Bridges at Toko-Ri/B,B
Paramount/1954/103/FS 1.33

    Solid war drama with some good air action, but the operative word here is drama more than action. Filmed during the Korean War, The Bridges at Toko-Ri is the story of an aircraft carrier and its mission to send a decisive message to the Koreans and Chinese holding the line in Korea. The bridges of the title are deep in enemy territory, protected by a narrow entry through a mountain range. Admiral Tarrant is determined to knock the bridges out, despite the probability of heavy casualties. Lest you think the Admiral is a cold-hearted automaton, he's extremely interested in pilot Lt. Harry Brubaker and his family. It seems Brubaker reminds him of a son lost in another war. Then there's little Mike Forney piloting his rescue chopper with flare and daring and Wing Commander Wayne Lee determined to get the job done despite the odds. Mix in a touch of typical war movie humor and The Bridges at Toko-Ri is an entertaining exercise in naval air warfare. Perhaps Bridges struggles a trifle too hard at its humor and attempts at charm. Director Mark Robson certainly chooses a few too many portent close-ups of concerned a Admiral Tarrant every time Brubaker's name comes up.
    William Holden is on fine footing as Brubaker, exercising his easy screen likability capturing the nuances of good family man caught up in a war he doesn't really want to fight. Frederic March is far too grave as Admiral Tarrant. The script leaves him little room for more than one dimension. Grace Kelly looks beautiful in the short Tokyo segment. It's probably her only nude movie scene, but don't get too hot and bothered since she plays it under the cover of a hot tub. Mickey Rooney supplies an enjoyable amount of hyper energy as Forney.

Meet the Admiral. Paramount

     The full screen transfer is pretty clean and the color still appears vital. The colors on the dresses of the Japanese bar girls is rich and fully saturated. Paramount delivers with little or no edge enhancement to interfere  with picture clarity. Detail is well resolved and contrast is fine. The short night segment in Tokyo has plenty of vitality. The mono sound is clean and the aircraft carrier atmosphere is effective.




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