Friendship, rather than romance, can also be an outcome of an incipient suicide being averted by a stranger on a bridge. Dream with the Fishes US, follows a depressed man from a liquor store out onto a suspension bridge, probably the Golden Gate. Terry takes big gulps from his large bottle of liquor to find courage for his intended jump. A smalltime crook, Nick, has trailed him with robbery on his mind.
When Nick takes the death-desiring man back to his apartment, Terry is shocked to see that the woman living there is the very one he has been spying on with binoculars. He would sit in his darkened apartment and watch her with binoculars. Terry has seen her crying many times alone and now deduces that her relationship with Nick must be very painful. The attempted suicide on the bridge could appear to be leading to a relationship Terry has desired for so long. But this film has a surprise in store. Nick has a terminal illness and wants to travel some more before his death.
Nick and Terry go off on a series of adventures, mainly silly or criminal. The bridge actually created a friendship and gave Terry a new will to live. Likewise Finding North US, He strips off his clothing to leave this world as he came into it. Rhonda, a bank clerk, is driving across the bridge with her friends when they see the naked man standing on the railing. All Rhonda finds on the bridge is a large shoe. She thinks the man has gone over the edge into the river. Or so she expects. Through a series of contorted stretches of reality, Rhonda ends up going with Travis to Texas.
Despite all odds, they finally become inseparable friends after she realizes he is gay. Both Dream with the Fishes and Finding North begin with pessimistic scenes on bridges and end with their opposite in the same location. Neither Terry nor Travis acquires a replacement love but a new friendship which will sustain them for a while. In The Seventh Veil UK, a psychologist tries to understand why a world-famous pianist, Francesca Cunningham, would try to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. Larsen desperately wants to know the events and persons who drove her to this state and help her.
He makes Francesca talk about her past — a past with a controlling guardian, Nicholas, no friends, kept apart from the man she loved and forced to practice the piano hours a day. All his life George has sacrificed for the business which he inherited and became unwillingly attached to. Even as a year-old, he saved his younger brother from drowning in an icy pond but lost his hearing in one ear. After the evil banker, Mr. Potter, tells George that he is worth more dead than alive, George decides on his action.
He gets drunk at a local bar and then walks out onto a bridge over a raging river. When George explains why he wanted to die and wishes he had never been born, the film turns darker as Clarence escorts George around town to prove what an unpleasant place Bedford Falls would be if George had never been born.
Finally convinced of the value of his life and his contributions to the communal welfare, George rushes back to the bridge and proclaims that he wants to live. Sometimes attempted suicide brings undesirable friends. As he stands on the rail trying to secure the courage, a former friend, Milt Manville, just happens to ride by on his bicycle. Completely unaware of why Harry would be balancing on the railing, Milt strikes up a conversation and invites him back to his house in the suburbs to meet his wife Ellen.
But Milt has an agenda greater than friendship. After drawing Harry and Ellen together, Milt is finally free to be with his true love, Linda. They begin plotting how to get Harry out of their lives. Milt rushes over to push Harry off the bridge but falls into the water himself. A distraught Ellen asks Harry to prove his love for her by committing suicide. Through a series of slapstick events, all three end up in the water, only to be saved by Linda who just happens to be jogging by.
It appears that Ellen and Milt will be back together and Harry and Linda will begin a relationship. This comedy, no matter how silly it gets at times, suggests that saving a friend from suicide may not be entirely wise. Here the bridge has been the setting for suicide, attempted and foiled. Then it becomes the site for premeditated murder but quickly shifts into being the scene of near-tragedy, heroism, and love, both renewed and brand new. Eugene Kim wrote a description of Something Wild US, that would indicate that the rescuer can become problematic. Keeping the attack to herself, Mary Ann runs away, seeking to lose herself in Manhattan by renting a seedy flat and taking a job in a dime store.
Many people feel somewhat fearful when driving across a bridge poised over a body of water. Stormy weather or earthquakes can also make bridges very dangerous places, as can faulty construction. Many films have capitalized on fear and danger by placing tragic deaths on bridges.
Furthermore, some suicides from cinematic bridges are successful. This association of death and the dangerous bridge is an ancient one. The Zarathustrian legend of the Chinvat Bridge is a very significant one relating the bridge with the journey of the soul. The soul must attempt to cross this bridge at the dawn of the fourth day after the death of the body. For the good soul the bridge is the width of nine lances and thus easily crossed. For the evil the bridge becomes the width of a razor blade, thereby casting the wretch down into the deep pit of hell.
Those deemed blessed are welcome at the other end of the bridge by a lovely young girl who ushers them into paradise. Pierre Grimal ed. Within early Christianity St. Islamic writers have discussed the same image of the bridge. In both traditions, the unjust fall into hell from the bridge. Native American stories also use the motif of the bridge in death. Above: The Lecompton Bridge as seen in The bridge was built in , and was a pin-connected Parker through truss with a Pratt truss span as well. The bridge was demolished in Attuned to popular cultural motifs, some filmmakers have mined the rich imagery of bridges associated with death.
