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The Bridge (West German-1959) A great war film……





When you are a sixty-four year old movie buff that is into war/military films and come across a great film in that genre that was made in 1959,  you might understand my amazement.  A film that I did not even know it existed.  That is on me.  My first thoughts is have I seen some of the shots in this movie that Steven Spielberg used in his great battle film of World War II, Saving Private Ryan?  Surly he has viewed this Bernhard Wicki adaptation of a Gregor Dorfmeister novel named Die Brücke (The Bridge).  A story based on an actual event upon the personal report of a surviving veteran who in his own youth experienced a similar situation in World War II.  The film world honored the film and also the director Wicki,  which resulted in his participation in co-directing the movie The Longest Day (1962).

An anti-war film, The Bridge is about a group of fifteen/sixteen year old boys that are drafted in the German Army one day before the American army makes it to their town in Germany to cross a bridge that is in the path of their advancement in the Third Reich.  A group of seven teens are ordered to guard a bridge that the German high command has already decided to blow up but nobody told the young and inexperienced soldiers.  This movie delivers the goods with a telling story told by a master director one of his first films with actors with little or no experience.  The view of the war on the German side was ground breaking at the time and the film was shown in the United States and Russia shortly after it opened in West Germany.


The battle action in the final quarter of the film is very effective and realistic.  A war movie that shows the human side of what war does to the human spirit.  I rate this one a solid five stars.  The Criterion transfer is second to none.




Run Time:  103 minutes



Not Rated

  • Studio: Criterion Collection (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: June 23, 2015



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About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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