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Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 January 1991 (UK)
2:11 | Trailer
Set during World War II, an upper-class family begins to fall apart due to the conservative nature of the patriarch and the progressive values of his children.



(novels), (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carolyn Bridge
John Bell ...
Douglas Bridge - as a boy
Ruth Bridge
Dr. Alex Sauer
Remak Ramsay ...
Virgil Barron
Addison Myers ...
Man at Businessmen's Table
Roger Burget ...
Man at Businessmen's Table
Mr. Gadbury
Gale Garnett ...
Mabel Ong
Al Christy ...


It's about a five member family. The father is a conservative and traditional person who directs the family. The mother is at home, she tries to hold together the family, while Mr. Bridge works as a lawyer. The children have just grown up, and the complications are derived from that they have a more modern view of life. Written by Kornel Osvart <kornelo@alphanet.hu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Divided by time and tradition. United by love and hope. The story of an unforgettable family.




PG-13 | See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

18 January 1991 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cenas de uma Família  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,698,010 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Newman and Woodward were a couple in real life as well, married from February 2, 1958 until Newman's death in September 2008. See more »


A ticking noise can be heard in the European hotel room, yet the second hand on the clock does not move. See more »

Crazy Credits

Shakespearean Tutor to Mr. Newman - Senator Bob Dole See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teen-Age Crime Wave (1994) See more »


Stouthearted Men
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Warner Bros. Inc./Bambaline Music Co. & Williamson Music
Performed by Nelson Eddy
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Read the books
28 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

This film is based on two utterly unique novels by Evan S. Connell called 'Mrs. Bridge' and a companion novel published some years later, 'Mr. Bridge'. In 'Mrs. Bridge' Connell presents events in the title character's life and marriage, always from her heartbreakingly naive perspective, yet managing to convey the true nature of the events at the same time. This brilliant technique results in a portrait that is as much comic as it is pathetic. In 'Mr. Bridge' the author presents the same marriage, this time from Mr. Bridge's perspective, a much less comic, though no less tormented character.

The film fails to find an equivalent technique to present the parallel perspectives of the novel, those of the two main characters as well as an omnicient, often ironic narrator.

Nevertheless, I think the film could have succeeded more than it does if it were not for the misconceived role of Mrs. Bridge. First of all Joanne Woodward is too old for the part by twenty years or more and appears more like the children's grandmother than their mother. Secondly, she, and the author and director, create a highly emotional, always-on-the-verge-of-tears character that totally misses the central theme of the novel which is that Mrs. Bridge is completely out of touch with her emotional self. Her unhappiness lies deep beneath the surface of her everyday life. She copes by either doing as she is told by her husband, or by resorting to platitudes or the values of her middle class upbringing. In one of the first scenes of the film, Mrs. Bridge bursts into tears in her husband's presence and expresses insights about their marriage that are completely beyond the capability of the character in the novel. This robs the film of any chance of catching the ironic tone of the novels.

Paul Newman is perfect as Mr. Bridge, but again without the interior perspective, much of the essence of the novel is lost. The other actors are all fine, especially Blythe Danner. The scene in which Danner tries to explain to Mrs. Bridge the depth of her unhappiness and Mrs. Bridge can only respond with bromides and offers of tea gives a hint of what the film could have been.

The film is certainly a noble failure and worth seeing. But if you want a completely brilliant reading experience, get the novels.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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