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. The film-maker's saving grace is the underlying sincerity and conviction that he brings. 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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