The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Watch The Bridge of San Luis Rey

"Beautiful... Bewitching ... the Perichole ..."
  • Passed
  • 1944
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 5.5  (207)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey from 1944 is a captivating film that is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel authored by Thornton Wilder. The movie is set in the 18th century and revolves around the events leading up to the collapse of the San Luis Rey Bridge in Peru, which claimed the lives of five people. The film features a star-studded cast that includes Lynn Bari, Akim Tamiroff, Francis Lederer, and a host of other talented actors.

The film begins by introducing us to Brother Juniper (Akim Tamiroff), a devout Catholic monk who is on a quest to find out why the seemingly random deaths of the five individuals occurred. His curiosity leads him to conduct interviews with family members, friends, and acquaintances of the deceased, in an attempt to piece together the events leading up to the tragedy.

One of the individuals who perished on the bridge is Doña María (Lynn Bari), a wealthy and beautiful woman who had dedicated her life to helping the poor. We learn that María's life had been shattered by the death of her twin babies, which had led her to embark on a journey of self-discovery and spirituality. She had also developed a close relationship with Pepita (Lisa Golm), a poor and orphaned girl whom she had taken under her wing.

Another victim of the collapse is Esteban (Francis Lederer), a famous actor who is traveling to Lima to seek out a new acting job. Esteban had been orphaned as a child and had grown up in poverty, but he had managed to achieve success through his talent and charisma. We also witness the lives of Manuel and Camila, a couple madly in love and struggling to find their way amid political upheaval.

As Brother Juniper continues his investigation, we are presented with glimpses into the lives and experiences of the five individuals. We see how their unique backgrounds, beliefs, and circumstances all culminated in the events that led to their tragic end. With every interview, we are brought closer to unraveling the mystery of why they had to die.

The film is a poignant exploration of life, death, and the meaning of existence. It presents us with complex and nuanced characters who grapple with love, loss, and purpose. The visuals are breathtaking, with lush landscapes of Peru and stunning portrayals of colonial architecture. The film is beautifully shot and directed, capturing the essence of Wilder's prose and evoking a sense of nostalgia for an era long gone.

The performances of the cast are exceptional, with Lynn Bari's portrayal of Doña María being particularly noteworthy. Her on-screen chemistry with Lisa Golm's Pepita is palpable and heartwarming. Tamiroff's nuanced performance as Brother Juniper anchors the narrative and serves as a moral compass for the audience.

In conclusion, The Bridge of San Luis Rey from 1944 is a cinematic gem that transcends time. It is a captivating tale that explores the interconnectedness of human lives and the fragility of existence. With its stunning visuals, exceptional performances, and masterful storytelling, it is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates classic cinema.

The Bridge of San Luis Rey
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (207)