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Robert De Niro,
In early 18th century Peru an old Inca rope bridge collapses, plunging five travelers to their deaths in the Andean chasm below. Brother Juniper, who was within minutes of being on the bridge himself, becomes obsessed with discovering how five people of differing class and circumstances came to be on the bridge at that moment. The Catholic friar wants to know if it was mere existential happenstance or part of God's cosmic plan. After researching the lives of the victims for five years and publishing his findings in a book, he is accused of heresy by the worldly Archbishop of Lima and is put on trial for his life by the Inquisition.Written by
It is a well know fact that classic Books can become the foundation of a well rounded education. Read the book, absorb the knowledge and converse intelligent to other about them, and you will find yourself not only well read, but an erudite scholar. One such book for your edification is The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The book was Thornton Wilders' best work and earned him a Pulitizer Prize. When a great director takes a classic and ascribes to make a film, he must have all the ingredients for it. This novel, first hit the silver screen in 1928, with Henry Walthall, Lili Damita and Duncan Renaldo. It returned again in 1944 with Donald Woods and Joan Lorring. Result, a very good effort. I have seen each and yet the 2004 version is by far the best, perhaps due in part to the use of Technicolor. Adding to the newest version is the fantastic cast. This time, we have, F. Murray Abraham, who is devilishly duplicitous as the Viceroy of Peru. There is also Kathy Bates, who is marvelously convincing as The Marquesa. Geraldine Chaplin as The Abbess. Robert De Niro, plays the devil's disciple in both the political and religious arena as the Archbishop of Peru. Harvey Keitel is the sympathetic Uncle Pio. But the actor who steals the show is Gabriel Byrne who plays Brother Juniper. His rendition of the sympathetic, but tragic character is the stuff that warrants academy awards. With so much star power included is is difficult to understand why this film did not garner any. Nevertheless, the film is the best rendition of Wilders' book I've seen to date. It's worthy of viewing by any student in search of a true classic novel. ****
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