Starring: Rod Steiger, David Knight, Bernard Lee
Director: Ken Annakin
Running Time: 103 mins
Across The Bridge is a British film about a billionaire in the US on the run from the police who decides to steal the identity of a stranger in order to get into Mexico. However, his life becomes much more complicated when he discovers that that stranger is a wanted criminal in Mexico.
This is a really interesting, dark and thrilling film all packed into one. It may not have the look of the most fast-paced film, but it really delivers and becomes hugely exciting towards the end, and whilst it may not necessarily seem so bleak on the face of things either, it becomes very depressing and heavy-going at some points, however it’s got such a fascinating story that you can’t help but be totally engrossed.
Basically, the plot is full of the most unpredictable twists and turns you could ever imagine. What starts off as a relatively simple story suddenly transforms into an extremely complex tale of state borders, identity confusion and a whole host of other stuff that would normally be pretty tough to follow, however this film’s excellent screenplay delivers all of that in such a way that it’s still a simple enough watch to be pretty entertaining.
However, there’s nothing more exciting in this film than the way that it pulls your mind from one side to the other on a constant basis due to its numerous twists, because it eventually makes you realise that it’s just too unpredictable to predict, and that sense of anticipation that you get before each twist comes is hugely exhilarating.
Also, this film manages to be very heavy and bleak at points whilst still maintaining its excitement. The identity theft element to it is very sad, however what becomes most bleak is the final act, which is more a question of survival rather than anything else, and it really requires a lot to get to grips with.
Finally, the most interesting thing about this film was its central character, the German-born British billionaire, played fantastically by Rod Steiger. On the face of things, he’s a terrible person, but the strangest thing about this film is that this villain really grows on you as it develops, and he turns into some sort of an anti-hero, who you end supporting towards the end, rather than hope for his arrest as you do earlier on, which I found really fascinating.
Overall, this gets a 7.6, because of its strong story, brilliant central performance, and impressive excitement all the way through.