A naval aviator is assigned to bomb a group of heavily defended bridges during the Korean War.
The Chosen Few. Task Force 77. The Bridges at Toko-Ri is directed by Mark Robson and adapted to screenplay by Valentine Davies from the novel written by James A. Michener. It stars William Holden, Earl Holliman, Grace Kelly, Mickey Rooney, Fredric March, Robert Strauss and Charles McGraw. Music is by Lyn Murray and cinematography by Lloyd Griggs. A good strong and solid Koran War movie that finds Holden as a wise old pilot taking on a mission to blow up the bridges of the title deep in enemy territory. Focusing more on character drama than action, a good portion of the film concerns itself with Holden's Lt. Harry Brubaker and his relationship with his wife, Nancy (Kelly), and two of his charges, Mike Forney (Rooney) and Nestor Gamidge (Holliman). The big budget and the big cast ensure it's an ever watchable production, with the futility of war message not over done, no need for excessive blood and violence here and the aerial special effects are most impressive. The final mission is superbly constructed by Robson and his team, and most likely on reflection can be viewed as influential on a certain future blockbuster movie. Uplifting and startlingly moving into the bargain, this is very much a case of the big questions, Why me? Why are we here anyway?, being pertinent and portrayed with grace and splendour. 7/10
I thoroughly enjoyed this suspenseful film, well directed by Mark Robson and with a wonderful cast. The scene in which the plane is trying to bomb the bridges amongst enemy fire reminded me of the boat in Apocalypse Now. The acting, particularly by William Holden, Grace Kelly and Mickey Rooney, is marvelous. Definitely an underrated classic.