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The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004)

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In 1714 Peru, a friar is tried by the Inquisition for questioning God's intentions when five die in the collapse of an Andean rope bridge.

Director:

Mary McGuckian

Writers:

Mary McGuckian, Thornton Wilder (novel)
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
F. Murray Abraham ... Viceroy of Peru
Kathy Bates ... The Marquesa
Gabriel Byrne ... Brother Juniper
Geraldine Chaplin ... The Abbess
Robert De Niro ... Archbishop of Peru
Émilie Dequenne ... Doña Clara
Adriana Domínguez Adriana Domínguez ... Pepita
Harvey Keitel ... Uncle Pio
Samuel Le Bihan ... Dona Clara's Husband
Pilar López de Ayala ... Camila Villegas (La Perichola)
John Lynch ... Captain Alvarado
Dominique Pinon ... His Excellency's Fop
Mark Polish ... Manuel
Michael Polish ... Esteban
Jim Sheridan ... The King of Spain
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Storyline

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 duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Five Lives Bound By One Fate.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some disturbing images and some sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Spain | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 2004 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

El puente de San Luis Rey See more »

Filming Locations:

Málaga, Andalucía, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,665, 17 June 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$42,880, 19 June 2005
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Harvey Keitel's singing voice was dubbed by Emilio Gavira. See more »

Goofs

Obvious miniature when the ship carrying the Marquesa to Spain is seen. See more »

Quotes

Archbishop of Peru: [to the Abbess] Fortunately I count the cessationn of these meetings as one of the benefits of dying.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Breaking Links in the Chain
30 December 2005 | by rparisiousSee all my reviews

None of the reviewers at this site or elsewhere have noted that there are four, not three, filmed versions of this unique and haunting novel.The fourth appeared on American television between October,l957,and January,l958. It was probably a Hallmark production ,obviously has never replayed,and is not listed in this data base.

This is all the more disconcerting as it is the only dramatized version(The silent version is unobtainable and exists in only one known copy)which in any way remained faithful to the spirit and much of the text of the original.Wilder's book calls to be read aloud and the three leading actresses in this particular production did everything possible with the essential sound values.

The key role of the Marquesa was taken by Judith Anderson(of "Medea" and "Hamlet" fame) and she literally almost breached the saving boundary between make believe and reality.Unlike the recent version there is nothing funny about this woman.Her daughter certainly does not visit her in Latin America.Like King Lear ,she has been exiled from Spain at her daughter's request.And not without good reason.The Marquesa is a terrifying and vicious old drunk who is positively guaranteed to disrupt any social occasion which she attends. On the other hand,in exile,and smashing bottles in the audience's collective face,she,the most terrifying of mothers,writes epistles on her genuinely frustrated love which will go down in the history of Spanish literature.Finally she meets a teenager who is

emotionally abused,and, as emotionally abusive, as the great lady herself;

and so the pair scream and claw till they eventually reach a truly loving accord.It seems both women now,for the only time in their lives,will have something to live for.But that entails first crossing the Bridge of San Luis Rey.

If we have any present day American actress,aside from Julie Harris,who could have recreated this part it is Kathy Bates.She must have jumped at the chance to do it.Unfortunately the incredibly uncomprehending adaptation defeats her.As it does the wonderfully gifted Polish brothers.They are literally left speechless.

Similarly the fifties version ended with a great hymn to love from the Mother Superior(played by Eva LaGallienne) to the broken actress (Vivica Lindfors)who has lost(half-driven) mentor,lover, and child to the abyss.The new version gives us anti-Catholic propaganda with the woefully miscast DeNiro and Byrne struggling with materials they were not born to enunciate.

Our catastrophe ridden neo-Babylonian society could use a good new production of "The Bridge" right now.Too bad that it didn't get it.If the fifties version still exists, may be this letter will be an incentive for someone to dig it from the archives. Lindfors,La Gallienne,Judith Anderson,you should be living at this hour.


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