Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, June 23, 2008


BRIDGE TO THE SUN (1961). Director: Etienne Perier.

A pretty young woman named Gwen (Carroll Baker) falls in love with a handsome Japanese diplomat named Hidenari Terasaki (James Shigeta), marries him, and moves to Japan, where she's expected to conform to the docile, subservient role of a typical Japanese housewife, causing friction, to say the least. The couple and their young daughter are back in the U.S. when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor; when Hidenari is deported, Gwen -- to her mother's horror -- decides to go with him. Hidenari is distrusted by his colleagues not only because of his American wife but because he is secretly working for peace (exactly what he's doing is never really specified). Based on a true story, Bridge to the Sun is interesting and well-acted, but despite some good scenes, its examination of some serious and provocative situations is on the superficial side. (The whole business of atomic bombs being dropped on Japan is completely glossed over so we never learn the reactions of either Gwen or Hidenari.) However, the ending is very moving.

Verdict: An A for effort. **1/2.

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