Across the Bridge

In the Tradition of the Finest British Chiller Thrillers

Drama Thriller Crime
103 min     6.8     1957     United Kingdom

Overview

In Mexico, a financier on the run poses as a man he just murdered, only to find out that the man was also a murderer.

Reviews

John Chard wrote:
He's got one friend left. Across the Bridge is directed by Ken Annakin and adapted to screenplay by Guy Elmes and Dennis Freeman for a Graham Greene story. It stars Rod Steiger, David Knight, Marla Landi, Noel Willman, Bernard Lee and Eric Pohlmann. Music is by James Bernard and cinematography by Reginald Wyer. High powered business man Carl Schaffner (Steiger) is crooked and the net is finally closing in on him. Fleeing to Mexico he initiates a sequence of events that finds him taking on the identity of another man. If he thought this was going to be his way out of a jam? He has no idea... The implosion of a morally corrupt shyster drives this excellent and under seen Brit noir production. Fronted by Steiger turning in one of his greatest performances, he himself called it the second best work he ever did after The Pawnbroker, pic unfolds slowly but grips like a vice until the final third thrusts Schaffner into a world of desperation and solitude. A world inhabited by people not beyond fracturing laws and regulations themselves, and where it dawns on him that the vagaries of fate has stared him in the eyes and laughed at him. Annakin, himself proclaiming this to be up with his best work, creates a grubby and sweaty Mexican border town to act as the backdrop to Schaffner's mental decay, and with Bernard's ferociously aware musical score pounding on Schaffner's shoulders, atmosphere is set at the high end of Bleakville. Dolores the dog is also a star of the piece, and the most integral of characters as well, putting one in mind immediately of the great Bogart picture High Sierra. Once tale reaches the culmination, where man and dog are to have their respective futures decided on the bridge of the title, suspense is at breaking point and Annakin gives us the coup de grace. Excellent movie. 8.5/10
John Chard wrote:
He's got one friend left. Across the Bridge is directed by Ken Annakin and adapted to screenplay by Guy Elmes and Dennis Freeman for a Graham Greene story. It stars Rod Steiger, David Knight, Marla Landi, Noel Willman, Bernard Lee and Eric Pohlmann. Music is by James Bernard and cinematography by Reginald Wyer. High powered business man Carl Schaffner (Steiger) is crooked and the net is finally closing in on him. Fleeing to Mexico he initiates a sequence of events that finds him taking on the identity of another man. If he thought this was going to be his way out of a jam? He has no idea... The implosion of a morally corrupt shyster drives this excellent and under seen Brit noir production. Fronted by Steiger turning in one of his greatest performances, he himself called it the second best work he ever did after The Pawnbroker, pic unfolds slowly but grips like a vice until the final third thrusts Schaffner into a world of desperation and solitude. A world inhabited by people not beyond fracturing laws and regulations themselves, and where it dawns on him that the vagaries of fate has stared him in the eyes and laughed at him. Annakin, himself proclaiming this to be up with his best work, creates a grubby and sweaty Mexican border town to act as the backdrop to Schaffner's mental decay, and with Bernard's ferociously aware musical score pounding on Schaffner's shoulders, atmosphere is set at the high end of Bleakville. Dolores the dog is also a star of the piece, and the most integral of characters as well, putting one in mind immediately of the great Bogart picture High Sierra. Once tale reaches the culmination, where man and dog are to have their respective futures decided on the bridge of the title, suspense is at breaking point and Annakin gives us the coup de grace. Excellent movie. 8.5/10
CinemaSerf wrote:
Talk about hoist by your own petard! Rod Steiger is the manipulative British/German businessman "Chaffner" who has embezzled a great deal of money from his business. Bent on escape from the USA to Mexico, he gets his train timings wrong! Facing capture, he drugs a fellow passenger and steals his identity. Initially that seems like a good idea, he even makes it to Mexico - only there does he discover that the man he is pretending to be is even worse than him and the Mexican authorities, as well as pursuing Scotland Yard Inspector "Hayden" (Bernard Lee) turn the tables on their quarry in an ingenious and rather cruel, effective and ostracising manner. Steiger is really good here as his situation becomes more and more desperate. The tight photography from Reginald Wyer coupled with some taut direction from Ken Annakin and scoring from James Bernard work well to illustrate to us just how how unwelcoming his new home was - indeed, he was lucky that a stray dog decided to befriend him! I liked the ending - it had a clever sense of vindication and though this pace is a bit lethargic at times, this well worth watching for Steiger on his own.

Similar