Across the Bridge
Across the Bridge – 1957 | 103 mins | Thriller | B&W
This overlooked black-and-white thriller based on a story by Graham Greene provides a compelling psychological study of a fugitive’s greed and his love for a dog that gradually becomes his conscience. Rod Steiger produces a gripping and highly charismatic performance as the conceited financier trapped in limbo with luck running out. An American remake, Double Take, was released in 2001.
When his London offices are raided by Scotland Yard, crooked German-born businessman Carl Schaffner (Rod Steiger) flees south from a New York press conference to Mexico after embezzling $3 million in company funds. While travelling by train, Schaffner decides to evade the authorities by murdering a fellow passenger Paul Scarff (Bill Nagy) and assuming his passport and identity. The plan seems foolproof until it transpires Scarff is a wanted murderer with a ransom on his head and has survived being thrown from the train. Upon arriving in Mexico, the arrogant Schaffner is mistaken for Scarff and arrested by the Mexican border police.
Scotland Yard’s impatient Detective Hadden (Bernard Lee) is hot on the financier’s heels but must wait three months for the processing of extradition papers or alternatively lure Schaffner across the Mexican border before he can carry out an arrest. A bedraggled Scaffner refuses to bow to the corrupt police captain (Noel Willman) and is soon friendless in the border town apart from the devotion of Scarff’s spaniel Dolores – and it’s the dog that ultimately seals his destiny.
Ken Annakin: Director
Reginald H Wyer: Cinematography
Alfred Roome: Editing
James Bernard: Original Music
John Stafford: Producer
Guy Elmes: Script
Denis Freeman: Script
Gordon K McCallum: Sound Department
Rod Steiger: Carl Schaffner
David Knight: Johnny
Marla Landi: Mary
Noel Willman: Police Chief
Bernard Lee: Detective Inspector Hadden
Bill Nagy: Paul Scarff