In a low-rent but atmospheric horror film, Carnival of Souls US, , teenagers drag-race across the Lecompton Bridge, a steel bridge outside Lawrence, Kansas. The rest of the film shows a confused Mary thinking she is alive and trying to avoid the inevitable reunion with other spirits. The DVD-version of the film contains the information that the steel bridge has been replaced by a newer more boring concrete bridge. Susie Q US, is another film in which a young woman dies when her car is knocked off a bridge. She, or her spirit, also continues to wander around, but in this case she is trying to give aid and comfort to survivors rather than simply accept her own death, according to one description.
Catch Steve Lambert might as well be the spirit of a dead man wandering the earth. He lost his wife, his son, and his reasons for living. No one goes over the railing but the impact of the collision with a large truck was quite severe. For Catch the bridge becomes a place of transition, not to death, but eventually to a new life with the police officer.
For his wife and child it is strictly the site of transition to death. The setting remained the American Civil War. A hanging rope with a noose is thrown over the truss work above the roadway. The condemned man is made to stand on a plank of wood hanging out over the edge of the bridge above the river. His legs and ankles are tied together. Surprisingly the prisoner is in civilian clothes. A soldier stands on the other end of the plank, ready to step off and send the man plummeting to his death at the end of the rope. It is brilliant and cruel. There is no dialogue, just natural sounds of the river, birds, an owl, footsteps, the creaking of wood.
Other soldiers stand at attention and watch the proceedings. The sun begins to rise over the horizon. The rope is finally put around his neck. His watch is taken. The prisoner begins to cry. The soldier steps off the safe end of the board, and the man plunges…. He frees his bound hands, swims underwater, gets shot at, and miraculously saves himself. He gets to a distant bank of the river and rushes joyfully and breathlessly through the countryside towards his home.
It has all been his imagination, seeming minutes of activity held within a few seconds of falling, breaking his neck, and dying. He has indeed made his fatal meeting with Death on the bridge. The association of bridges, car accidents, drowning, and political careers has been inevitable since Ted Kennedy drove off Chappaquidick Bridge in , resulting in the death of a young political assistant. Blow Out US, puts a new twist on the subject. A sound recorder for schlock-horror films is out late at night in a Philadelphia park gathering new material. Jack John Travolta stands patiently on a footbridge under a much grander bridge with a beautiful large arch.
He records the conversation of a couple of lovers and the natural sounds of a frog and an owl. Suddenly through his headphones come the sound of a speeding car, a gun shot, a tire blowing out, and then the crash of the car into the guard rail of the bridge. As he sees the car fall into the water and begin to sink, he throws his equipment down and runs along the graceful arc of the footbridge before diving into the creek to save the young woman passenger, Sally.
As he discovers, the tire was blown out by a rifle shot and the dead man in the car was to be a major candidate for the American presidency. Three lives on the two bridges were irrevocably changed that night. A bridge in The Contender US, is used as a means to further a political career. Or such was the intention. Governor Hathaway, strongly considered as a replacement for the recently deceased Vice-President of the US, is fishing with a journalist.
As they sit calmly talking and casting their lines out from the rowboat, a car comes crashing off the bridge into the murky waters nearby. Seemingly without thought or concern for his own safety, the governor plunges into the water and tries to save the woman driver from her watery tomb. In the eyes of the nation this man is a hero simply for his effort.
Edward Kennedy and the accident at Chappaquidick. Incredulous, the governor splutters that he tried to save the young woman rather than leave the scene of the accident. The President says that the public will only remember a bridge, a politician, and a death. Details will fade away. Governor Hathaway had paid the young woman to drive her car off the bridge so he could save her. However, the plan failed and she drowned. Neither he nor his wife seems very disturbed by her death; they are more upset about his political trajectory stopping its ascent.
When the plot unfolds, the governor is arrested for manslaughter. A bridge in Keeper of the Flame US, is likewise used as a tool, but in this case as a weapon of murder. The film opens on a stormy night as a car races along a muddy road and suddenly over a precipice where a bridge was expected to be. Robert Forrest, wealthy leader of the Forward America Association, is killed in the accident at the washed-out bridge on his own estate.
America mourns, especially young boys who had found a leader in Forrest and an ideal in his organization. Reporters descend on the small town to investigate the death. Clive Kerndon, Mr. The writer gets onto the grounds of the Forrest estate and looks at the wooden bridge. Its middle section has been ripped away by flood waters, but he wonders if the destruction was somehow helped along by someone. He realizes after a while that she is indeed hiding something. There are various red herrings, including hints that Forrest was not so universally loved by some of the people around him.
Forrest with a horseshoe he discovered underneath the broken bridge, he suggests that she had been at the scene that night and knew the bridge was washed out. He states that she could have warned her husband but did not and is therefore a murderer. She admits to all of this but explains why she let her husband die. His organization, Forward America Association, was essentially a fascist movement created for the American people. Indeed, Ms. Forrest was under the remains of the bridge, but she chose to use the washed-out structure as a weapon in the fight for American freedom.
