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The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954)

The Bridges at Toko-Ri poster

James Michener’s Korean War novel gets a vivid interpretation by screenwriter Valentine Davies and director Mark Robson, with some impressive aerial photography and effects.  William Holden is the lawyer recalled to the Navy to fly bombs to support ground troops and his fear-filled ambivalence reminds commander Frederic March of one of his own sons killed in World War 2. Grace Kelly is only in the second quarter of the film, to see her husband on leave in Japan and there are nice scenes with their kids and her own scene with March who explains the dangers her husband faces to prepare her for potentially tough times ahead.  Mickey Rooney is the chopper pilot who’s pulled Holden from the sea so Holden returns the favour on shore leave when Rooney brawls with a love rival. He and Earl Holliman are a tight partnership who dig the pilots out of holes. But over it all hangs the mission:  a dangerous attack on strategic bridges and, well, it’s war. That never ends well.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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