Monday, 14 July 2014
THE GIRL ON THE BRIDGE (USA 1951)
Hugo Haas’s ‘The Girl on the Bridge’ sticks to form: an older man becomes enamoured of a much younger woman and ends up paying a price. This time Haas has himself playing an aging shopkeeper - a jeweller – who stops a destitute mother (Beverly Michaels) from tossing herself off a bridge. He then offers her a place in his home and eventually in his heart. She accepts. Unfortunately Michaels has a sketchy history that catches up with her in the shape of an ex-jailbird husband and things go to hell in a hurry.
As Haas’s movies are known to do, ‘The Girl on the Bridge’ occasionally careers off into tearful sentimentality. His saving grace is the underlying sincerity and conviction he brings to his efforts. Haas is endearingly self-effacing as an actor and purposeful enough as a director and deserves far greater credit for his low-rent artisanal auteurship.
Other titles by Haas worth watching are: 'Pickup' (1951), Strange Fascination' (1952), 'One Girl's Confession' (1953), 'Bait' (1954), 'The Other Woman' (1954), 'Edge of Hell' (1956), 'Hit and Run' (1957) and 'Lizzie' (1957).
Meantime, here's a link to a ‘This I Believe’ segment from
the Bob Edwards Show on NPR, broadcast April 9, 2010 in which the Czech-born Haas, a former refugee from the Soviet regime expresses heart-felt admiration for America:
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