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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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 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

None of the tanks shown in the movie are real. Since the German army still did not have any tanks in 1959, Bernhard Wicki had to have wooden models constructed, they were then placed on top of a truck chassis. The wheels can clearly been seen under the "tank" body. See more »

Goofs

The action takes place within a couple of days in the late spring of 1945 as the US forces were moving through Bavaria. However, the trees clearly show their late Autumn remaining foliage, instead of spring buds and new leaves. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Les échos du cinéma: Episode #1.11 (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

A rare find, but worth it
18 September 2000 | by JAM-31See all my reviews

I had heard about this film from a book on war movies. It actually took me quite some time to find it, but I'm very glad I was finally able to see it.

Since this movie is old, and seemingly all but forgotten, I have little knowledge about the making of it, the writer and director's background, or anything else besides the film itself and the comments on this page.

With that in mind, I can say that I was fascinated with this film and was moved and disturbed by its conclusion. Yes, I agree with someone's comments below that there is not much evidence in the movie that the war is humiliatingly flattening Germany. However, I do believe that there were some small town areas that escaped the bombs, and were able to survive from the farmer's produce. What is probably least authentic about the movie is the absence of refugees (although they are mentioned) and the boys' lack of serious Hitler-Youth indoctrination--they do believe in the third reich, however, they never wear HJ uniforms or go to meetings. The Hitler Youth were fanatically loyal to the Nazis, and became the main menace to the allies in the closing months of the war.

The main theme of this movie is the pure waste of Germany's youth by the Nazis. That is the main difference between the closing sequence in this movie and the one in "Saving Private Ryan." These boys died for nothing. The boys that died in this film were like thousands of others killed in this war--brainwashed youth fighting and dying to prolong the Third Reich and Hitler's worthless life for a few more weeks.

This is a very interesting movie for today's American viewers. Although it was made about 15 years after the war, it still has an aged, foreign look and feel to it, and the war has to have been recent in the filmmaker's minds. It is also interesting to see the Americans portrayed as "the enemy." They are treated in the same fashion that American filmmakers usually depict their enemies. The movie will still have everyone sad for these forgotten, abandoned boys. I felt particularly sad for the boy strafed by the plane. Grade: B+


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