Monday, June 27, 2016

The bridge is out

So the bridge on the main road I take to work every morning is under repairs. There's a detour, but thankfully it only makes my 4-mile commute a 6-mile commute. And since I work the early shift it's not as if there's much traffic anyway.

But of course this being a movie blog, that's not why I'm mentioning it. I got to think about movies with bridges being out of commission as a plot point.

I think there are a lot of them in old westerns with the railroads, since trying to build railroads was a theme in several of those westerns And as a general rule, I find myself reminded of more railroad bridges either being out or rickety than road bridges. I seem to recall Buster Keaton tries to burn the bridge behind him in The General. Definitely in Tycoon John Wayne has to deal with a shoddy railroad bridge he had to build quickly because his boss wasted his time making him try to tunnel through the mountain instead.

The bridge may not be enough to support the weight of a train in Ring of Fire, either, although they've also got the pressing issue of a massive forest fire they're trying to guide the train through. (Now if TCM could just get a wide-screen print of this one.)

And then there's The Cassandra Crossing, where the authorities don't really care if the bridge goes down, because then it will take a bunch of people carrying a contagion with it. Cruel, but what if these people infected all of Europe?

As for road bridges being down, there's one that's a plot point in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. The bridge being out means that Cary Grant is stuck in New York City, while his wife (Myrna Loy) is in the house out in Connecticut. The kids are on Grant's side of the bridge although much closer to home. However, their lawyer (Melvyn Douglas) gets trapped on the house side of the bridge and has to spend the night in the house with Loy, which of course leads Grant to fear the worst.

Any other good "bridge down" movies on your mind?

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