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The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 2 June 1995 (USA)
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1:16 | Trailer
Photographer Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson (Meryl Streep), for four days in the 1960s.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Robert James Waller (novel)
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Popularity
3,672 ( 403)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Robert Kincaid
Meryl Streep ... Francesca Johnson
Annie Corley ... Carolyn Johnson
Victor Slezak ... Michael Johnson
Jim Haynie ... Richard Johnson
Sarah Zahn ... Young Carolyn (as Sarah Kathryn Schmitt)
Christopher Kroon ... Young Michael
Phyllis Lyons ... Betty
Debra Monk ... Madge
Richard Lage Richard Lage ... Lawyer Peterson
Michelle Benes ... Lucy Redfield
Alison Wiegert Alison Wiegert ... Child #1
Brandon Bobst Brandon Bobst ... Child #2
Pearl Faessler Pearl Faessler ... Wife
R.E. 'Stick' Faessler R.E. 'Stick' Faessler ... Husband
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Storyline

The path of Francesca Johnson's (Meryl Streep'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 (Clint Eastwood) happens to 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 ... 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

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bridges of Madison County See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,519,257, 4 June 1995

Gross USA:

$71,516,617

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$182,016,617
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert James Waller finished his manuscript in eleven days, intending it to be simply a gift for various friends and family. One of his friends was so impressed with the manuscript, he asked if he could try to interest a literary agent in the work. Waller later received a life-changing call from a New York agent who asked, "Robert, where have you been all my life?" See more »

Goofs

When Francesca is listening to the radio, the aria "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" from the opera "Samson et Dalila", can be heard. The aria is sung by Maria Callas. This recording however was never approved for release during Callas's lifetime. In the summer of 1965 Maria Callas was still alive. See more »

Quotes

Francesca: Robert, please. You don't understand, no-one does. When a woman makes the choice to marry, to have children; in one way her life begins but in another way it stops. You build a life of details. You become a mother, a wife and you stop and stay steady so that your children can move. And when they leave they take your life of details with them. And then you're expected move again only you don't remember what moves you because no-one has asked in so long. Not even yourself. You never in your life ...
[...]
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Connections

Spoofed in All's Well, Ends Well 1997 (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

(Put Another Nickel In) Music! Music! Music!
Written by Bernie Baum and Stefan Weiß (as Stephan Weiss)
Performed by Ahmad Jamal
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Understated Romance
17 November 2005 | by alexandra-25See all my reviews

This is an understated romanctic film. This is probably down to the competent directing from Eastwood, and the exceptional acting ability of Streep, which she executes without much effort - at least it appears that way! Streep's character, Francesca, who is somewhat of a dreamer, was in search of an illusionary life, which was unobtainable, mainly because it only existed inside her head of fantasies. Indeed, the fantasy of the romance is only her interpretation of it via her journals. In reality, her romantic interlude would have turned sour because it would not live up to her expectations in everyday life, just as her idea of the American way of life didn't, being married to an ordinary farming lad.

As an Italian homemaker, Francesca is stereotyped from the start as the opera loving romantic, cooking breakfast for a largely unappreciative family in a mundane world, which she once viewed through rose tinted spectacles, whilst daydreaming back home in Italy.

The film's message is that romance can be deceptive, in that it misleads women into mundane lives that bear no reality to what they have been taught about it. But, women who crave romance, should demand it, and not be afraid to ask for it, or to admit to liking it for that matter. This is what Francesca should have done with her husband.


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