6.7/10
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31 user 13 critic

Mr. & Mrs. Bridge (1990)

PG-13 | | Drama | 18 January 1991 (UK)
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2:11 | Trailer

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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.

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

Evan S. Connell (novels), Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Walter Bridge
Saundra McClain ... Harriet
Joanne Woodward ... India Bridge
Margaret Welsh ... Carolyn Bridge
John Bell John Bell ... Douglas Bridge - as a boy
Kyra Sedgwick ... Ruth Bridge
Simon Callow ... Dr. Alex Sauer
Remak Ramsay Remak Ramsay ... Virgil Barron
Addison Myers Addison Myers ... Man at Businessmen's Table
Roger Burget Roger Burget ... Man at Businessmen's Table
Blythe Danner ... Grace Barron
Austin Pendleton ... Mr. Gadbury
Gale Garnett ... Mabel Ong
Al Christy Al Christy ... Judge
Joe Tinoco ... Plaintiff
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Canada

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 January 1991 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Cenas de uma Família See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,698,010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several antique wicker pieces used on the Kansas City set of the movie were provided by Wicker Fixer & Chair Re-Caner, out of Ozark, MO. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Atomic Brain (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Holiday for Strings
Written by David Rose
WB Music Corp.
Performed by David Rose and His Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Read the books
28 May 2001 | by kinolieberSee 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.


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