A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (VU DU PONT) (director: Sidney Lumet; screenwriters: Norman Rosten/from the play by Arthur Miller; cinematographer: Michel Kelber; editor: Françoise Javet; music: Maurice Le Roux; cast: Raf Vallone (Eddie Carbone), Maureen Stapleton (Beatrice Carbone), Carol Lawrence (Catherine), Jean Sorel (Rodolpho), Raymond Pellegrin (Marco), Morris Carnovsky (Alfieri), Harvey Lembeck (Mike), Mickey Knox (Louis), Vincent Gardenia (Lipari); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Paul Graetz; Retro Flix; 1962)
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Adapted by writer Norman Rosten from the play by Arthur Miller. Director Sidney Lumet (“The Hill”/”Serpico”/”Critical Care”) sets the solemn dramaat the Brooklyn waterfront (it was shot in France).
Warning: spoiler in the paragraph.
Tough Italian-American longshoreman on the Brooklyn waterfront Eddie Carbone (Raf Vallone) is married to the plain looking Bea (Maureen Stapleton). The childless middle-aged couple have raised Bea’s niece Catherine (Carol Lawrence) since infancy, when her mom died. Eddie no longer loves his wife but has a secret overwhelming crush on the comely 18-year-old Catherine, who worships him as a father. Two of Bea’s cousins from Sicily, the married family man Marco (Raymond Pellegrin) and his younger handsome blond single brother Rodolpho (Jean Sorel, French actor), are smuggled into the country and are sheltered in Eddie’s house. The brothers are put to work on the docks. But all’s not well, as Rodolpho and Catherine are attracted to each other and go out every night, causing a jealous Eddie to bad-mouth Rodolpho to Catherine. He says such things as Rodolpho only wants to marry her to obtain his U. S. citizenship papers. Eddie even resorts to kissing Rodolpho full on the lips in front of Catherine to degrade him as a homosexual. He finally completely alienates his niece, and she announces her engagement to Rodolpho. The distraught Eddie turns the brothers into the immigration authorities and they are arrested. While being removed from Eddie’s house, Marco spits on Eddie and in front of the street crowd calls him a rat. Waterfront lawyer Alfieri (Morris Carnovsky) gets Rodolpho released because of his upcoming marriage to American girl will grant him citizenship, but Marco is to be deported. While out on bail, Marco goes to Eddie’s house and the two get into a tussle with cargo hooks on the street. When Marco forces Eddie to kneel to him, the humiliated Eddie plunges a cargo hook into his own chest.
It takes a long time for things to develop, the boorish main character is uninteresting (deserving of no sympathy) and most of the film is tedious, which are some of its major drawbacks. But the old-fashioned liberal film remains relevant for its sympathetic take on illegals.
REVIEWED ON 5/21/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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