The Bridges at Toko-Ri

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Popular belief has it that Americans never questioned going to war until the Vietnam protest era, but this DVD release of The Bridges at Toko-Ri shows that even popular entertainment was posing interesting questions about duty and patriotism long before the 1960s. William Holden gives a typically strong, subtle performance as a World War II fighter pilot who is being forced to "do his duty" one more time in Korea. The ever underrated director Mark Robson handles both the emotionally charged dramatic sequences and...
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Overview

Popular belief has it that Americans never questioned going to war until the Vietnam protest era, but this DVD release of The Bridges at Toko-Ri shows that even popular entertainment was posing interesting questions about duty and patriotism long before the 1960s. William Holden gives a typically strong, subtle performance as a World War II fighter pilot who is being forced to "do his duty" one more time in Korea. The ever underrated director Mark Robson handles both the emotionally charged dramatic sequences and the exciting action sequences with verve. This DVD comes in the full-screen aspect ratio only; but that's how The Bridges at Toko-Ri was shot (the widescreen process was just starting out in 1954 when this film was released). The disc's Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio track is clean and well balanced, but won't be used to show off a multi-speaker sound system. Viewers may also want to watch Robson's 1951 feature I Want You, a domestic drama about veterans and their family members facing the prospect of another armed conflict in Korea so soon after World War II.
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Special Features

Standard version; Dolby Digital: English mono; French mono; English subtitles; Interative menus; Scene selection; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Following so quickly the global drama of World War II, the Korean War inspired few films. Director Mark Robson made one of them in 1951, I Want You, while the war was still hot. In 1955, after the war had cooled, he directed The Bridges at Toko-Ri, based on the novel by the reliable and extremely popular James Michener. The film has all the thrills and suspense of the best air war movies, yet its plot is decidedly anti-war. William Holden stars as a World War II combat pilot called back into duty. His reluctance to fight symbolized Americans' war-weariness in the early 1950s. Grace Kelly plays his wife and Mickey Rooney appears as the stereotypical doomed comrade. A taut, well-honed, and highly charged socio-political drama as well as an adventure movie, The Bridges at Toko-Ri won a special effects Oscar and a place among the finest combat movies.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/22/2001
  • UPC: 097360590647
  • Original Release: 1954
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:43:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
William Holden Lt. Hany Brubaker, USNR
Grace Kelly Nancy Brubaker
Fredric March Rear Adm. George Tarrant
Mickey Rooney Mike Forney
Earl Holliman Nestor Gamidge
Robert Strauss Beer Barrel
Charles McGraw Cmdr. Wayne Lee
Keiko Awaji Kimiko
Richard Shannon Lieutenant Olds
Willis B. Bouchey Capt. Evans
Nadene Ashdown Kathy Brubaker
Marshall V. Beebe Pilot
Cheryl Lynn Calloway Susie
James Jankins Asst. CIC Officer
Robert Kino Bartender
Paul Kruger Captain Parker
Rollin Moriyama Bellhop
Gene Reynolds C.I.C. Officer
Jack Roberts Quartermaster
Robert Sherry Flight Surgeon
Teru Shimada Japanese Father
Charles Tannen MP Major
Dennis Weaver Air Intelligence Officer
Technical Credits
Mark Robson Director
Henry Bumstead Art Director
Charles G. Clarke Cinematographer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Valentine Davies Screenwriter
Francisco Day Asst. Director
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Gene Garvin Sound/Sound Designer
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Loyal Griggs Cinematographer
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
Alma Macrorie Editor
Lyn Murray Score Composer
Hal Pereira Art Director
William Perlberg Producer
George Seaton Producer
Wally Westmore Makeup
James A. Michener Source Author
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Scene Index

Side #1
1. Korea, November 1952 [6:34]
2. Down Pilot [6:36]
3. A Question Of Distance [2:26]
4. Berthing The Carrier [4:37]
5. Liberty [5:28]
6. Face Reality [1:24]
7. A Favor For Mike [3:12]
8. "Tell me about those bridges" [5:28]
9. Happy Family [4:43]
10. Photos [:42]
11. Rough Landing [3:57]
12. Dear Nancy [8:39]
13. Attack Launched [1:32]
14. The Secondary Target [6:08]
15. Crash Landing [4:45]
16. Last Ditch [1:18]
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Menu

Side #1
   Play
   Set Up
   Theatrical Trailer
   Scene Selection
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 29, 2013

      The Korean War (police action) went into cease-fire about eigh

      The Korean War (police action) went into cease-fire about eighteen months previous to the release of The 
    Bridges at Toko-Ri.  The novel on which it was based, by James Michener  (Lt. USN ret.)  had been published
    the previous year.  Most  Americans had the same feelings toward the police action-they were ambivalent.  
    Certainly everyone had wanted to win it  -quickly-  but at the same time no one wanted to risk WW III to do so.
    General Douglas MacArthur was willing to, which is why Truman promptly fired him, even after a decisive (con-
    vebtional) victory at Inchon.  Most audiences, therefore, were open-minded to Micheners ( (Pulitzer (1947 ))  prize
    -winning work and balanced viewpoint on the Korean  conflict, written in 1951.
       The film The Bridges at Toko-Ri continues this balanced work.  We look at two sides of the war, officer and
    enlisted, and how they interact in combat. The director, Mark Robson, had the cream of Hollywood at the time-
    William Holden, who had won the best acting Oscar the previous year for Stalag 17, Grace Kelly who would
     receive one the following year for The Country Girl, Frederic March who had received two in  his long career was at  57
     perfectly  cast as the elderly, paternal Admiral Tarrant, and the ever-popular Mickey Rooney as a rescue
     helicopter Chief Petty Officer.
       The film is primarily about the experiences of Lt. Brubaker (Holden), a WW II Navy pilot called back to active
     duty for the Korean conflict.  Brubaker is'nt excited about returning to combat duty-he has a wife, two children
     and a law practice as a civilian.  The drama is primarily about his coming to grips with his thankless job of
     flying dangerous shore missions, and particularly one against the heavily fortified bridges at Toko-Ri.  Right to
    the end, Brubaker wonders if the war effort is worth it.
       In contrast to this is the Task Force admiral Tarrant, who, even though he has lost a son  to the conflict, still
    holds out for victory as the film ends.  How Brubaker's wife, Nancy (Kelly), feels is left up in the air,, but as a 
    dutiful Navy wife, she's probably prepared for anything.
        I have read reviews of The Bridges at Toko-Ri  that consider this an anti-war movie, and reviews that consider       
    it  a war movie.  I feel that The Bridges at Toko-Ri  can go either way, depending on who you empathize with.
    So the audiences of 1954 probably left the theater satisfied, even  though the ambiguity of the conflidt cannot be 
    resolved.  Whether this ambiguity still stands today is up to you, the viewer.
      (Academy Award for Best Special Effects, 1954.







       

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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