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The Bridge - Charles Vidor


Rental Format(s): Digital File

Alternate title: The Spy
Maker: Charles Vidor
Original format: 35mm silent film 1.33:1
Featuring Nicholas Bela and Charles Darvas
New music: Bob Vaughn

Vidor's The Bridge, an adaptation of Ambrose Bierce's story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, utilizes flash-forward techniques to visualize a condemned man's escape fantasy. It effectively creates a mixture of objectivity and inner subjectivity and was released in 1931 to great acclaim under a new title, The Spy. -Jan-Christopher Horak

It is amazing the similarities shared between Vidor's 1929 short film and the 1950 underground gay classic Un Chant d'amour made by author-playwright-criminal Jean Genet. The themes reverberate a male point-of-view closely associated with sexual fantasies tied to imprisonment, punishment and release even though Vidor's film suppresses much of the overt references to homosexual sex graphically shown by Genet. Although each film approaches vastly different perspectives, they do relate to one another in major and minor ways. The complex theme explored obliquely by Vidor and blatantly by Genet, centers on the threat of physical violence - death by hanging in The Bridge and beating and rape in Un Chant d'amour. One lesser but most poignant poetic visualized in both films is how men adorn themselves with flowers to express bliss. -Bruce Posner

After an apprenticeship at UFA in Berlin, Charles Vidor (1900-1959) came to Hollywood in 1924. He produced The Bridge independently (1929), but didn't work steadily until RKO hired him in 1933. Later directed at Paramount and Columbia, where he became a specialist for big budget films with Rita Hayworth, like Cover Girl (1944). -Jan-Christopher Horak

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Digital File $40.00  

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