FILM DIARY: The Bridge (aka Most) (Hajrudin Krvavac, 1969)

THE BRIDGE is a Yugoslavian war picture in which Yugoslavian Partisans are sent to destroy a bridge that is vital to the occupying German forces. In this, they are assisted by the architect who designed the bridge; he must help the Partisans destroy this structure into which he invested his heart and soul.

Essentially a ‘man on a mission’ film in a similar vein to Robert Aldrich’s THE DIRTY DOZEN, released two years earlier, THE BRIDGE contains some incredibly well-staged action, photographed in a style that borrows from the visual paradigms of newsreels. Whilst the film seems to have one eye on the popularity of Spaghetti Westerns and Italian war movies of the era, there is nevertheless a gritty authenticity to the action that’s comparable to Sam Peckinpah’s approach in his 1977 war picture CROSS OF IRON, which was also shot in Yugoslavia. Perhaps it’s something to do with the locations…

At the end of the film, the bridge is detonated. Both the Partisans and the German opposition lament the fact that the ‘beautiful’ bridge had to be destroyed, a comment on the cost of war.