Had Forrest crossed the bridge successfully, the US would have been forever changed. In this case the bridge served a higher political purpose as an instrument of death. The accident that can cause even greater numbers of deaths is the collapse of a bridge. Building bridges became a science and an art only through trial and error. Human beings suffered for those errors. Wind, earthquakes, poor design can all contribute to this most horrifying form of accidental death.
When a bridge collapses, unwilling pedestrians or vehicle passengers are taken to their deaths in the river or rocky depths below, as in the May collapse of several spans of the bridge at Webbers Falls, Oklahoma. As far as the cinema is concerned, the combination of bridge collapse and death may provide an excuse for the philosophical question: Why did those innocent people die so horribly? Above: Viaduc du Garabit, Cantal, France was the real world bridge that was filmed for an action-filled scene of The Cassandra Crossing.
A YouTube clip can be seen here. Aboard the Geneva-Stockholm express train is a terrorist deliberately spreading a highly infectious and deadly pneumonic plague. With scheduled stops in Basel, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen before reaching Stockholm, the disease and terror could spread throughout Europe. An American Army intelligence officer, in charge of stopping the potential mega-disaster, orders the train to be diverted into Poland, where the passengers can be isolated until treated or allowed to die.
The destination for the hapless train is a Nazi concentration camp but the railway tracks lead over the Cassandra Crossing, whose bridge is highly risky. The Polish government questions the stress tolerance of the old cantilevered bridge, unused since As the American colonel seems to welcome the information, which increases the possibility of containing the disease with a massive train wreck, foreboding shots of the bridge add to the tension. There are stone anchoring piers on each side of the valley with one massive cantilever arch which groans in the wind.
As the train rushes on, a doctor-turned-hero Richard Harris works feverishly to separate some cars from the long body of the train, so at least some people might be saved from the impending disaster. The locomotive begins hurtling across the bridge, but the stress is too much and the bridge begins to come apart and collapse.
Long shots show the sickening sight of railroad cars plunging into the abyss below. Bridge and train become indistinguishable in the twisted mass of steel. Metal beams puncture the cars like knives. The entire cantilevered section with its roadway collapses. Only some of the disconnected cars survive, but they are still on a highly unstable section of the bridge.
All must try to exit through the last car of the train. In The Cassandra Crossing the presentation of an unstable bridge in Poland was perhaps a way of attacking Communism, but the film also portrayed the American general as cold-hearted and ruthless in his desire to contain the disease, truly a Cold War attitude. So, each side gets bad marks in this film. There was no stable bridge at the time to bring the two opponents together and people would unnecessarily die for lack of a political bridge between the two systems.
Survivors inevitably ponder death in disasters, natural and man-made. Did God want them in heaven, were they evil, did their relatives commit sins, is God punishing our society? A local priest, perplexed why God chose these five to die, goes to town to investigate who the five were. It is near the French border. The Oriental Express is speeding from Paris to Constantinople.
Lightning strikes and several beautiful arches are instantly shattered. There is much screaming, water pouring in, and railroad cars rolling down the hillside in flames. The Jew carries a baby to safety. A prisoner unlocks his handcuffs from the wrist of a dead guard but stops to help two Americans lift a portion of the bridge off a trapped woman. Even though the bridge has collapsed and killed perhaps hundreds of people, a different sort of bridge is momentarily constructed between different nationalities as they work together to rescue the living. Primarily, though, the director Michael Curtiz wanted to show the train that was Europe heading for the disaster of World War I.
The collapsing bridge might forge new relationships while destroying so many lives and cultural systems unnecessarily. He seems to imply that the war would be as much a natural disaster as a man-made one. Sometimes the attempted suicides from a bridge are all too successful. Many film suicides are aborted so the unhappy person has a new chance in life, but others jump, die, and disappear.
My Brother Tom is apparently an even more complicated story of young love twisted by sexual abuse. Tom is abused by his father while his friend Jessica is molested by her school teacher. Above: A poster from Ode to Billy Joe shows a pin-connected through truss swing bridge. A six-part French film made in , Six in Paris Paris vu par…. Odile leaves her befuddled husband at home and begins walking to work.
A man who nearly runs over her leaves his expensive car in the street and begins walking with her. He lives in Auteuil, an exclusive neighborhood of Paris, one that she dreams about, but complains about the quietness of his home and garden. He represents everything she covets but which bores him. He invites her to drive away with him, to fly with him wherever she dreams of going.
Then I met you. You are my last chance. I thought nothing could interest me anymore. Then I saw your smile. Oh, well. He climbs up onto the bridge railing. To confirm this, the camera tilts down and shows his body on the tracks below. She lost her chance at impromptu, wild abandon and perhaps joy and took away his last desire to live. This encounter on a bridge did not end happily, unlike so many other French films involving bridges and suicides.
An apparent suicide becomes a lie followed by the successful suicide of two lovers in Suzhou River Suzhou He , China-Germany, This complex love story is set in Shanghai, primarily along the Suzhou River with its many bridges, bustling commercial activity, and incredible pollution. People live here making a living on the river. They live their whole lives there. Once a girl jumped to her death from a bridge outside my window.
