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The Bridges at Toko-Ri
The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Actors: William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March, Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss
Director: Mark Robson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Military & War
NR     2001     1hr 42min

The story of a WWII veteran Navy pilot who leaves his family to fight again in the Korean conflict. Genre: Feature Film-Drama Rating: NR Release Date: 2-MAY-2006 Media Type: DVD


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Movie Details

Actors: William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March, Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss
Director: Mark Robson
Creators: Loyal Griggs, Alma Macrorie, George Seaton, William Perlberg, James Michener, Valentine Davies
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Love & Romance, Classics, Military & War
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/22/2001
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
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Member Movie Reviews

Peter Q. (Petequig)
Reviewed on 6/12/2011...
A great story of courage and honor...should be required viewing.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Of Individual Sacrifice and Courage
Reviewer | 05/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Korean War is the setting for "The Bridges At Toko-Ri," a story of individual sacrifice and the high cost of freedom, from director Mark Robson. Navy fighter-pilot Harry Brubaker (William Holden), a veteran of World War II, is called to serve again when the conflict in Korea escalates, which takes him away from his wife, Nancy (Grace Kelly), two young children and a successful law practice. When his plane goes down after a mission, into the sea just short of the carrier, he survives; but he bitterly questions the fairness of what he has been asked to do, while everyone back home is able to go on with the routine of their lives, uninterrupted. Rear Admiral George Tarrant (Fredric March), a man who has had his own share of personal tragedy (he looks upon Brubaker as the son he has lost to the war, himself), tells Brubaker it's a matter of distance; we do this because we're here; back home they're only doing just as you would be doing if you were there. When Brubaker is granted shore leave, strings are pulled, and arrangements are made for Nancy and the children to join him; a brief respite, after which he must return to face his most formidable challenge yet, flying against the bridges that span the canyons at Toko-Ri. Very probably a suicide mission, it is nevertheless believed that knocking out these particular bridges could bring about a turning point in the war, and Lieutenant Brubaker is called upon once again to play a pivotal roll in deciding the outcome. An excellent supporting cast ably brings to life the characters that infuse this drama with humanity. Mickey Rooney is unforgettable as Mike Forney, the fighting, Irish helicopter pilot who fishes Brubaker out of the sea when his plane crashes. Memorable as well are Earl Holliman (Nestor Gamidge, Forney's partner), Robert Strauss (Beer Barrel), Charles McGraw (Commander Wayne Lee), Keiko Awaji (Kimiko) and Willis bouchey (Captain Evans). An excellent precursor to the more recent "Saving Private Ryan," and "U-571," "The Bridges At Toko-Ri" is an intimate study of individual courage and responsibility, and of the moral fortitude of which man is capable in times of crisis. There is a finality to the climax of this film that underscores the intense personal aspects of the larger conflict, and of the price demanded by certain individuals chosen to fulfill a seemingly random destiny. At the end of the movie, Admiral Tarrant sums it up succinctly when he ponders aloud: "Where do we get such men?" To which we can only answer: Where, indeed."
More fact than fiction
Cletus Van Damme | Edmond, OK USA | 06/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When asked to describe what flying from carriers was like during the Korean War, Tom Hudner, the only Navy pilot to win the Medal of Honor in Korea, replied, "Did you ever see the movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri? It was exactly like that." Toko-Ri is one of the finest aviation movies ever made.

Following Michener's death in 1997, the Library of Congress released the notes and journals that he compiled during the war, revealing many of the real characters and events behind the scenes of the popular story. Here's a list of the characters and the real persons on which they were based:

LT Harry Brubaker = Composite of LT Donald Brubaker and ENS Marvin Broomhead
RADM George Tarrant = RADM John "Black Jack" Perry
Mike Forney = Chief Duane Thorin
Nestor Gamidge = Petty Officer Ernest Crawford
CDR Wayne Lee ("CAG") = CDR Marshall Beebe

The novel and movie are based a mission flown against railway bridges in North Korea by prop-driven AD Skyraiders of VF-54. The strike was part of a series of attacks planned by VADM Joseph J. "Jocko" Clark which he called the "Cherokee Strikes."

Michener wrote the ending based on his belief that similar events occurred during the Cherokee Strikes. In reality, Broomhead and Thorin were both captured (albeit on different missions) and survived the war as POWs. Thorin later published his memoirs, which can be found online (google "Memoirs of Duane Thorin"). His trademark was a green baseball cap."
A great book makes a great movie...even in 1954...
Charles W. Adams | Adel, Iowa USA | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I read this book when it first appeared in "Life" magazine and later reread it several times. I consider Michener's novel to be among the very best I've ever read and highly recommend it. It follows that Hollywood should (would)jump at the chance to adapt this short novel into a great anti-war film. As I remember the story, the film pretty much follows Michener's plot, with at least one notable exception that doesn't detract from the story's theme and impact. A strong cast, led by William Holden adds to the film's overall quality. Holden simply is outstanding as Lt. Harry Brubaker, a reserve World War II pilot called back to fly against the North Koreans and Chinese. But the supporting players, including Frederic March, Mickey Rooney, Robert Strauss and Charles McGraw are equally effective at depicting hard-nosed professionals. I only wish the staff and crew that put together the special effects were still around to share their thoughts on the spectacular bombing scenes using miniature sets, planes, etc."