7.8/10
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48 user 27 critic

The Bridge (1959)

Die Brücke (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 1 May 1961 (USA)
In 1945, Germany is being overrun, and nobody is left to fight but teenagers.

Director:

Bernhard Wicki
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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Folker Bohnet Folker Bohnet ... Hans Scholten
Fritz Wepper ... Albert Mutz
Michael Hinz ... Walter Forst
Frank Glaubrecht Frank Glaubrecht ... Jurgen Borchert
Karl Michael Balzer Karl Michael Balzer ... Karl Horber
Volker Lechtenbrink ... Klaus Hager
Günther Hoffmann Günther Hoffmann ... Sigi Bernhard
Cordula Trantow ... Franziska
Wolfgang Stumpf ... Stern
Günter Pfitzmann Günter Pfitzmann ... Heilmann
Heinz Spitzner Heinz Spitzner ... Fröhlich
Siegfried Schürenberg Siegfried Schürenberg ... Lt. Colonel
Ruth Hausmeister Ruth Hausmeister ... Mrs. Mutz
Eva Vaitl Eva Vaitl ... Mrs. Borchert
Edith Schultze-Westrum Edith Schultze-Westrum ... Mother Bernhard
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Storyline

A group of German boys is ordered to protect a small bridge in their home village during the waning months of the second world war. Truckloads of defeated, cynical Wehrmacht soldiers flee the approaching American troops, but the boys, full of enthusiasm for the "blood and honor" Nazi ideology, stay to defend the useless bridge. Written by Miranda Callahan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They look for love in a world of violence!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany

Language:

German | English

Release Date:

1 May 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bridge See more »

Filming Locations:

Cham, Bavaria, Germany

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fono Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The end credits assert that the script relates true facts which happened on April 27 1945. See more »

Goofs

The wheels can clearly been seen under the "tank" body. See more »

Alternate Versions

An English dubbed version was released in the USA in 1963. See more »

Connections

Featured in Loriots 80. Geburtstag (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Etched in the Mind
26 July 2002 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

When I saw in news accounts the lovely yet fearful face of a 16 year-old, who had defected from the Taliban during the campaign against terrorists in Afghanistan, in the aftermath of the 9/11, I was taken back to Bernhard Wicki's Die Brücke (The Bridge), to the faces of young German boys who were recruited by the Nazis to defend a "last" bridgehead, in the final days of World War II in Europe. In both cases, young "true believers" were used as cannon fodder by cynical adults in their futile power games, which they had disguised as moral crusades.

A tiny band of boys, holding weapons as big as they, their bodies and faces still soft and fresh and tight, facing the juggernaut of tanks and artillery and machine guns which we know will soon tear them to pieces. And for what? An ideal?

I suspect that The Bridge was the basis for the Timothy Hutton, Sean Penn vehicle, "Taps". However, The Bridge is the starker and more brutal treatment because, unlike the what-if story of Taps, the what-if does not apply to The Bridge. In fact, throughout history, the use of children in furtherance of warfare has a sickening frequency, the earliest I know of being the Children's Crusade, and now we have the Tamil Tigers (little girls with lockets of cyanide vials) and Palestinian boy bombs.

The Bridge deserves to be revived and shown to as wide an audience as possible in this Dastardly New World we live in.


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