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The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 11 February 1944 (USA)
A rope bridge over a gorge in the Peruvian Andes snaps, sending five people plunging to their deaths. A priest sets out to find out more about the life of each of the victims.


Rowland V. Lee


Thornton Wilder (novel), Howard Estabrook (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Lynn Bari ... Michaela Villegas
Akim Tamiroff ... Uncle Pio
Francis Lederer ... Esteban / Manuel
Alla Nazimova ... Doña Maria - The Marquesa (as Nazimova)
Louis Calhern ... Don Andre - The Viceroy
Donald Woods ... Brother Juniper
Blanche Yurka ... The Abbess
Barton Hepburn Barton Hepburn ... Don Gonzalo
Joan Lorring ... Pepita
Emma Dunn ... Doña Mercedes
Abner Biberman ... Maita
Antonio Triana Antonio Triana ... Dancer at Viceroy's Party
Learn more

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An ancient Inca rope bridge spanning a chasm in the Peruvian Andes collapses, sending five travelers to their deaths in the gorge below. A monk who was nearby, Father Juniper, decides to investigate the lives of those who died in order to see if the tragedy was a result of chance or some divine plan. Written by duke 1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


And they called her The Perichole! See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The identity of several of the victims of the tragedy are changed. See more »


Brother Juniper: We trust in Heaven. God has never failed man. Only man fails God.
See more »


Version of The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004) See more »


Poor Poor Mama
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Frederick Herbert
See more »

User Reviews

Stick With "Our Town"
18 February 2005 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

This adaptation of a great writer's novel falls far short of its intentions. It's hoity-toity without being either profound or risible.

Akim Tamiroff makes quite some Peruvian sage! I got a kick out of his comments on "the wiceroy," sounding for all the world like my own late Russian grandfather.

Lynn Bari doesn't have the flair for the femme fatale around whom the plot is built. The character is the Bizet/Merimee Carmen set in the land of Offenbach's "La Perichole." She is indeed called by that name. But the plots are dissimilar and we sure do miss the music.

Francis Lederer was a handsome and appealing actor and he is fine as her love interest. Alla Nazimova is good as the noblewoman who schemes to thwart her.

The movie seems to have spent all its money on rights to the novel and on some of the supporting players. It's low budget and what comes through of Wilder's philosophy is so watered down as to be meaningless.

Paulette Godard was in Renoir's American production of "The Diary of a Chambermaid" right around this time. The budget may not have been higher but the director was one of the very greatest and Goddard was perfect as the crafty title character. Indeed, I prefer that movie to Bunuel's later, more famous and highly regarded one.

"San Luis Rey" could have worked. But it doesn't.

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Release Date:

11 February 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El puente de San Luis Rey See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(Hypercube restored) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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