I saw the bodies of two young lovers being dragged out of the water by the police. This unnamed freelance videographer begins an affair with a woman, Meimei, who performs as a mermaid in a large tank in a seedy club. His love is so intense that he only feels complete when he sees her on the bridge on her way to his apartment. But she is less impressed with his affirmation of love than the love shown in a story she tells him: Mardar, a motorbike delivery-boy, fell in love with a young school girl, Moudan.
After the gang he worked for involved him in her kidnapping, she escaped and ran to the river. They stood on the steel bridge, coincidentally the one outside the apartment windows of the narrator. Before Mardar could stop her, Moudan yelled out before she jumped that she would come back as a mermaid. Her body was never found. Mardar spent a long time looking for her.
When he met Meimei, the mermaid in the club, he was sure she was Moudan, but she continued to deny it. Eventually Mardar finds the real Moudan, who had not died in the river. It can be assumed that they leaped from the same bridge Moudan had jumped from several years before. This time, both she and her lover drown. The first leap from the bridge was simply a means of escape. The second time is real and unites the two lovers in death. The Brazilian wife of a wealthy American is found shot to death on the beautiful stone bridge over a lake on their estate.
The governess of her children is arrested for the murder. The wealthy husband is also a suspect for a while, but Holmes proves that the death was actually a clever suicide. The wife tied a revolver to a large stone which would drag the gun over the side of the bridge into the murky lake waters below after she shot herself in the head and relaxed her grip on the gun. This elaborate ruse would, she hoped, cause the arrest and execution of the governess, who was the new love interest of her husband.
It was the wife who felt an uncontrollable jealousy.
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This private bridge also becomes a passageway to death but almost serves as the locus of revenge and injustice. Only Sherlock Holmes can insure that a wrong is not committed against an innocent woman. Sometimes the leap from a bridge is made for joy, not sorrow. On the bridge, he looks back at the skyline and is over-awed by the beauty of the city.
In an exhilarated state of elation, overcome with happiness, he jumps from the bridge and falls to his death. A strange case of a suicide, which may have been simply a means of getting out of a difficult situation, occurs in The Disappearance of Finbar Ireland-Sweden-Finland, He went as a hero and came back as loser.
Even the relation to Danny gets worse. In an act of desperation he jumps from a bridge and just disappears. The departed disappears into thin air or into muddy waters. Clothes and a note left behind on a beach have served the same purpose for some who wish to start over. Either the good guy or the bad guy is doomed to die on the bridge. Garzah, a burly harmonica-playing wrestler who has committed murder, tries to escape the police by running across the Williamsburg Bridge.
The cops are in hot pursuit, some in cars, some on foot. Garzah races along the pedestrian terraces of the bridge, past children jumping rope and women with baby buggies getting some sun. Now we know he is really evil. Seeing no way out he starts irrationally climbing up the stairs of one of the steel support towers. Finally, after shooting down at the cops five or more stories below , he is shot and plunges to his death.
The film was made on location and there are many visually powerful views of the bridge.
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The Williamsburg Bridge first appeared in movies during its inauguration. In this fictional film, the bridge becomes a place of entrapment, misguided hope, and death, which contrast so strongly with the vivid life of the women and children enjoying the same structure.
Above: The Crumlin Viaduct was a filming location for Arabesque. Completed in , this noteworthy metal truss bridge had been closed to traffic and was scheduled to be demolished at the time the filming took place. It appears to be a steel pier-and-beam bridge with very tall towers underneath. The roadway is unpaved gravel. It is evidently under construction or simply under repair since it has large dangerous gaps between sections. A university professor Gregory Peck , a beautiful spy Sophia Loren and the prime minister of an Arabic country are trapped on the bridge by some very dangerous, evil people in a helicopter.
Searching for an escape route or even just a hiding place, the trio climb down to a lower level of the bridge, but they are still vulnerable targets. Not only do they need to worry about bullets, but a misstep could plunge them into the chasm below. The scene provides a very vertiginous feeling.
Clinton Road: A Dark Ride
But, of course, Peck and Loren are not going to die. The professor sagely thrusts a ladder into the blades of the helicopter and the bad guys fall to their death, giving the adventurous threesome an opportunity for escape. Following the more cartoonish aspects of Saturday morning kiddy matinees of the s, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom US, places Indy Harrison Ford and his cohorts on a rope bridge in India at the climax of the film.
He puts alligators in the river, so if the trio survive a fall, they will be quickly and painfully eaten. Miraculously only sect members fall into the river while the rope bridge, now a rope ladder, hangs from one side of the valley with Jones, Short Round, and Willie struggling with the Indian cult leader. The British troops arrive just after Indiana has dispatched all the bad guys, something like a latter-day Gunga Din , from which Spielberg borrowed a bit. As in Arabesque, there was never any doubt as to who would survive and who would fail, but the use of the rope bridge was clever because Western viewers have an innate fear of such early bridge construction, all too foreign to us now.
