.  Fono Film.  Screenplay by , , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by Gerd von Bonin.  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1959.  Golden Globe Awards 1959.  

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.

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