‘The Bridges at Toko-Ri’ on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredric March, and Mickey Rooney star in The Bridges at Toko-Ri, a tense story taken from the novel by James A. Michner. This 1954 release won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects.

The story takes place during the Korean War and features the camaraderie as well as heroics of the men on a Navy ship. Holden is Lt. Harry Brubaker, an attorney from Colorado who has no idea why he was called up for this war. He has a wife (Kelly) and two daughters, as well as a thriving law practice. He continually wonders how he ended up in the middle of a brutal war.

As a fighter pilot, Brubaker is stationed on a Navy ship along with Mike Forney (Rooney), and Nestor Gambidge (Earl Holliman), and Rear Adm. George Tarrant (March), Commanded Wayne Lee (Charles McGraw), and Captain Evans (Willis Bouchey). Forney and Gambidge are rescue personnel, with Forney piloting a helicopter and Gambidge assisting and once in awhile jumping into the ocean to save downed pilots. That was the case when Brubaker crashed his plane into the sea. In minutes Forney and Gambidge were there to rescue him. That was life on the ship and in the war.

Although they had had a somewhat pretty uneventful tour, things changed when they were given the assignment to bomb several Korean bridges. These bridges at Toko-Ri were defended to the max. The mission would not be easy, and they all knew it.
Brubaker had his misgivings about going on the mission. Should he remove himself from the line of attack or accept his fate? His ambivalence was seen by others on board the ship, yet he decided to take on the challenge.

Before this mission was undertaken, the crew had leave in Japan, and Brubaker met up with his wife Nancy and their daughters where they spent a nice family vacation. But when she discovered what her husband was going to undertake once he returned to his ship, she grew increasingly uneasy. Not letting her husband see her fear, they continued with their little family reunion.

Once back on the ship, the mood of the movie changes drastically. There is a tenseness permeating throughout the ship. With a difficult and dangerous mission in front of them, they continue with their daily activities.

The final part of the film is filled with tension and tragedy. It is a statement on the very act of war. By the time the credits roll, viewers will be feeling loss and sadness. That is what war is all about.

The Bridges at Toko-Ri is not rated. It is not for children as it contains war action. This new Blu-ray release is from the Kino Lorber Studio Classics collection.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.