That swaying and instability disturb us. The cinematic association of bridges with danger and death is sufficient for Force of Evil US, No deaths take place on the [George Washington? A lawyer for the mob in New York City wants to take over the numbers racket and turn it into a well organized, legal, and lucrative lottery. Wherever, his body joins the garbage and refuse on the riverbank. Another film which places a corpse near a bridge is Dirty Harry US, Once again death has caught up with an innocent victim on or near a bridge. This bridge made an appearance in Get Carter.
Carter takes a somewhat high-class call girl out on Barras Bridge to extract information one way or another. The bridge over the Tyne River is massive, with many metal supports, beams, and arches and serves as a heart-chilling setting. However, she is saved by the arrival of other gangsters. Jack runs away but his brutal search continues. The new bridge over the River Tyne can be seen in the foreground of this photo , but in the background is the older bridge which appears in the film.
Amy Taylor is kidnapped by a ruthless gang of extortionists in Arizona. After a series of terrible dead-ends and near-panic, her husband Jeff traces her to a storage room in a barn. They flee the area with the gang in hot pursuit. When Amy and Jeff reach a bridge, an ominous truck catches up and shoves their pickup truck right to the edge of the concrete bridge with a low guardrail.
Subjected to a whole series of pushes and smashes, the pickup breaks through the guardrail and is precariously suspended over the river far below with the couple caught inside. The semi is pushing so hard that its tires are bouncing, almost like a dinosaur gone berserk. Jeff is able to climb out of the cab and onto the metal monster, which has now rolled over the hood of the pickup and is itself defiantly hanging off the bridge. Jeff struggles with the maniacal driver, Red Barr. Vertigo is amply fed with gut-wrenching shots from below. Every few seconds the truck and the pickup seem about to fall over the obliterated guardrail.
Finally Jeff knocks the embodiment of evil off onto the distant rocks below. The husband and wife are safely reunited on the roadway of the bridge. When Amy sees that her sadistic captor is still alive in the streambed, she walks over to the cab of the semi and pulls the gear into neutral so the big truck goes smashing down on top of him. As Jeff and Amy embrace once more, the camera pulls back to show them alone on the bridge.
Why did you….? Such films could be considered anti-Westerns. In pursuit of a dangerous female assassin escaping in a fast boat, Bond races a turbo-charged boat along the Thames. Both he and his prey pass under various bridges, which cinematically serve as site-markers for London. After a series of typical misadventures, they are trapped on a rope bridge with a gorilla high above an Alpine gorge. Here the danger on the bridge is humorous even if wildly incongruous.
He hails a cab a quick study, that ape man and heads to Long Island to rescue Boy from the evil big-top entrepreneurs. Fortunately for the cinema, his cab is stopped midway across the Brooklyn Bridge. Unafraid of high places, Tarzan climbs up on a railing. Beautiful shots of the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn and then Manhattan are prominent in the black-and-white photography.
Tarzan climbs a large cable-holding tube which runs up to a tower, but the police are both behind and before him, so there is no other escape than down below in the East River. For many the bridge would be a place of danger or death but not for him. Nothing will deter him, not even the unfamiliar concrete and steel jungle. Both Wages of Fear Le Salaire de la peur , France, and its American remake, Sorcerer , place their characters into white-knuckle scenes involving bridges in Latin America.
Four men, badly down-and-out on their luck, have taken the agonizingly difficult job of transporting highly volatile nitroglycerine several hundred miles by truck through mountain, desert, and jungle. In the French version, at one point, the trucks must be backed up onto an incomplete wooden bridge in order to make a sharp turn on an inclined road. With rotten wood, buckling timber supports, and snapping guy wires, the second truck barely escapes destruction. In the American version that particular tension shifts to a rope-and-wooden-plank bridge across a raging river.
One look at the situation would make any sane person hesitant even to walk across the bridge, much less drive a truck full of explosives across it. In Dirty Harry US, , the disturbing study of a renegade cop who follows no rules but his own, a maniacal serial killer takes a group of school kids hostage in their yellow bus. As the vehicle makes its way across the Golden Gate Bridge, their fate is unknown. Later, Harry Callahan Clint Eastwood , the determined police detective and self-declared nemesis of this dangerous murderer, stands on a train trestle from which he jumps onto the roof of the bus passing beneath.
The murderer sees him and realizes a showdown is coming, not on the bridge but somewhere up ahead. A railroad trestle appears to be a place of danger but actually becomes a place of refuge in Emperor of the North US, He will beat them mercilessly while smiling broadly. In one scene he senses that there is an unwanted passenger on the train. He stops on a large train trestle over a river and begins to search for the hobo. There are actually two, but one slips off the train and down the wooden supports to safety in the woods.
Cigaret Keith Carradine , the younger, less experienced rail rider, successfully hides among the inelegant mass of timbers holding the trackbed up over the river. The massive beams and support bars hide him in a place that could have witnessed his cruel death. The danger of bridges can appear in other ways. Instead he hides the easily spotted vehicle in a warehouse inside Boston and waits to split up the take later. As an island, Boston has six bridges connecting it to the mainland. One steel bridge with a metal mesh roadway is shown. Elsewhere there are a stone bridge and a drawbridge.
