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The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  2 June 1995 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 43,753 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 180 user | 64 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Carolyn Johnson
...
...
Sarah Kathryn Schmitt ...
...
Phyllis Lyons ...
...
Richard Lage ...
Lawyer Peterson
...
Alison Wiegert ...
Child #1
Brandon Bobst ...
Child #2
Pearl Faessler ...
Wife
R.E. 'Stick' Faessler ...
Husband
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Storyline

The path of Francesca Johnson's future seems destined when an unexpected fork in the road causes her to question everything she had come to expect from life. While her husband and children are away at the Illinois state fair in the summer of 1965, Robert Kincaid happens turn into the Johnson farm and asks Francesca for directions to Roseman Bridge. Francesca later learns that he was in Iowa on assignment from National Geographic magazine. She is reluctant seeing that he's a complete stranger and then she agrees to show him to the bridges and gradually she talks about her life from being a war-bride from Italy which sets the pace for this bittersweet and all-too-brief romance of her life. Through the pain of separation from her secret love and the stark isolation she feels as the details of her life consume her, she writes her thoughts of the four-day love affair which took up three journals. The journals are found by her children after the lawyer was going over Francesca's will and ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 on appeal for some sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 June 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bridges of Madison County  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£500,343 (UK) (15 September 1995)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jessica Lange and Isabella Rossellini were two other actresses in contention for the female lead. See more »

Goofs

A modern solid-state dial-tone is heard when characters use the telephone. It is unlikely that anything other than an old-fashioned buzzer dial-tone was heard on telephones of the 1960s, especially on rural Iowa telephone exchanges. See more »

Quotes

Robert: If you want me to stop, tell me now.
Francesca: No one's asking you to.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Dating Scene (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix
from "Samson Et Dalila"
Written by Camille Saint-Saëns (as Camille Saint-Saens)
Performed by Maria Callas and Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Francaise
Conducted by Georges Prêtre (as Georges Pretre),
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
There won't be a dry eye in the house!
17 July 2007 | by (Derry, Ireland) – See all my reviews

On the page "The Bridges of Madison County" often read like a reject from Mills and Boon and yet it was tremendously popular. People who normally wouldn't read this sort of thing were not only reading it but quoting it. You could say that for some people it held the kind of camp appeal that bad books sometimes do for the so-called intelligentsia. Personally, I am inclined to think that its tale of middle-aged romance struck a cord. It may not have been well-written but many people recognized in its two central characters a reflection of themselves. It spoke of a great passion and a great loss; a "Brief Encounter" for the nineties. Still, it never quite seemed like a vehicle for Clint Eastwood; (once upon a time you might have envisaged Arthur Hiller doing it), yet here it is, larger than life on the big screen and utterly lovely, utterly heart-breaking.

Perhaps Eastwood chose to film it as a vehicle for himself. He wears the mantle of the ageing Lothario perfectly at an age when most romantic leads are played by much younger men, (or are simply non-existent), yet who blanched when Gary Cooper or Cary Grant were wooing Audrey Hepburn well into their old age. Admittedly Eastwood isn't entirely comfortable in this sort of role. He's not a versatile actor. His best performances have been as tortured losers or just old-fashioned tough guys but under his own direction he blossoms here. Of course, the 'romantic' in Eastwood has never been hard to find. You need look only to the scores he has composed. (He has written the main love theme here and his use of classic jazz standards by the likes of Dinah Washington and Johnny Hartman adds considerably to the film's beating heart).

What is remarkable is that essentially Eastwood's film is really something of a chamber piece for two players. A few other characters flit into the frame but for most of the time there is no one on screen but Eastwood and co-star Meryl Streep and this is one of Streep's great performances. As Francesca, the woman who finds in Eastwood's photographer Robert the one great passion in her life albeit briefly and at a time when the likelihood of such a thing happening was remote indeed, Streep is extraordinary. Sometimes Streep can overwhelm a project; her versatility doesn't always work in favour of lesser material. But here she seems to have tapped quite effortlessly, not just into the consciousness of her character, but into her very soul as well. And if that sounds cheesy, let me assure you it isn't. Cheesiness isn't in Streep's vocabulary, even if it is in mine! Perhaps Eastwood was able to discern in Robert James Waller's novel the seeds of a great love story or perhaps he just felt he could bring his artistry to bear on some unlikely source material. Whatever, it's paid off. On screen "The Bridges of Madison County" is a great love story; there won't be a dry eye in the house.


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