The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1944 film)
|The Bridge of San Luis Rey|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rowland V. Lee|
|Produced by||Rowland V. Lee
|Written by||Howard Estabrook
Thornton Wilder (novel)
|Music by||Dimitri Tiomkin|
|Cinematography||John W. Boyle
John J. Mescall (uncredited)
|Editing by||Harvey Manger|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release date(s)||February 11, 1944|
|Running time||107 minutes|
The Bridge of San Luis Rey is a 1944 drama film made by Benedict Bogeaus Productions and released by United Artists. It was produced and directed by Rowland V. Lee with Benedict Bogeaus as co-producer. The screenplay by Howard Estabrook and Herman Weissman was adapted from the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder. The music score was by Dimitri Tiomkin and the cinematography by John W. Boyle and an uncredited John J. Mescall.
 Background and production
The film and novel are very loosely based on the real life story of Micaela Villegas (1748-1819), a famous Peruvian entertainer known as La Perichole, whose life was also the inspiration for the novella Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement by Prosper Mérimée; an opéra bouffe, La Périchole by Jacques Offenbach; and Jean Renoir’s 1953 film Le Carrosse d'or (The Golden Coach).
There was also an earlier part-talkie film version of The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929) starring Lili Damita. The film was remade once more in 2004 with the title The Bridge of San Luis Rey and starring F. Murray Abraham, Kathy Bates and Pilar López de Ayala.
Peru, 1774: A bridge has spanned a gorge for a hundred years and more, but it collapses and five people die. Brother Juniper travels to Lima to pay a visit to Uncle Pio, and tells him the story of what led up to the tragedy.
A popular actress, Michaela Villegas, was acquainted with twin brothers, Manuel and Esteban. She is asked to wait by Manuel while he is away at sea. A jealous Esteban hides her letters to his brother, while the Viceroy tries to court Michaela, much to the chagrin of the Marquesa.
Manuel returns, but a spiteful Viceroy has him placed under arrest. Michaela warns him that he is turning Manuel into a martyr, so the Viceroy pardons him. But on the fateful day, the Viceroy, Marquesa and Esteban end up three of the doomed five on the bridge.
- Lynn Bari as Micaela Villegas
- Akim Tamiroff as Uncle Pio
- Francis Lederer as Esteban / Manuel
- Alla Nazimova as Doña Maria
- Louis Calhern as Don Andre
- Donald Woods as Brother Juniper
- Blanche Yurka as The Abbess
- Emma Dunn as Doña Mercedes
- Barton Hepburn as Don Rubio
- Joan Lorring as Pepita
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