But they are irrelevant. Another film which pits gangster against bridge is Key Largo US, At the opening we see a bus crossing from the mainland onto the Florida Keys via a causeway—a concrete strip, long and close to the water. In this film, as the hurricane rages, the bridge offers false hope and immense danger. Rocco Edward G. Robinson and his gang, holed up in a hotel on Key Largo, have to wait out the storm. They would be fools to try to drive across the causeway.
Though we never see the causeway again, its absence is deeply felt and prevents escape for both gangsters and captives. Simply crossing a bridge may provide a foreshadowing of danger and potential death. With one gas tank holding the profits from a drug score, they cross over a multitude of steel bridges in Arizona and New Mexico. The bridges represent the changes brought by civilization. And yet these free spirits are still gunned down like Billy the Kid and other outlaws, not for being criminals, but for simply being long-haired hippies on motorcycles.
Their freedom of movement, also made easy by the bridges, is resented by a redneck who starts pumping his shotgun and blasting away. The bridges of the early part of the film offered freedom of movement but eventually led them to their death. Wyatt and Billy were unaware that their trip to New Orleans would be only one-way. In 8mm US, a warehouse in Brooklyn becomes the site of creating horrific snuff films. The Brooklyn Bridge is seen in several shots as private investigator Tom Welles Nicolas Cage goes from the safety of Manhattan to the evil location in Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Bridge thus becomes a transitional passageway into the hell of pornography and murder. In an aerial shot the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges are shown. Snipes is being taken over to Brooklyn by criminals. Once more, as in 8mm , crossing the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge out of Manhattan can only mean pain, torture, and perhaps death. The bridges become transitions to death or maiming. Their gondola passes under many bridges. They hear strange cries emanating from behind closed shutters. As they try to find their way through the labyrinth of Venetian passageways, they cross over many bridges, some of which John seems to remember.
The Bridge of Sighs lives up to its name. Sometimes passing beneath will suffice. Lewis Medlock Burt Reynolds has talked three friends into traveling down the pristine river for the last time before it is dammed for conversion into a lake. No matter how experienced in the outdoors Medlock is, the other three are poorly equipped for this adventure. Within minutes of starting, they pass under a split- log foot-bridge with sapling and rope handrails. The backwoods boy, who had played the banjo so beautifully and exuberantly in the famous duet with one of the four, stands on the bridge alone looking down at them as they pass under.
This foot-bridge is a perfect example of probably one of the earliest types of bridges ever made. But symbolically the bridge overhead serves as a portal into hell, much the way that the bridge in Apocalypse Now functions. With birds chirping and the water racing along, the men may think they have entered an untouched paradise, but fate and their own ignorance and stupid reactions are taking them into a devastating experience of rape, murder, dangerous rapids, pain, broken bones, death, and moral uncertainty.
The use of bridges in war films is entirely realistic and dramatic. To move large quantities of soldiers, supplies, weaponry, and ammunition, both sides in a war need to maintain bridges. Retreating armies often destroy bridges to slow the enemy pace toward victory. Logistically, fighting at a bridge is a nightmare. Folklore has many tales of battles over and on bridges. A Teutonic myth related in the Eddas speaks of Bifrost Bridge the rainbow defended by the gods.
Benkei became his faithful follower. Masaharu Anesaki, V. Some are left behind at Bataan with a specific mission regarding a strategic bridge. Our job is to keep the Japs from moving their tanks and artillery through here, to stop them anyway we can. The idea is that Gen. McArthur needs time to consolidate and reorganize down below. If the Jap army can pour their artillery through here, the battle of Bataan will be over all too soon. The bridge he refers to is a stunningly beautiful stone bridge with three arches between two very tall stone towers and two anchoring towers on either side of the valley walls.
A close-up shot shows wooden rails and wooden planks for the walkway, which is only wide enough for about 4 people walking abreast. The captain has, at best, a very motley crew of soldiers and sailors, who have never worked together before. They immediately strap dynamite to the timbers supporting the roadway.
Once the Japanese arrive on the bridge, the Americans blow it up, but the stone piers remain intact and the Japanese begin rebuilding and guarding the construction with firepower. The captain and an assistant lob grenades throughout the night and blow up the roadway again. A lieutenant, already critically wounded in an earlier exchange of gunfire, flies a dynamite-packed plane into the bridge and succeeds in destroying some of the supporting piers.
The depiction of an American kamikaze pilot was unusual for the time. The remaining Americans should have retreated then, but their orders were to prevent the Japanese from crossing. The film is sketchy in describing how the enemy soldiers get closer to the American camp across the valley floor, perhaps. A major Japanese assault leaves only three Americans alive.
Finally only a sergeant Robert Taylor is left. The original bridge, as seen in the film, dated to and was destroyed in during the Croat—Bosniak War, and rebuilt in The film depicts her life in relation to three bridges. The bridge rises about 15 degrees from each end to allow boats to pass under the center. Helga Maria Schell is serving in Mostar that spring of Crossing the bridge, she meets Martin, a young Sgt. Major in the Wehrmacht. At that same bridge, the site of her budding romance, Helga also witnesses death, as a Yugoslavian partisan tries to escape across the bridge.
After he jumps into the water, he is shot. After a short while, Helga is taken captive by a group of partisans who need a nurse to care for their wounded. When word of a typhus outbreak reaches them, they decide to try to get through to a hospital in territory liberated from the fascists. To do so, they must cross a rickety, wooden suspension bridge over the Neretva River. Just as they begin, a contingent of German soldiers comes up river in motorboats. Shooting breaks out.
The bridge is torn apart by bullets and the stress of so much human weight. But finally the partisans defeat the Germans and create a makeshift bridge by standing in the river holding boards for the others to be carried across. Unsuccessful in securing medicine from the hospital, already destroyed by previous fighting, the partisans send Helga and her female guard to the village of Poletwa where there is reportedly a cache of medicine dropped by the British.
Helga and her guard quickly discover that the German army has occupied the small village. They stand along the bridge which Helga and the partisan must cross. Pretending to be Muslim, the two women cover their faces and walk past the guards. Helga has a perfect opportunity to speak out and ask for protection, but she crosses the bridge without saying a word to her German countrymen.
After a series of complications, Helga is back on the bridge headed toward the partisans with the medicine. But just as she is almost across, shooting breaks out, partisans against Germans. The partisans yell for her to come to them. She stands on the bridge, uncertain what to do, but finally picks up the bag of medicine and walks toward the partisans, who take the bag of medicine.
Now apparently wounded by the gunfire, she starts back across the bridge toward the German side. Both sides hold their fire until she crumbles onto the wooden floor of the simple stone slab bridge. Firing renews. Her body lies on the bridge as the camera pulls back and looks down at her. In this amazing film, the bridges are very much a real part of the landscape, actual places of battle, structures to be defended or destroyed.
She has become a humanist with a love for all humanity and an understanding of the struggle for homeland. At the beginning of the film, she is part of the invading army. By the end, her mind, body, and spirit have become part of the Yugoslavian land. She has also crossed the bridge from life to death. Above: To the left is the original bridge over the Neretva River in Jablanica before it was destroyed in the war. Typhus is spreading among the partisans in Bosnia. The partisans try to enter the town of Prosov, but they quickly discover it has been occupied by Italians, Axis allies of Hitler.
Worse, the Germans are bearing down on the partisans from behind. Caught in the middle, the partisans finally find the courage to break through the Italian forces to get to Prosov. A Chetnik senator Orson Welles , allied with the Germans and a supporter of the Serbian monarchy, suggests that the partisans be allowed to cross the Neretva River with their wounded and sick. Once they are in his territory, his troops will attack them. However, the German general prefers to attack them on the bridge.
Inexplicably, Vlado Yul Brynner and his partisan commandos start wiring the steel truss bridge for destruction. Besides having a pedestrian walkway, the bridge is primarily a train trestle, which cannot be allowed to survive for German or Chetnik use. After many arguments with his fellow partisans, Vlado blows it up. With the Germans bearing down on them from behind and the Chetniks waiting on the other side, the partisans seem to have no escape route. So, they start repairing the bridge—just enough to allow people to pick their way down, over, and up the twisted steel beams.
Just then the Germans start bombing the bridge. The image of the hundreds of partisans crossing the wrecked bridge is quite incredible. On the other side they successfully engage the Chetnik army and surround them in total defeat. A more manageable wooden bridge is set up at the base of the destroyed bridge and the Yugoslavian wounded and dead are brought across into liberated territory.
Ever eager to destroy things, Vlado sets the wooden bridge on fire. The camera pulls back to reveal the conflagration. A different kind of partisan saboteur is shown in Uncertain Glory US, Inspector Bonet tracks him down and brings him back. But along the way, they hear that a railway bridge vital to the Germans has been destroyed, supposedly by allied agents. The Germans take Frenchmen and are threatening to execute them unless the saboteurs come forward. Picard, who would rather die at the hands of the firing squad as opposed to the guillotine, offers to go to the Germans and say that he is the saboteur.
Bonet accepts and so they go the village near where the bridge was to learn all that they can so that Picard can convince the Germans that he is the saboteur. Above: Three bridges in the Netherlands were filmed for A Bridge Too Far in and as of remain standing today. From left to right, the bridges are as follows. The John S. Thompsonbrug over the Maas River between Grave and Nederasselt is a rivet-connected polygonal Warren through truss built in Waalbrug over the Waal River in Nijmegen, Gelderland is a rare steel crescent through arch bridge, built in Lastly, Wilhelminabrug in Deventer, Overijssel is a steel through arch that was completed in Capturing bridges is vitally important for advancing armies.
But in September the British General Montgomery decided to bypass the traditional method and simply insert men behind enemy lines to seize key bridges across the Rhine River several days before the main army arrived. Visit this web site for information on the military campaign. It will be the largest airborne operation ever done. We shall seize the bridges with thunderclap surprise and hold them until they can be secured. The Germans have orders to hold the bridges at any cost short of blowing them up.
Soon the Americans start building a pontoon bridge over the Rhine where the Sonne had been. On the other hand, Gra Bridge is easily captured intact. Another bridge with a graceful long overhead arch, from which much of the roadway is suspended, is well protected by a German machine gun nest. Similar to the bridge across Highway in Austin, Texas. In their attempt to take the bridge, British soldiers are mowed down. At night two British commandos accidentally hit an ammunition dump while using a flame thrower on the German machine gunners. A huge explosion sets the bridge on fire, a horrifyingly beautiful sight in the darkness.
He refuses to let it fall into Allied hands. Slowly it seems that the Allies are taking most of the bridges—all but Arnhem, still effectively protected by the SS Panzers. The Allied reinforcements have no hope of reaching Arnhem in time. The British attack force, already low on ammunition and supplies, receives radio orders to give up the mission and evacuate. Thousands have died in a valiant but misguided attempt to secure the bridge.
The Allies failed in an essential part of their plan; they captured some key bridges but not yet the one at Arnhem. Thousands died on both sides. The bridges became bloody battlegrounds because of their supreme importance in getting men, supplies, and wheeled weaponry onward into enemy territory or in keeping them out. Steel or stone, the bridges became mute testimony to the frequently necessary risks of war. This riveted through truss bridge was built in and remains standing today. For the movie, it appears that the laced vertical members had plate added to make them look solid. Lieutenant Hartman George Segal leads the mission, while a Nazi major Robert Vaughan defies orders by attempting to hold the bridge instead of blowing it up.
A tragic look at the price effected by the defense of bridges is shown in the German anti-war film Die Brucke The Bridge , A group of seven year-old boys are recruited into the German army as the Allied army advances on their small town.
The Bridge Experience | The Bridge Method
The young friends are untrained soldiers but strong in their youthful ideals. They are given the task of defending a useless bridge. Americans have already established a bridgehead farther north. It is nothing more than busy work for the boys, since the other German soldiers have no intention of helping them. The boys are entirely expendable. The German captain orders several older soldiers to blow up the bridge as the American tanks begin crossing, but the boys are not told of this plan.
Instead, they think they are protecting their village from invasion. Left completely alone, the boys dig foxholes by the bridge. One goes up into a tree to serve as lookout. This simple stone bridge over a gentle stream had been a place to play in childhood. Wisdom has been met with derision. They hear trucks approaching and set up barricades but discover the vehicles belong to the German army in full flight. Barricades are removed and army trucks fly through with their passengers, including a medal-smeared officer and many wounded, grizzled, defeated soldiers.
With their innocent faces full of foolhardy idealism the boys stare at men who could be their older brothers. An impressive high angle shot shows the 7 boys alone on the bridge, shrouded in fog and confusion. He is the first to die on the bridge. When the American tanks arrive, the boys put up a valiant resistance. But they are actually causing further destruction to their village.
Had they not fired on the tanks, the Americans would probably have simply crossed the bridge and gone on through the minor town. It would have been best to leave the bridge to fend for itself. The three remaining veteran German soldiers are upset with the boys for not letting the Americans get onto the bridge so it can be blown up. Some of the boys become increasingly scared by the incessant firing during the firefight with the Americans. The two in the foxhole hold hands. Then the three soldiers come to blow up the bridge. Sickened by the news that the army always intended to destroy the bridge, the two remaining boys shoot one of the soldiers and the other two run off but fire back and kill Hans.
Only one boy remains alive, but even he is wounded in the arm. He walks off the bridge and the camera rises up to look down on the bridge with its bodies, discarded motorcycle, weapons, and meaninglessness except being a place where six boys died unnecessarily.
The brook flows gently beneath. Black smoke covers the scene. They passed the test but failed the course. They shed blood, preserved their honor, but scarcely anyone remembered them as the Allies finally overran Germany and ended the war. Now the Combine seem to have no particular use for the base and simply left it abandoned. The other Resistance occupied bases and outposts such as New Little Odessa and Shorepoint apparently did not risk attempting to retake the base.
The Combine decided to reinforce the base when Freeman was detected heading that way and two squads are air-dropped in by Combine Dropship right before Freeman reaches the spot. As he must cross the bridge with his Scout Car to proceed, he has to deactivate both Force Fields barring its way. Crossing the bridge on foot by using the catwalks located under it, he succeeds in deactivating the Force Fields protecting the bridge, destroying the Combine Overwatch garrisons located there as well as a Gunship sent as reinforcements by the same occasion.
After going back to the main site, he is now able to cross the bridge, but has to play a game of chicken with a Razor Train coming from the opposite direction. The Combine probably did not retake the base after this, as their military presence in the area was significantly weakened after the destruction of Nova Prospekt.
Celluloid Connections: The Bridge in Cinema
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